Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 48: (May 18) Run/Walk Across d Philippines (Cordilleras)

It was very cold early this morning, I had to wear my jacket. As I continued to ascend the Cordilleras along the Halsema highway my right knee became a bit painful. I was very worried that this could develop into an injury like what happened when running the Rome marathon 16 years ago. So I decided to walk slowly. I found a stick that I used as a walking staff. It helped, the pain disappeared.

The last time I was here was in 2008 when I went around the country on a mountain bike. That particularly day I biked from Bontoc to Baguio for 15 hours - from 5 am to 10 pm. So it was already dark when I went through this section of the Halsema highway. This would be first time to see it at daytime and appreciate the view.

The view around me and below me was just spectacular. But then in the afternoon the fog came and covered everything. Suddenly a heavy cold rain began to fall and the wind increased its fury. I had to find shelter. After 30 minutes, the rain eased but did not stop. So I continued walking, wearing my sandals, jacket and umbrella. The ascents became more steep and it got colder. The rain finally stopped late in the afternoon.

I reached Sayangan at 6 pm after covering 50 km. It was colder than this morning since we are now over 7000 feet above sea level. Fr. David warmly welcomed me. He lent me a winter jacket and thick jogging pants. He told it would even get colder at night and early morning. I took a warm bath before joining Fr. David and the seminarians for supper.

Total distance covered so far: 1727 km

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