Yesterday we had all agreed to meet up at Kabayan Hotel to go to Taal at 8 in the morning. So I get up really early to get ready. But you always need to just check up on Travbuddy before you go anywhere to know whether or not there is something interesting in the updates. And sure there is already the first blog about the meet up yesterday. It is Yheleen who have made a blog already - ok it is mainly just about 2.000 pictures she had taken the day before. But still quite impressive. I notice nobody have send a message to me calling our plans of hence I can get to the hotel.
I am ready to go immediately - I just need to do a bit more of surfing first.
Hence when I finally go I still have not gotten around eating breakfast. But I figure I can to the hotel and catch the tail end of the breakfast there. I go out try to find a cap - what is it with this town. When you don’t want a taxi you get a ton of cabs honking their horns at you - but when you start to look for a taxi they are few and far between. Well I find one in the end and get to the Kabayan at about 7.45 and try to find the adventures in the restaurant. But there is nobody around - then luckily Raquel comes down to go for breakfast as the first of the group. I guess it is all that living in the States thing which has made her forget all about Pilipino times. But shortly after this the others come down fairly quickly and we all go for breakfast - all being Raquel, Dennie, Nickie, Rochelle, Yheleen and me.
Dennie, Yheleen, Raquel, Nickie and Rochelle at the breakfast in Kabayan Horel
I must say I have been looking forward to this day. Because I love pineapples and Yhellen has promised to provide an adequate supply of pineapples if I ever got to the Philippines: see http://www.
travbuddy.com/photos/blogs/1938419 . Hence I am looking for all the pineapples she will be bringing along for this daytrip - but her purse look a bit small for pineapples but maybe she is hiding them in her sleeve. Well we need breakfast first anyways. It is a more or less traditional restaurant - so they will be serving rice with most of the breakfast dishes - but I think I will pass on the rice and go for an old fashion American breakfast for once.
The bangka for our trip accros lake Taal
During breakfast Raquel mentions I had once send a friend request to her. I must admit it was so long ago that I could not remember it anymore. She thought it was a bit strange because we had not be talking too much back then - but hey I guess I was trying to add 50 friend to qualify for a leader award or something like that.
Afterwards I actually checked up on the things - and it turned out Raquel was actually like the 3rd person ever to smile at my profile - had forgot about that. Well it is somewhat different meeting people IRL anyway.
After the breakfast we have to say goodbye to Raquel because she have to go to her family while the rest of us will be going to Taal. We need to get a bus - fortunately the buses are departing just around the corner from the hotel hence we can walk out to the bus pretty easily. After the bus ride we get off somewhere - I got no clue because Yheleen have taken control of the organizing and is herding the rest of us along to our target - she seems to know what she is doing.
We get on a jeepney to go to somewhere else - I still have no clue where exactly.
It is actually nice not to have to think about how you are getting somewhere for a change. Well after a couple of jeepney rides we finally get to the city from where we are supposed to get a boat to Taal. Yheleen have made arrangement with someone to meet us and he is coming along with his tricycle. And we fit in easily - we are only five after all - apparently Rochelle has tried to be twelve on a tricycle when she was younger. I am not sure how you do it - but I guess you find a way to fit in.
In the back Dennie (about 6'5'') Mickey, Yheleen. In Front Nickie and Rochelle
Before getting on the boat we need to go and get a bit of lunch. And we find a little restaurant with traditional food. And I am sure we will have some delicious pineapple for dessert - surely Yheleen have planned something right - hmm apparently not. Hence we leave - without any pineapple.
We sail out to Taal Island which is actually a volcano within a lake - which is another volcano crater.
And in the middle of Taal volcano you will find a crater with a lake inside and yet another tiny island. Hence it is sort of one of these Russian dolls with another doll inside it repeated several times.
The crater lake inside the Taal volcano
After we sailed out to the island we debate how to get to the top of the volcano. You can walk it in about an hour or you can ride a horse in about ½ hour. We go for the horses and rent them for 350 pesos per horse. This seems like a fairly cheap price for riding I guess - but we have not seen the horses yet. A piece of advice - do not rent horses in the Philippines without seeing them first.
We get to the horses - and they are tiny and really old.
Well I take that back - they are not old - they are prehistoric. I kind of expect a couple of these horses had been with Noah on the Ark. I get on one horse - and the stirrup is set for a kid or something like that so my legs is pretty bend when trying to get my feet into the stirrups. And then we take of my horse is being led out by a woman who looks like she is 9 or 10 month pregnant ready to give birth at any moment. Still she leads the horse up the hill with me riding on the horse. There is something wrong with this picture I think. And I wonder how we are supposed to get up on the top of the volcano in ½ hour if I am getting led up the mountain by a very pregnant woman. After a while we meet our horse guide who will take us up the trail to the top. They are male - hence none of them are pregnant - and they run along with the horses for a while and then jump up on them. And we make good speed up the hill and get to the top of the volcano to take a look out at the crater.
Tiny island inside the crater lake inside the Taal volcano, which is inside a bigger crater lake. Which is actually inside a bigger island - Luzon. Everybody follows?
We stayed at the top of the crater for a while but then we headed back.
I kind of decided not to take the horse down. Going down on a horse with legs bend didn’t seem all that attractive and I could use some easy exercise anyway. For some reason my guide had taken me up on a trail to the right when we got up on the top of the volcano while all the others had taken the left trail. Hence when we started heading down I could not see the others. Hence I thought this meant they had already gone far ahead of me somehow. And I started rushing down. But then suddenly up far far behind me they started to appear on the left trail. They had not actually left the top - but had spent ages taking photos on the horses before they were ready to head back down. I waited for them to catch up with me. And then continue downhill. They were all on the horses except Nickie hence we started to walk down together. Nickie somehow managed to lose here jacket about 20 times on the way down but the guides kept telling her to go back and pick it up - hence she actually got it all the way down. How she has managed not to lose it before this day while travelling is a mystery to me though.
Yheleen fighting with the accounts
When we got back down we settled our bill with the horse’s managers and went for the boat.
The weather looked really bad now - like it could rain any minute. And staying on a bangka in the rain is no good. Just before we reached the shore on the mainland it started to rain and when we left the boat we hurried to a shelter close to the shore to stay dry. And then the thunder started - and it was really close. A few of the thunders followed the lightening strike by only about ½ a second which should leave the lightening strike about 100-150 meters away from where we were staying. I guess Thor was out riding the goat this afternoon - he must be on a summer holiday like the rest of the Danes.
Look out for this post right here - we need to do something about it.
We stayed in the shelter for an hour or so and all survived the thunder without getting hit by lightening and then we got the tricycle back to jeepney back to the bus to go to Manila. And we arrived at the hotel. None of us were really ready to do much for dinner hence we all ended up eating in the restaurant.
We also had to sort out all the account for who had paid how much for which expenses and who own how much to whom. Yheleen were in charge of the accounting - and she seem like she were struggling a bit with them.
The official TB accounts
I thought about whether or not to tell her I have been doing the number games for years and years and spend all my time after university doing different kinds of number crunching jobs. And one of them were actually sort of accounting. Nha I figured that would only complicate things hence better just let her figure it all out herself. She managed to get it all sorted in the end and everybody seem satisfied with the result of the calculations.
After this Rochelle and I went out to get back while the rest went for the hotel rooms.
We had yet another day of Travbuddy stuff tomorrow going to Corregidor - early in the morning once again. Who knows - maybe there will be some pineapples tomorrow given there were none today?
Still counting cash