Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Strangely Beautiful Mt.Pinatubo

The jawdropping beauty of Mt.Pinatubo was worth the two hour trek three hour drive. The scene was eerie.It started at the Capas jump off point until the tripoint of three provinces namely Pampanga,Tarlac and Zambales.

Early February dawn, an assortment of trekkers gathered, ready for an early morning hike to the crater of the infamous Mt.Pinatubo. All were hyped as coffee was downed by upsized cups (the better to stay awake my dear), schedules and car assignments dished out by our coordinator at the Macdonald’s El Pueblo. Among these hikers were our group, writers and photographers traveling together not because of profession but by choice.  We were friends and colleagues who happen to love writing and taking pictures.

My jaw dropped when I saw it. I covered my mouth with my two hands and uttered “Oh, my God,” for whom else can create such splendor. I was startled by the aqua blue color of the water. Like a strange cobalt eye that gazed back at you. There was an eerie soft breeze that went passed my ear. The landscape was surreal. The sun’s rays, like a spotlight highlighted each portion of the yawning caldera. There was a veil of mist that swathed the atmosphere, which after a while dissipated.
I shuddered at the fact that we were at the mouth of the sleeping beauty. What ancient lore it must inspire. The driver told me that the natives believed that inside the volcano was a firebird ready to devour everything.
I was of course skeptical of his narrative, but it gave an interesting dimension to the journey. We ate our lunch near the water, all pensive, but there was the inimitable glow of completion and absolute amazement.
Back at the jump off point, we noticed our appearance. Disheveled, covered with white lahar powder, we resembled a group of Bedouins traversing the deepest desert in Africa. We laughed out loud, depleted of our strength but so full of appreciation for the experience.

        The hike is approximately 5.5 km (2 hours walking) each way with a total of 300 metres. The terrain is easy to hike until the last 20 minutes where you go up to the border of the Crater Lake using a single trail. You need to be fit to do this and there is a minimum age requirement of 8 yrs old.

       We chased, we hiked, we conquered. Now we take a breath and eat a huge tumbler of halo-halo only our cabalen can offer.

Our gracious host was Tripinas and you can contact them here:

Phone :
(+632)477-7446 Landline
(+63)9179037672 Cellphone


Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Wow! What an experience Ami! Fantastic. Best wishes, Anup

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD, the sub/dude said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ami Granada said...

One of the best travels I've made, Anup.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Lovely. been reading your other blogs too, looks like Singapore was a great trip as well. Cheers!