Another natural high on Samal is Puting Batu, the highest mountain on the island. Neglected for too long by the SBK team, we finally decided in the best tradition of European explorers to assault the north face by an aging Honda XRM / Kymco Super8 combination.
First stop to admire the view back across the Penaplata Bay towards Punta del Sol and Davao City
The riders and their mounts…including a scooter with off-road tyres!
End of the road for the two-wheeled assault! First I had to shed my pillion passenger, then the smell of burning rubber from the drive belt warned me that 40degrees was probably too steep for a city vehicle
So we parked the ‘bikes at the home of a friendly farmer and…
…in the best tradition of stiff-upper-lipped explorers…
…continued our way on foot
Some yard-long-leaves growing alongside the track
Nearing the peak, the view NE towards Davao Oriental province
Puting Batu peak this way
After enduring endless minutes hacking our way through the tortuous jungle path we had our first sign of having reached the top…
Literally a sign
Emerging from the jungle onto the peak we found we were in Hobbitland. So the Filipino bearers immediately celebrated with a meal and drinks.
Panoramic view south from the peak park
A good place for a castle
A lost valley doubtless inhabited by dinosaurs and Kong-sized apes
The expedition’s feeling of triumph vanished when we found the calling card of Captain Walter Snetterton