Monday, March 15, 2010

NAPO TO BABAG TALES XXVII: Jungle Wil

THERE IS A PROMISE of a hot day today, October 4, 2009, as me and my guest, Wil Rhys Davies aka CochiseRattlesnake, walked the concrete-and-asphalt road at 8:15 AM from Guadalupe to Napo. Will is a Welsh national who opted to live here in Cebu and put up an adventure-tour business – Jungle Wild Adventure, Inc. He had been living in Banilad since February and we crossed paths at the Tap Room of the Gustavian Restaurant on September 29 after he surfed and contacted me in the Internet in my dormant MyOpera blog and in my very active Blogger account.


We reached Napo at nine and crossed the first river crossing. Wil liked the idea of crossing streams stepping on stones placed across its width. “Only in the jungles will you find these”, he said and I surely agree with that. We both laughed. He is a good-natured guy and willing to take the risk of walking behind me along a trail that followed the bends and turns of the Sapangdaku River. He slowly learned a few Cebuano words of greeting from me and he waved and smiled as we meet locals going the other way. As we walked, I showed to him plants and fruit trees that are very useful for survival.


We rested after we made the second river crossing and Wil was sweating all over and was dripping with it – literally! His bush shirt and long walking pants were a mass of brine-soaked fabric and he kept wiping his face with a handkerchief. I drank from a nearby spring and filled my water bottle then we started to climb a trail passing along a small flower farm and into an upland community where we took another rest. It is so hot and I had been breathing hard. The shade from a mango tree where we sat is most welcome.


After a lengthy conversation, we left the place and climbed again passing a trail lined by ancient mango trees. This is mango country and their sweet yellow fruits have made Cebu famous internationally. I let him know that and he smiled. Along the way, we meet a couple with their little son clearing the trail of its already thick vegetation. Will gave away his new bolo to the husband who appreciated very much the gift. We climbed on until we reached the house of my young friend, Manwel Roble.


Jucel, Manwel's 3-year old brother, jumped up and down upon seeing me and I brought out my token of bread and gave it to him and he vanished inside his house giggling as he ate. That fattened my heart and Will appreciated very much my generosity to the kids. As we sat on the bamboo benches, I showed to him my home-made three-bladed dagger, my white-steeled Mantrack little machete and my tomahawk, the shaft of which I made and carved with my own hands.


Afterwards, Manwel arrived with four young coconuts and I helped him open the bottom end of the fruit with my own blade. God, it was sweet and Wil helped himself with his share of the coconuts. Well rested and fully nourished by the nutritious fruit, we climbed again at eleven going by way of the Babag East Ridge Pass. It is almost noon and the sun shone its hottest over this part of the globe and upon us and, soon enough, I struggled to keep my pace and gulped air as fast as I could exhale them.


I rested often feeling the heaviness of the load I carried. I looked over my shoulder and Wil seem to be not bothered a bit by the heat and the exertions. Saw him wipe his face, time and again, with his handkerchief and wring it and, besides that, he is uncomplaining. A true outdoorsman in the purest sense of the word. Slowly, we were able to reach Babag Ridge and rested at a store. We both drank soda drinks and I ate my hamburger lunch. Wil did not, the coconuts might have been enough for him.


After a half-hour of siesta, we started going downhill via Kahugan Trail. Retracing partly a trail where we had passed before, we came into a slippery slope along a forest of madre de cacao trees. Will was able to hold his balance well and both of us went through unscathed until we reached the community chapel and rested. It was in this interlude that Wil caught a good subject for his photo collection – an 81-year old woman carrying a heavy basket balanced on her head while smoking a home-made tobacco.


Satisfied with the picture shot, Wil took the lead in going down to the river crossing and greeted everybody he met on the trail until we reached Napo. From Napo we walked down for Guadalupe and everywhere people waved at him, happy to see a foreigner going backpacking in their place. It elated them so much to see Wil.


Finally, finally, we reached the church in Guadalupe and I invited Will to meet good friends Boy Toledo and Ernie Salomon waiting in V. Rama Avenue. Both were pleased to meet Wil and practiced their English in their hard Cebuano accent. We were able to finish one case – six one-liter bottles – of Red Horse Strong Beer and, by then, both Boy T and Ernie spoke in a slurred accent.


It was a good workout for Wil and a good introduction for him into the local trails here in Cebu. It also was an eye-opener for him to know the company I keep and how easy we make water out of beer. Just kidding.


Anyhow, Jungle Wil is now connected with the Trailhawk in Facebook and you will see more of him soon. Just keep that mouse handy and you'll get your fill of adventure.


Sign out!


Document done in OpenOffice 2.1 Writer


 

5 comments:

pathfindertom said...

cool stuff Jing but Rhys is really ugly!

you should have posted pics of more ladies. hahaha.

tomahawk

PinoyApache said...

damn my cam, Tom, it is low-grade. the image is a bit fuzzy.

the ladies could wait, he says. his heart couldn't perform the work.

rhys said...

Thanks guy`s, a leaner, meaner jungle wil, is on his way, so you two bubbles better get fit...mmmmm!

In Adventuer, Wil
See you PA

PinoyApache said...

See you Wil...
...the brass band is ready for your arrival!

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