Saturday, April 20, 2013

Philippines Adventure Day 4

Sorry, I have no Pesos.

We departed the hotel after another great breakfast and met "Jonathan" in the lobby. We jumped in his car and were on our way down to the Taal lake for we were scheduled tour the island volcano within the lake. Jonathan was very nice and told us of other locations nearby that we should check out. Driving down to the boat dock yielded many opportunities for good views of the dense forest and scenic overlooks.

We reached the bottom of the steep winding road and Jonathan dropped us off at one of many houses along the shore. Here we were met by a boatman who would ferry us across the lake. We jumped into the small boat and soon were skipping along the water. Off to the starboard side, we marveled at the numerous fish farms; each contained a small 5x5 hut where the fisherman lived. What an interesting life that must be!

About 15 minutes after departing we reached the other side. The structures littering along the landscape lacked loveliness and were really rather rudimentary. People on this island live in the dust. Our boatman beaconed us to continue away from the coast thus we proceeded inward though we didn't know what exactly was expected of us. No one on this side of the lake understood much English. Some small children were quick to capitalize on the situation and ran up trying to sell us a "soft drink for your guide." Other children ran up and also tried selling us things. Especially face masks; "very dusty!" they said.

We continued and three guys brought us some horses. Thrust into the situation without much need for orientation, we mounted the horses and proceeded up the trail with our guides. After a bit the guides struggled to tell me I had to put my backpack on backwards. Eventually, after much persuasion, I did. My guide ten jumped onto the back of my small horse and we continued.

After about 15min we reached the top of the crater. The view was spectacular. The Tall volcano consists of a volcano within a lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano. It's also the smallest active volcano or something like that. I believe it last erupted in the 80s. Along the top and inside if the crater were many holes with steam gushing out. We hiked along the crater and tried to soak in the experience.

After a while we were ready to head back. We located our guides, saddled up, and went back down the volcano to the boat to the other side and into Jonathan's car.

I'm now gettin tired of writing all this ok my phone so a brief summary and pictures will have to suffice for the movement.

We got back to our hotel ate lunch across the street, relaxed, ate dinner at another place across the street (really nice place for about $10 a head) then at 8 went to the spa place in our hotel and got massages. Having never had a massage before I signed up for the 1 hour one.. Turns out time seems to fly when you're getting a massage and I felt shorted when she told me we were through. Before I knew what was going on I was asleep on the couch in our room--packed and ready to depart on tomorrow's adventures in the morning.

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I love life and aspire to be all I can be in everything that I do.