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Mt Pinatubo

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An easy adventure at Mt Pinatubo Leaving the bustle of Manila for a day.

[stag_dropcap font_size=”88px” style=”squared”]C[/stag_dropcap]all time: 2:30am. But that ain’t gonna put us macho manly adventure dykes off! So we got a few hours of shut eye, and diligently got into a cab at 1:30am to head towards the meeting point in Quezon, which is a city out of Makati (where we were staying).

We were going on a day trip to Mt Pinatubo, better known as the volcano that erupted in 1991 and caused widespread destruction and the deaths of 847 people. After researching on the nearby mountains we could visit as a day trip out of Manila, we decided to go with a tour as it’ll be more convenient for us 2 adventurous but also slightly lazy girls. I found out about Majestic Mount Pinatubo Tour through a comment on Tripadvisor, and they were offering slashed prices for the day tour. They offered it at USD 46/pax, around half the price other tour groups were offering. We coordinated with Sonia swiftly over email weeks ago, and placed a 50% deposit to secure our place with them.

Our driver was all smiles at 2:40am when he arrived. I really love how all the Filipino staff I’ve come across seemed to genuinely enjoy their job. Either that or they have damn good PR skills. Our lovely driver took us and a bunch of locals on a smooth 3 hour ride towards Mt Pinatubo (it was a different story all together when we were heading back), much of which Priya and I slept soundly through.

The place was already buzzing when we arrived... Look at all the jeeps waiting to cart off the (mostly local) tourists!
The place was already buzzing when we arrived… Look at all the jeeps waiting to cart off the (mostly local) tourists!
Sonia herding all her sheep to brief us about silly things people do to make the hike "dangerous". Like jumping from one loose rock to another and bashing your face.
Sonia herding all her sheep to give a rundown on the silly things people do to make the hike “dangerous”. Like jumping from one loose rock to another, and losing your balance and bashing your face. (Yup, common sense can sometimes be a rare gem…)
My OOTD. Snood for the pretty chilly winds, a breathable top with long sleeves to prevent sun burn (most of the hike is unsheltered), black leggings in case I need to break out in an 80s aerobic dance during the hike, and (fake) crocs because there tiny streams to cross.
My OOTD. Snood for the chilly winds, a breathable top with long sleeves to prevent sun burn (most of the hike is unsheltered), black leggings in case I need to break into an 80s aerobic dance during the hike, crocs because there are tiny streams to cross, and a hiking stick just for the fun of it.

The trip consists of 2 segments. First is an hour-long bumpy jeep ride towards the foot of Mt Pinatubo, then a gentle walk cum trek up to the crater lake of the mountain.

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We got an open jeep! Which allowed us to really immerse ourselves in the environment.
We soon entered a barren landscape that was hauntingly beautiful.
We soon entered a barren landscape that was hauntingly beautiful.

It was hard to imagine that these large, dusty, arid plains which we rode through were part of a region that was once home to a million people. Their entire homeland was destroyed by the far reaching destructive power of lahar, (volcanic debris and mudflow) which came down upon them after the eruption.

You can see clearly where the erosion ended at some parts.
You can see where the erosion clearly ended at some parts.
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The ride was bumpy, but in a really fun way. Halfway through, we got out for some photo taking.
Our sexy ride and driver peering out from behind.
Our sexy ride and skillful driver, who maneuvered the 4×4 across deep streams and rocky surfaces as if it was his extra pair of feet.
It's as if a giant came by and sliced up the hills with a sharp knife.
It’s as if a giant came by and sliced up the hills with a blunt knife.
The landscape changed dramatically as we neared Mt Pinatubo.
The landscape changed dramatically as we neared Mt Pinatubo.
After an hour on the 4x4, we had to traverse the rest of the way on foot.
After an hour on the 4×4, we had to traverse the rest of the way on foot.
After an hour on the 4x4, we had to traverse the rest of the way on foot. Here are a couple of guides carrying plastic bags containing our lunch.
Here are a couple of guides, having no problems at all trekking in flip flops while carrying plastic bags containing our lunch.
Priya working the psychedelic jogger shepherd look for the trek.
Priya working the psychedelic jogger shepherd look for the trek.
As we didn't expect lunch to be provided, we packed a bunch of meal bars and titbits. So despite the meager lunch of rice, hard boiled egg, and some processed fillet, it was a nice surprise to be served at all.
We packed a bunch of meal bars and titbits before setting off this morning as we didn’t expect food to be provided. So despite the meager lunch of rice, hard boiled egg, and some processed fillet, it was still a nice surprise to be served.
The beginning of our "trek", which was really just a walk in a park that had streams and loose rocks.
The beginning of our “trek”, which was really just a walk in a park that had streams and loose rocks.
Love seeing how humans were dwarfed by the lush jungle and looming peaks.
Love seeing how humans were dwarfed by the lush jungle and looming peaks.
Not much of an achievement, but we still gotta commemorate our journey with a group shot with the couple whom we shared the jeep with!
Not much of an achievement, but we still gotta commemorate our journey with a group shot with the couple whom we shared the jeep with!
I couldn't prevent the gasp that escaped me when I got my first view of the crater lake.
A loud gasp escaped me when I got my first view of the crater lake. Dramatic landscapes like these always make my heart swell.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of things, just look at the tiny human dots at the bottom.
To get an idea of the scale of things, just look at the tiny human dots at the bottom.
Down into the crater we go.
Down into the crater we go.
It was Valentine's Day after all...
It was Valentine’s Day after all…

And so it was here that we had an hour or so to have our lunch and soak up the magnificent lake in front of us.

Chose a spot beside someone with killer footwear to nap.
Chose a spot beside someone with killer footwear to nap.
The AMAZING stew made up of chicken, potato, and carrot that we had for lunch.
The AMAZING chicken, potato, and carrot stew that we had for lunch.

It got really windy and chilly after a while, and dark skies started to creep over us. So we quickly packed up and headed back. But not before one final touristy picture!

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It did drizzle just a little on the trek back, and the winds blew up sand and dust into our mouths, eyes, and hair during the ride back in our open 4×4. But it was all part of the mini adventure, and I’m so glad we decided to stay an extra night in Manila to experience this.

The thing that wasn’t so fun was the van ride back into Manila. We got swallowed up by the traffic, and it only spat us out at Makati Avenue 5 hours later.

SeƱor Pollo Makati Manila
So we ordered a Mexican feast at Senor Pollo to make ourselves feel better.
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