After a hearty breakfast we grab our gears (and some water+trail food) and proceeded to the river just 50 meters from our campsite.
The river is dry this time of the year. Part of the trail is blanketed by dried pine needles from the large pine trees that lined the banks.
We trekked for more than an hour, our GPS indicated that we have already traveled some 1.8 kilometers. Still no sign of water.
Along the way we found some animal tracks and fresh droppings. We thought the tracks could belong to a horse but the droppings are definitely from a carabao (water buffalo).
We later found out from Mang Danny (an Aeta we met there, he was hunting wild boars and deers) that the tracks (and the droppings) belong to tamaraws (pygmy water buffalos). Good thing we did not encounter one. These tamaraws are fiercely territorial and it would have been one hell of a chase had we found one. The tamaraw would be the one chasing us of course :).
We never did find the water source. One of my friends (Owen) decided to scout ahead for the trail. But our main group lost track of his trail and we couldn't hail him . The rule was he should stay in voice contact with us. We decided to make a bee line for our camp, and wait for him there. We would retrace our tracks if he does not arrive in 30 minutes. Knowing Owen, he would also do the same once he thinks we lost him or he lost us.
Mang Danny just came from checking his traps deep in the mountains and was heading to the bay when he spotted Owen on a nearby hill. He thought Owen was lost (well maybe he is. hehe) and decided to come to him. They caught up with us in a clearing while we were taking a breather.
Mang Danny told us we were VERY CLOSE to the small lake there. Just one more hill and we would have found it. But there'll be a next time, for sure.
Our group, from left: Elias, Mang Danny, Owen, Deo, Francis (not in the photo)