Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pinatubo Conquest - Done and Dusted, Literally.

Twitter won't let me post pictures right now (boo!) so I'm gonna show it all off here.

 Daybreak as we started our 4x4 jeep ride towards the volcano and to start the trek.

A very bumpy ride!

 Photo-op stop at these rock formations. They remind me of the Pinnacles. It was brrrr cold, 13-15 degrees.

And we start trekking! 

Look at that sky! This is raw - no filter, no nothing.

It was not easy walking on this 'screed'. 

Then we reached the rest huts after about an hour I think, or was it longer? I can't recall now.

I think we took 25 minutes :p Congestion on the trail.

Already excited to see what's beyond this point. 

Hey hey we're there! 

 Someone in the group helped me to take this picture :) Very nice, thank you po.

 Isn't this lovely? The colours were nice. It was peaceful. Weather, perfect!

Obligatory selfie.

Went down the steps towards the lake edge. 


View half way down. There were small avalanches on the slopes across the lake.

 Selfie again. Don't mind my hair please.

I thought these steps would help me train for Tikhedunga :) 

Celebrity spotted! Christian Bautista, Filipino actor and singer, had to endure his legions of female fans in photo-taking. I do not know who he is :p The one on the right is another Malaysian, J, who happened to be in the same group.

Okay then we needed to trek back the same way. It was high noon, the sun unforgiving, the trail dusty. The guy in green was our local guide Romero. He was kind but only knew very limited English.

At the end of the trail my feet and sandals were all white. 
After the 4x4 ride back, our hair were all white too from the dust!

Trek : Mount Pinatubo, via O'Donell trail
Elevation : 1,485 asl

Note:
This trip was booked through TRIPinas, and it cost me Php2,099 which included return transfer from Manila to Capas, 4x4 jeep and guided trek to the crater. Meals and everything else are on personal account. We were given a Certificate of Conquest upon completion of the trek. We had to meet up with the coordinator at 2:30 am for final registration and briefing at McD Pueblo at Ortigas (Mr Tee the coordinator was quietly amazing in handling this big open group on his own), and the convoy of vans left Manila at 3 am. Reached Capas early at around 5:30 am and waited for the local tourism body to register us and assign guides and jeeps. Took off just around 6am and reached starting point around 7:30 am. Trekked at normal pace and reached crater around 9:15 am. We had two hours to rest and have lunch. The return trek starts at 11:30 am. We got back to Capas at almost 3:00 pm, washed up and some changed into fresh clothes. Then it was back in the van and we were back in Manila by 5:30 pm. 

2 comments:

  1. oh my! Punya lawa this place! Philippines never failed to surprise me. btw, sandals to a trek? erm erm erm, never mind. :-P

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  2. Jipp - actually that's the perfect footwear for this trek :) Recommended by the organiser to use trail sandals. Along the trek there are many stony rivers with waters that could rise thigh-high depending on weather. We were lucky, it was dry season and the water was only ankle deep. The first 8-10 river crossings were a bit deeper, we were still on the 4x4 so nasiblah we didn't have to go down.

    I could do this trek again :)

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