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Published: January 6th 2010
Alain a French dude staying in the same dorm as I am got up early and woke me up around past 7am, he did not get enough sleep and was feeling icky because the a/c was bothering him, I had a bit of a sore throat and I blame the a/c as well. Regardless we want to make this a great day so we got ready to leave. It was a bit overcast but not raining, we hope the weather in Taal holds. We took a cab to Jam transit line at Gil Puyat St., traffic was already starting to get bad, at the station we quickly found a bus that goes to Tanauan, we hopped on then I decided to find food, I got 2 siopao for breakfast, I got confused and went a different bus on my way back, good thing I realized it soon enough phew.It was about to leave..
About 2 hour trip I fell asleep once again. Arriving at Tanauan we got dropped off at the main road and was instructed to where are the tricycles that can take us to the jeep station for Talisay. The driver of the jeep told me he will
take me and Alain to the dock after he gets rid of all the passengers when we arrive in Talisay, and elderly woman heard it and told me to just come with her as she gets off in the same place and plus her husband is the head of the tricycle community in their area, we will pay less she claims. Very nice lady, quite talkative,half of what she is saying I did not understand, I just nod. When we got off since her husband is still not around to pick us up she asked another driver to take us to the boat dock near the market.
At the marketplace a guy in blue shirt told me 1,500 for the boat for 2 people, the lady told me we can just go with the locals going to the volcano and it will be cheaper but we cant get a deal, they know we are tourists they try to make money, local shuttles are different,I made a deal with a boatman whose boat is ready to leave laden with merchandise, but he hesitates all the while looking at the blue shirted dude who happens to be the person in charge
of tourist boats. Eventually we made a deal for 1,000 pesos for roundtrip. The best they can offer, they insist no locals go back from the island to town that often so we are better off with a private hire and for our own safety, all that crap.
It took us a good 20 minutes in the boat, a bit choppy we managed to get ti the volcanic island safe and a bit wet, a small village nestles at the shore of the volcano. Right away offers of guides and horse ride abounds we ignore them. At the tourist office we pay an entrance fee and even the ticket sellers are encouraging us to take a guide because the route is confusing, we will get lost etc. We were firm and told them no guide, no freaking horse, we walk up to the summit! Then a guy said it is far, more than 4kms! baloney! Soon as we started walking touts with horses in tow followed us for a good 10 minutes still pitching a deal to no avail, the trail is very clear and you cant go now rong even if you take other trails as it all
ends up at the top anyway.
Great view of the lake which was the old crater of an ancient volcano, apparently the biggest in Asia about 100,000 years ago then it blew it's top and this, the crater is what is left and the island we are in is within the crater lake. In some trails you can see steam coming out from a hole in the ground, I touched it and nearly scorched me! At the top the view was fantastic, lots of tourists, mostly they were on horse back we were the only fool that walked without a guide. During the trek these horses passed us. Down in this island is another lake! and another island within it! amazing! There were steam coming out from vents below you can se them from the top of the viewpoint, We chose not to go down as you need to pay a guide. I left Alain at the main viewpoint and walked towards another area and the olros there was just spectacular and you can see the difference in height between the 2 lakes. took my fotos and went back to Alain who was chatting with a woman about the
fish "tawilis" a specialty of the lake, it is the best tasting of its type so we have to try it!
On the way down we took our time the way down is slippery and dusty. Alain mentioned the ladyboys at the top were staring at him all the time, I did not even noticed them, but since he is a foreigner and good looking he probably was the center of attention and he hated it!Getting up took us a good hour and 1/2 hour to get back down, we are hungry now and we try to eat in the volcanic island but no tawilis so we went back to Talisay with the boat and we tried to find one but none at this time so we took a tricycle back to town and instructed the driver to drop us off at a nice restaurant with tawilis in their menu, we found it! we had a good meal of crispy fried tawilis and grilled squid, Alain refused rice, he is sick of it so I gorged myself of it! The waitress hailed us a tricycle to drop us off at the jeep stand, this asshole tried to rip us,
I did not get off right away and asked for a change he grudgingly handed over to me with attitude.
The jeep dropped us off at the center of town and we asked around where to catch the bus, we found the main road we need to get the bus that leaves us closest to our hostel in Malate, while waiting Alain sat in the pavement looking tired and exhausted, the girls in one store asked me what i did to him why is he so tired, I explained we climbed the Taal volcano on foot, I tell you Alain is very popular with the ladies here, am sure he likes the attention. A bus for Buendia comes and he took it, and dropped us off where we can get a jeepney to Malate, then we walked to find our place and finally made it back, we were both exhausted we went tof a walk to drop off his laundry and change money after that we went for a well deserved massage! Ate at the dimsum place next door to Friendly's GH then off to bed .
Crater Lake & Vulcan Point
contains a lake about 2 km across, called Crater Lake. Within Crater Lake is another small volcanic island, called Vulcan Point. Vulcan Point is frequently cited in the Philippines as the world's largest volcanic island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island,namely, Vulcan Point within Crater Lake, on Taal Island within Lake Taal, on the island of Luzon.
Taal Volcano is a complex volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is situated between the towns of Talisay and San Nicolas in Batangas. It consists of an island in Lake Taal, which is situated within a caldera formed by an earlier, very powerful eruption. It is located about 50 km (31 Miles) from the capital, Manila. It is one of the active volcanos in the Philippines, all part of the Pacific ring of fire.
The volcano has erupted violently several times, causing loss of life in the populated areas surrounding the lake, the current death toll standing at around 5,000 to 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and eruptive history, the volcano has been designated a Decade Volcano worthy of close study to prevent
future natural disasters. It was thought to be named as "a volcano inside a volcano" because many believed that the lake that circles the volcano was once a crater or mouth of a volcano.
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