"The Pinatubo Adventure. Baw." Province of Tarlac Travelogue by danaiskra
Province of Tarlac Travel Guide: 77 reviews and 379 photos
Beautiful, ain't it? Wish it was that easy..
This destination is worth a travelogue..
From the town proper to the jump off point, we were aboard one of these 4x4 jeeps. Big wheels, room enough for 4 at the back plus one beside the driver. The ride was bumpy and splashy.
From the vehicle, we saw the view stretch from plains to rocky slopes to tree-topped hills to sandy mountains.
They looked like sharp mountains sliced right in the middle.
The landscape, I think, is already starting to evolve from the lahar-y type to foresty. The place still has that desert-like environment, but now, shrubs are peeping off the lahar walls.. I'm no geologist but according to some geo/vulcanology info on the web, give it some decades and the uniquely beautiful barrenness of the place would most likely be replaced with a leafy forest.
On with the backpacks, hats, caps, shades, and rubber sandals. The trek started with a casual walk on sand and rocks under the 8am sun.
Soon enough, there were already some small streams of cold water that we had to step into.
The trek was supposed to be just around 45 minutes. When we reached an hour of walking on seemingly repeating landscape, we began to ask the the guide how much longer.. 20 minutes na lang daw.. Apparently, our guides didn't share the same sense of time with us city-folks. 20 minutes ended up more than times 5 of what we know 20 minutes to be. no exaggeration.
The one misgiving that I can say about this trip is that we weren't warned. The 40-50 minute trek turned out to have taken almost three hours. Apparently, the "skyway" to the crater was ruined. This was the shortcut that hikers usually take and at that time, it was blocked. So we had to take the long way.
Kuya said "5 minutes na lang"..
Anak ka ng 5 minutes, kuya. It was really around 20 minutes more.. And the path was not an easy 5 degree slope anymore. It was becoming rockier, and and more watery. But at least, we could already sense that we were indeed getting nearer, climbing up the stream, trees here and there..
The battle uphill was a real pain (literally). Nonetheless, the lake was spectacular. After taking pictures on the viewdeck, we went down to picnic by the crater and dip in. The water was cold, so was the air (it was slightly drizzling). Just a few feet from the shore and i already had to tread, the sandy bottom out of my foot's reach..
That's me, holding on to a piece of bamboo, while treading on the deep lake.
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Province of Tarlac Travel Guide
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