I was excited about this trip that I’ve planned months ago since it would be my first time to visit Sagada and I’ve heard good review about it.
We left here 24 March, Friday, then came back on the 29th which is a Monday. The travel by land to and from Sagada took around 9 hours. Our first day there was spent exploring the neighborhood where we were arranged to stay in, and we were also able to explore on of the most popular caves there which is Sumaging cave.
According to the guide who accompanied us there, this is the deepest cave in Sagada. Now I cannot begin to express how stressed out I was given that it was my first time to try spelunking. Needless to say, we underestimated it. We were informed beforehand that there are parts inside the cave which are very slippery. All along we thought that this fact is tolerable because we imagined that it would just be a flat surface, we didn’t know that we would be going down a deep slope inside that cave. And boy was it slippery. Our trekking shoes didn’t stand a chance.
Imagine the struggle of trying to walk as fast as you can, while attempting to not fall flat on your behind (which I did, by the way — twice) because of the slippery rocks, and thinking of your every step to make sure that you don’t fall over the steep slope.
To make the long story short, we eventually reached the bottom of the cave. So I thought to myself.. “Yey, mission accomplished!” Again, I spoke to soon. Of course there’s no other way out of the cave other than where we came from. I almost had a panic attack after this realization, but I didn’t have much choice, did I? Right after reaching the bottom of the cave, we scrambled back up. Again, I had this notion that the trail going up is easier because we didn’t have to worry about sliding down that steep slope. And I was wrong again. Of course we still had to worry about not sliding down, but this time only backwards.
Going back up was the time I injured my elbow because we had to climb back up a steep rock with the help of a rope. But I had to be a trooper and endure the sight of blood and the stinging pain. After a couple of pained grunts and terrified screams, we eventually got out, and yes ALIVE. 🙂
Looking back I can say that I personally struggled traversing that cave. As fun and exhilarating that was, I don’t think I would have the courage to repeat that in the near future. Maybe when I know that I’m more fit to handle the strenuous physical challenge that the cave imposes. Having said that, I still think that it was an accomplishment that I was able to come out of that cave alive, struggles and all.