The first half of our Pinatubo trip was spent on a bumpy 4×4 ride. I kept on referring to it as ATV during our whole ride. Manong driver (and the others) were prolly internally laughing at me for being such an idiot. *facepalm*
Anyway, after an hour, we were taken to the kickoff point for the actual hike. If you’re looking for some tips, I can give you three of the most useful: (1) pack light, (2) don’t forget to put on sunblock, and (3) wear proper hiking shoes.
I was confident that this pair of Tribu sandals would make my hike comfortable. Wrong! The trail was rocky and there are lots of chances where we have to cross over some creeks. It’s not fun walking around with rocks inserted in the many crevices of this pair. And it’s not even more fun stopping from time to time just to remove all those rocks from your sandals. Total waste of time. I would have traded this with my usual pair of Ipanemas.
The rock formations are just majestic. It reminded me of period/fantasy movies except there were no horses or men in black garbs running with swords. In this part of the hike, the only major obstacles are the heat and the little rocks that stubbornly clung to my sandals. I’ve been complaining about it the whole trip. Such a pain, really.
The second pit stop looked more like a mountain than a barren wasteland. It’s good. It meant that we were closer to our destination. I know that we were expected to reach the top within 18 minutes but it took us 40 minutes more. We’re worse than the Senior Citizen cluster. But to be fair, our guide told us that these guideline is for individual trekkers only. It took us longer because we were in a big pack so there were lots of traffic along the way. Thanks Manong for saving our faces! Haha!
It felt so rewarding reaching the top. The beautiful scenery and the fresh mountain breeze totally made up for those 2 hours of rocky hike under the sun. The lake below was very much inviting for a dip but you need to go down this long, winding, uneven stairs first. Nothing good comes easy, eh?
I really don’t know how to swim but I enjoyed just dipping in the cool lake near the edge and taking lots of pictures with Christian and the others. We did not avail the boat ride to the crater because it’s too expensive.
On the same date, there’s a separate group of hikers from our office that took a more challenging route. From what I heard it took them more than a day to reach the peak. It’s a good adventure to take in the future. 🙂