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A Failed Attempt to See Casaroro Falls - No Regrets!

Monday, January 30, 2012Ryan Mach

Valencia is one of the closest towns in Dumaguete so getting there wouldn't be a problem.

I've actually mentioned that a hundred times in my previous posts. 

I know, but I have a point to make. There's an imaginary guarantee that since it's close to the city, getting to Casaroro Falls shouldn't be a problem. Especially if you were promised by the tricycle driver that it's not too far from Forest Camp, where I spent the first 3 hours of my day. There's a much shorter route, I was told, but it's currently impassable because the road was badly hit by Typhoon Sendong.

The road where the cement ends is the start of a 5-kilometer hike to the jump-off point to the waterfall. It's a narrow dirt road (like a dry river littered with small rocks) that's yet to be constructed. Only habal-habal can pass there. The slope isn't very different to the road I used to walk on when I was young (we live uphill in the province) so I thought the trek's pretty much manageable. I just had lunch too. Still, I found myself sweating and panting.

So how was Casaroro?
I wasn't able to see it.

I paid Php150 just to see it but I didn't actually see it. Rip off?
Definitely not. And I have no regrets. Let me set the record straight though that such amount was only for the tricycle. There's a 10 peso entrance fee in Casaroro Falls which I didn't pay because there's no one there to collect it. When I came back after surviving the 600+ steps, I understood why no payment was required.

The descent starts here...

The trek down was a memorable experience in itself. Not to mention very challenging and exhausting. Imagine going down a stair with 367 steps and going up again using the same stair. One wrong step and you'll find yourself falling down the cliff. I'm glad I did it because it somehow prepared me for my first mountain climb in Mt. Pico de Loro a week after.
Apologies for the shaky shot. I was apparently shaking...

Why wasn't I able to see it?
I was just about 200 meters away from the waterfall when I decided to back out. I could already make out the crashing sound the falls made. The foreign guy ahead of me was going back. He told me it's quite difficult to get there. He's a tall dude, possibly more fit than I was. If he weren't able to do it, how could I? Mang Enie, my tour guide/ tricycle driver was able to make it though. He's a good driver but not a very tour guide, left me on my own.
He didn't make it either..

Big rocks were splayed in the river bed. Rocks that were not originally there in the first place. Mang Enie, was a bit surprised to see them there. "It's the typhoon (Sendong) that dislodged these rocks from the cliffs," he said, pointing at the high walls above.
Bridge badly damaged.

There used to be a concrete bridge that connected the steel stairs to the viewing deck in the falls. You could still make out the bridge under the boulders. Judging from the damage the typhoon caused, it'll probably take time before the bridge way will be reconstructed. Until then, anyone who hopes to see the falls will have to brave the difficult trek. The experience will be surely much sweeter and rewarding because not everyone can do it.
Rock wall

This post is part of my Solo Backpacking Adventure in Dumaguete.

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