Of Starting Over & Mt. Pinatubo (Part 3)

My friend, what will you do for a friend who’s down because of a recent break-up?  Well,  cheer them up!  Since my friend Marie wanted to trek at Mt. Pinatubo, I arranged for it together with 7 of my friends making a total of 8 in a group.  And so I thought…

We moved the date of our trip because of Typhoon.  B wanted to move it again on another day since he’s suffering from flu for a week and not feeling better.  I told him to rest instead and not join us.  I’ve heard that trekking Pinatubo is not a walk in the park (haha).  With a broken heart, he agreed to it and wish us safety.  I have to tell this to our agency, Trekking Pinatubo, and to our friends because our fee will increase from Php 2,425 to Php 2,750. Hay!

 

IT’S A GO!!!

Karen of Trekking Pinatubo said our pick-up time will be at 3:30 A.M.  I told my friends that we will meet on our pick-up point at 3:00 A.M. Hehehe!  I really set the time 30 minutes earlier for us not to be late.  The travel agency said we need to be early as it gets crowded in the park on weekends.  My friends were very obedient and were early.  As for me, I was HONDA (short cut for “on-the-dot”) 😀

Roger was our driver and was very friendly and informative.  While on our way to Capas, Tarlac; he oriented us on what to expect on the trip.  He also gave us waivers to sign so that he can immediately forward it to the Tourism Office at Mt. Pinatubo Park and our group can go first.

Everything went smoothly!  We were all excited as our 4×4 jeep arrived.  Since we are 7 in the group, they got 2 trucks for us – one jeep can accomodate maximum of 4 travellers.  And off we go to the trekking area.

Jill, Marie and I inside our 4x4 pick-up truck

Jill, Marie and I inside our 4×4 pick-up truck

From afar, you thought you will go through flat terrains.  Wait till you get closer:

Muddy, slippery road going to Mt. Pinatubo

Muddy, slippery road going to Mt. Pinatubo

You will also pass by lots of rocky streams

One of the trucks crossing the stream

One of the trucks crossing the stream

It was a long and bumpy trip.  But the scenery will amaze you.

I think God combed his hands at this hardened lahar to create its shape

I think God combed his hands at this hardened lahar to create its shape

After a few minutes, the driver of our jeep stopped for us to have an opportunity to take picture of the scenery.

Our group comprises of 6 lovely ladies & 1 gentleman

Our group comprises of 6 lovely ladies & 1 gentleman

Along the way, we saw cows, carabaos & Aetas travelling by foot.  I can just imagine our Aeta friends’ hardship as they go through travelling without the luxury of any motorized vehicle which lend me to think of how I can help them in the future.

After our photo-op, we rode our 4×4 and continued our travel going to the starting point of our trekking.

Morning view from our starting point

Morning view from our starting point

Starting point of our 7-kilometer trekking

Starting point of our 7-kilometer trekking

And so our walking begins.  You will awe by what nature had carved out of its destruction.

There's beauty after all the destruction

There’s beauty after all the destruction

New mountains were formed after Mt. Pinatubo's eruption

New mountains were formed after Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption

Even though the sun was shining, we did not feel the heat because of the cool breeze.  January is indeed the best month to go here.

Perfect weather: sIt was sunny but not hot

Perfect weather: It was sunny but not hot

There were signage every 2 kilometers indicating your achievement & how close you are from the finish line.  Small huts were built for adventurers to rest for a bit with Aetas selling refreshments.  Don’t expect that the price of their drinks were comparable to supermarket or sari-sari store.  All of it costs Php 100.  And for the love of mandkind, don’t haggle!  Just imagine they walk kilometers barefooted just to buy drinks downtown and carry it to the mountains to sell it.  Buying their drinks is a small way for you to help our Aeta friends.

Resting after finishing our first 2 kilometers of trekking

Resting after finishing our first 2 kilometers of trekking

Aldem, our guide, was very helpful.  He assited us and lend a helping hand whenever we cross a steep slope or slippery streams.  He was also patient in waiting for us but kept on reminding us that the longer we rest, the longer our trip will be.

Cynthia, one of my companions, was always behind.  She brought her umbrella to protect her mestiza skin :D

Cynthia, one of my companions, was always behind.  She brought her umbrella to protect her mestiza skin 😀

With some of my companions & Aldem, outr Tour Guide (the one wearing a shirt with white & orange)

With some of my companions & Aldem, our Tour Guide (the one wearing a shirt with white & orange)

After a few hours, we saw this one indicating that we are near!

Where do you belong? ;p

The wooden sign indicates the length of time each generation can finish going to the crater.  Where do you belong? ;p

The last few meters of our trekking was the hardest for me because the path was smaller, the slopes are higher and slippery.

My friend Jill climbing the stairs.  If you see this, it means you're very close to the lake

My friend Jill climbing the stairs. If you see this, it means you’re very close to the lake

After the stone stairs, you will be welcomed by this signage & scenery:

Welcome!

Welcome!

The hours of hardship we endured disappeared upon seeing the crater:

What a beautiful calmness.  To think that she was once destructful

What a beautiful calmness. To think that she was once destructful

All-smile with my latest achievement :D

All-smile with my latest achievement 😀

This is the longest post I’ve done with pics.  I’ll post another one to finish off my Mt. Pinatubo tale.

 

-Tinakits-

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