Stopped over for breakfast
We left Manila
before sunrise so as to have more time to spend in the wilderness of Mt. Pinatubo.
It took us a two and a half hour drive to get to Capas, Tarlac where the
jump-off point was located. Before proceeding to the area where our 4x4s
awaited us, we stopped over at Jollibee for breakfast. Most of us didn’t have
much sleep the night before so we really had to eat a lot to fuel ourselves
with sufficient energy for the day.
After another 45-minute drive, we
finally reached the barangay hall where our 4x4 drive started. We departed as
soon as we got set for the trek.
All set for the adventure ahead!
We were 16 in the group. Each vehicle carried
4 people plus the driver and the tour guide. It was the first time for the 15
of us to go there so there was nothing but much excitement that we felt upon
getting inside our rides.
The terrain was fine. The earth
was flat for most part of the drive albeit there were areas where the ride got
quite bumpy. The view from our vehicles was already breath-taking. Each site
was worth taking a picture that if we stopped every time just to take photos,
we would have needed another lifetime. It was quite a challenge to take
pictures from a moving vehicle in a semi-rough terrain, but that fact also made
picture taking more fun. Describing the beauty of the place is not easy. Taking
photos seemed to be the only way of giving it a just description.
The 4x4 ride lasted for about 75
minutes then we finally reached our jump-off point.
This one's worth a million words!
After the briefing, we took
some pictures first before the trek. The moment we started walking, we got even
more astounded by the splendor of the lahar formations. The last eruption’s
remains are now nature’s accessories to its beauty. Imagine. The villages
before the 1991 eruption are now 20 feet under the ground. Add the hill-like
formations which are more than 50 feet in height and you’ll get an idea of how destructive
the last eruption really was. Nature really knows how to work its wonders. No
one may ever get to fully understand why it had to be in a destructive way, but
seeing its beautiful aftermath will surely make one appreciate nature’s way of enhancing its beauty.
There was a lot to see and enjoy
in the trek. There were a lot of mountain-like formations, multi-colored rocks
in all sizes and shapes, plants of different kinds, and refreshing streams of
What a sight!
The two and a half hour of walking may have been quite exhausting
but it felt much worth it upon seeing the scenery in Mt. Pinatubo
crater. We were speechless when we reached our final stop. We were literally
dumbfounded. We wanted to talk about how we felt upon seeing its beauty but no
words came out of our mouths. I guess it’s just because mere words could not
exactly describe the wonderful feeling we had upon being captivated by the loveliness
of the place.
We took a lot of pictures first
before finally going down for our lunch and to take a dip in the lake. We were
lucky because it didn’t rain the day before we went there so the water in the
lake was not murky. Swimming in the lake was so nice.
The water was calm that
we felt like we were in a swimming pool except that we were in a much better
place. After less than an hour of swimming, we had lunch by the lake. It was
really good to enjoy a meal while getting pleasure from the beauty of the
surroundings, and of course being in company of nice and friendly people. We
left the crater not only with satisfied palates but with delighted eyes and
hearts as well. We wanted to stay much longer but the rain was already
approaching. It gets really difficult, if not impossible, to go down the
mountain when it rains heavily so we had to leave before that happens.
We haven’t gone a few meters away
from the crater when it started to drizzle. It rained quite heavily on our way
back so the trek got more exciting. It was hot on our way up so it was nice to
be showered with cool water from the heavens on our way back.
The trek got a
bit more challenging because the heavy rains resulted to having stronger water
currents with more eroded rocks and thus greater force to resist to maintain
balance. It was two times harder than going up but then a harder trek meant
more fun, much more fun.
Exhausted but more than
satisfied. That was how we felt upon leaving. Almost all of us fell asleep on
our way back to Manila.
We were already in the busy streets of the Metro even before we knew it. We had
much fun. We all enjoyed the trek.
And we called it a day.