Taal Volcano may be
Sunday - October 20, 2013
Actually, hiking Taal Volcano was a childhood dream of mine. Remember the Sibika at Kultura subject back in grade school days? From the time I was asked to bring pictures of "Magagandang Tanawin ng Pilipinas", which includes Taal Volcano, the goal was born. Ngayon, matutupad na ang isa sa mga mumunting pangarap ko.
One Sunday, my friends and I decided to finally cross the famous volcano out from our bucket list. From Manila, we traveled south to Batangas, specifically to the quiet fishing town of Talisay (approx 2hrs drive) where the boats to the volcano island are docked.
|the town of Talisay, the jump-off for Taal Volcano adventures.|
Note: If you're not blessed to have a friend like Darwin, you may instead proceed to Taal Lake Yacht Club and make the necessary arrangements there for your tour. Quite pricey but sure you are safe in their hands. Would be best if you book at least 3 days prior to your trip to get discounts. Visit them in this link.It was 7AM when we reached Brgy. Sta. Maria, the place where we're supposed to meet our boats, and the pitch blue sky simply boosted our excitement. Certainly a perfect day to go vulcaneering to the world's smallest. As soon as our boats were ready, it's adventure time!
|Three boats ferried our group of 15 to the Volcano Island.|
There are three known hiking trails in the volcano island, but only one leads to the inner lake. And today, we are headed for that trail. Our friend, Darwin, insisted that we take Calauit trail, or for some, the Secret Trail, instead of the other touristy trails (Daang Kastila and Kristy Kenney trail), so we could experience the best of Taal Volcano.
|Mt. Maculot (SE) clearly seen as we're cruising Taal Lake.|
|horse rides are being offered at the village found at the trail head of Calauit trail.|
Through the wide uphill Calauit trail we trekked. First, it was an open dirt path with horse dung scattered around, then shortly after, it shifted to a weedy/grassy trail. The hike was just very short and easy, lasted for only about 20 mins. The only thing that we disliked was the scorching heat of the day.
|The mere fact that not many use this trail somehow gives us the feeling of "we're one of the lucky few". Mt. Maculot at the backdrop.|
Taal Volcano Crater
Lo and behold, at 8:30 AM, the caldera of the smallest volcano came to sight. It was simply stunning! For the first time, I saw the island on a lake in an island on a lake in an island.
|The crater lake of Taal Volcano.|
|The bright sunny day kept us within the shade of the small kubo found at the viewdeck. Sobrang init lang tlga nung mga panahon na yun.|
|en route to the volcano's crater|
|the calm side of the crater lake.|
|en route to the real volcanic action|
|the arid place simply exhibited all the features I was looking for|
|steaming hot and venting sulfuric fumes.|
|Boiling pool! Pwede daw maglaga ng itlog.|
|mi amore in the volcano|
|the very spot where we're standing was hot.|
|Agnes of Tramping Philippines in action.|
|Hurrah to my 5th volcano!|
By 10:40 AM, we decided to return to civilization. Heat coming from all direction was getting unbearable, from the ground and from the sun. And besides, we can't wait for the lunch waiting at Darwin's place, woohoo! We hiked back using the same trail, embarked the outrigger boats, and back to mainland, just in time for lunch.
Our biggest thanks to Darwin and family for the warm accommodation and helping us make this adventure possible. Thanks also to all who joined this hike: Agnes and Dane of Tramping Philippines, Josh of intsikboy.com, Dawn, Arvin, Grace, Daryl, Jayson, Jel, Earl, Kuya Jundi and friends.