Monday, May 18, 2009

Mt. Pinatubo Trek

Beauty is a sacrifice. It surely is for Mt. Pinatubo. To see a grandeous gift of nature, you have to endure a sure lot ordeal.

The group have agreed to meet at Philcoa at exactly 3AM. Yikes! Too early for a not-so-morning person like I am.We then loaded a van going to Capas in Tarlac, the gateway to the volcano of destination.  From there we took a 4x4 which took us to the foot of the volcano.  The ride was rough and dusty but a breath taking view of the sunrise during the ride, is a sure bonus.

When we started trekking, I began to appreciate the call time of 3AM.  The trek would have been harder if the sun was up and the heat was at its strongest. The route entails a rocky descent downhill, slippery walk in the river, and an ascent in the middle of flourishing flora and towering lahar formations.  

A trek of normally an hour long took a little longer because of the pauses for picture which surely is a lot fun for me and my friends.

When we reached the crater, we were awed.  It was surely incredible.  The water was sea green.  According to our guides, the water at the crater sometimes turn purple.  How amazing, right?!

Good thing we were the first to arrive at the crater.  The group decided to take a dip forgetting the fact that we are in the mouth of the volcano.  We were very cautious though, staying by the banks, as the crater lake is more than 300 feet deep. For those who are not up to taking a swim, small boats are for rent for a rowing experience.

It is unbelievable to see how a very serene and beautiful place has caused havoc and peril to many lives in 1991. It was so violent and disastrous, like it was awakened from a deep slumber, terribly angry. Remains of that disaster is still visible around and going to Mt. Pinatubo. Hopefully, the great volcano will remain at slumber and the 1991 eruption will be its last.

When the other groups arrived, we were done with swimming and were halfway through with washing ourselves.  We readied ourselves with another round of trekking and looked forward for a sumptuous lunch at the take-off point.

It was a tiring but fun to conquer Pinatubo. But that experience will be the first and hopefully the last as I have no plans of doing it all over again. =P

Make sure you wear the right footwear and bring extra clothes if you plan to take a dip in the lake.  Bring water, towel and a hat too.  Sunscreen all you can to protect you from the bad UV rays.And most of all, enjoy your Pinatubo Trek!

Mt. Pinatubo
Pampanga / Tarlac

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