It was still dark when we left Manila. I was excited for this trip. Aside from the two lenses and a fully charged DSLR camera that I packed in my backpack the night before we left, I didn’t really make any serious preparations for the trip. It was my first out of town trip with the bagets, one of the few reasons to be excited.
The sun was already up when we reached Capas, Tarlac. Cai, Ada and I took advantage of the three hour trip to catch some sleep. It wasn’t too long when we were assigned to our own four-wheel ride. I’m not quite sure how things are normally done since all the trip arrangements were done by Rob and Dong.
It took us almost an hour to get to the point where our 4×4 trucks can no longer take us. The first part of the trail to the Mt. Pinatubo crater was already stunning. For almost an hour, we have been traversing a seemingly endless valley of volcanic ashes and sand, what was left from the volcano’s eruption a couple of decades ago.
Before, the hike towards the crater only takes an hour. The 4×4 riders used to have a sky way on top of the mountainous pile of ashes which lessens the hiking time. But after a portion of the sky way collapsed last year, the authorities have prohibited access to the shortcut, thus, doubling the visitors’ hiking time.
It nearly took us three hours to complete the hike to the crater. The terrain was rough but it wasn’t as inclined as I expected. The whole three hours were combinations of short rests, cam whoring and waiting for people to catch up the group’s pace.
It was already noon when we arrived at the crater. The view of the picturesque crater with its emerald colored lake was our price after went through the long tiring hike. It was one of the most beautiful sceneries I have seen.
Food was not a problem for us since our tour guides have already brought with them pre-prepared packed lunch, which is part of the usual Pinatubo tour. Under the mango tree we sat while savoring the scenic view of the crater, we ate our hearty lunch.
After resting a bit, we went down the crater to get a closer look of the emerald lake. The cold waters of the volcano was tempting enough to let it pass. After taking a few photos, we went to take a dip while the others went out for a boat ride to the other side of the crater. Too bad I didn’t get to see what the other side looks like.
At around 3pm, we started packing up and headed our for our return hike. This time, it was easier for us since the trail was mostly on a downward slope. It was already dark when we arrived in Tarlac.
It was a one good trip. I spent less than 3K and brought home an unforgettable experience and a card full of beautiful photos.