Not Quite According to Plan

Manila Travel Blog

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I had slept brilliantly despite being in a hot, sweaty dorm of 14 beds, but perhaps a little too well.  My alarm did go off at 4:15am, but that got put back to 5:15am, then 6:15am when I finally got out of bed (I’m sure to the other guests relief).  The bus to Tarlac was at 7:30am, and so I was a little bit early, but I did arrive in Tarlac for 10:30am, and it was only a short trip on the jeepney to Capas from there.

 

I had to get another jeepney to the next village and that involved me clinging onto the rails of the outside of the jeepney as all the seats were taken!  I loved it and was actually tempted to sit on the roof.  From there it was only a short tricycle ride to the base point of Pinatubo.

 

A guide is compulsory to climb the volcano, but the park fees are extortionate (4000 Pesos ~ £50) for a solo traveller!  It is cheaper to split the guide fee amongst a group, but given the time, the likelihood of more travellers turning up was minimal.  I agreed to pay the fare as I’d got all this way out here and really didn’t want to miss out, but there were no more guides available for that day >.<  I was a bit too late, and had ran out of time in the Philippines (I was die to fly the next day).  Ah well, it had been an interesting day getting there, and I can always come back. 

 

Instead I took my time getting back to the village and passed a few tricycle drivers having a few drinks in the shad.  It was totally random.  They all had taken shelter from the heat and were passing around a bottle of spirits I guess was Tanduay.  I was invited to join them, but I needed a clear head to get back to Manila, and so turned down their kind offer.

 

School had just finished for the day as well, and as I was walking through the village, opportunistic kids, saying ‘Hey Jo’ and ‘Americano’ saw a chance to practice some English and surrounded me.  The flattery was amusing and they were good fun.  They took me back to the jeepney and I left back for Capas, Tarlac, and Pasay respectively.

 

I’d agreed to meet up with JeAr at 7pm, but traffic around the capital city was just impossible, so I went straight for the meet place in the gear I was wearing and got there for 7:30pm.  JeAr was great and came back to the hostel so I could get ready.  We left a little bit late, but caught the LRT and MRT to Quezon City to meet up with Sarj, Reychel and Jenneth and get some food.  Bobby also joined us and I tried crocodile; pigs innards, snout, and ears; and a few other bits without knowing what I was actually eating.

  I really enjoyed it all and after that I would consciously eat the same again!

 

Bobby drove us from the mall to the bar area around Quezon and we parked in what Sarj believes to be a haunted car park.  She told me some spooky stories and I became quickly anxious to get the hell out of there.  It takes very little to rattle my cage when it comes to the supernatural.

 

We all found a bar where I could be re-united with the Red Horse, but it quickly came round to the time when JeAr had to leave for work.  Jenneth and Reychel had to leave as well, leaving just the three of us to go onto a club. 

 

Ah man I got wasted!  Without much sleep the two nights before, and with a pretty exhausting day, it didn’t take much for my lightweight ability to subside to the intoxicating effects.  I drank some kind of crazy strong cocktail and that was game over for me.  Sarj was still quite spritely though and raced over to a vacant pole to strut off her stuff. 

 

I had a brilliant night to end my stay in the Philippines with and I was so pleased to have seen many of my friends one more time before leaving.  It was about 4am I thought I’d left the club and the beer compass took me back to the hostel just in time for sunrise.

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Manila
photo by: Deats