To Pinatubo: When the Hike Began

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.

Don’t judge my toes 😛

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.

Challenge accepted?!

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?

Uh..nothing to do here…

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. 🙂

To Pinatubo: On Board a 4×4

Last May 12, Christian and I and some of our friends from work headed over to Pampanga for our Mt. Pinatubo hike. This is my first time to go to Pinatubo and see the infamous ruins. I was so psyched. The trek started with an hour travel through the barren lahar-laden lands on-board a 4X4. It was an exciting and bumpy ride.

In the middle of the 4×4 ride, we all took a pit stop for some photo ops. I stood on a cliff, trying to capture its steepness, but I failed. Oh well. All photos here were taken by my HTC phone camera by the way. I just did some minor tweaks in Lr for them to be more acceptable. 😀

The weather was moody that day. One minute the sun is shining brightly, the next minute it would be gloomy. But we’re thankful that it did not rain. In the middle of the trip, though, one of the vehicles got stuck in the creeks causing several minutes of delay. Another 4×4 need to pull it out of the pit for it to move forward.

Let me just say that this has been a visually-interesting trip. The rock formations… the native Aetas that lurks by the boulders… even the stray fox-like dogs looking for  a shade.

After the 4×4 ride, the real fun begun. I will tell you all about it  in my next post. 😉

Summer Getaways

I used to be so excited about summer because it means beach trips, outdoor adventures, and plain fun under the sun. Never mind the heat. As long as I have a good bottle of sunblock and a lip balm, I’m game to do anything.

For the past 3 years, my summer has been jam packed with out of town trips. Because I don’t have any concrete plans this summer and my previous self-pity post (haha!), I will just reminisce on my best summer memories. Here are some of those:

April 2009: Beach (Despidida) Party in Boracay
Late March 2010: Nature appreciation in Sagada
April 2010: Back to Basics in Nagsasa and Anawangin, Zambales
March 2011: Surfing and Food Trippin’ in La Union
April 2011: Adrenaline Junkie in Cagayan de Oro (All of these happened in just one day!)
April 2011: Water Affair in Camiguin

Summer of 2012, it’s already late April. What do you have in store for me?