Taal - the greatest con job

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January 7th 2013
Published: January 10th 2013
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Taal - the great Filipino Con Job. - Jan 7

Given we're staying on the side of Taal's original volcano - I figured we should probably get a closer look at this icon so we loaded the car (Nissan Urvan) to capacity again and headed off, up over the edge of the caldera and down to the lake. All of the kids were still knackered from the Pinatubo trek, so we were to book only a single boat to the inner volcano. When Arthur mentioned that there was the option to ride a horse to the summit and back, suddenly ALL the kids got fired up and wanted to come along.

So we hired TWO boats and half a dozen horses for the trip - the blokes decided to do the trek on foot.

The CON JOB???? The peak which is the signature of Taal and the one in all my previous pics last time is actually extinct and not the one you trek. Instead it's one of the peaks on the island to the left. Yet every visitor is shown the 'attractive' peak that LOOKS like a volcano instead. C'est La
Look leftLook leftLook left

The high peak in the middle of the island to the left is the actual active volcano
Vie I guess.

The climb here is much shorter than Pinatubo and much steeper. I'm not sure if it was because I was still a little sore from the Pinatubo trek, but this seemed significantly more difficult. All the way up, locals repeatedly tried to persuade me to hire a horse with almost an unrelenting fervour, but I felt confident I'd make it unaided. Almost did. . . . .

At the very top, the last step prior to a short staircase of sorts, I tried to jump across a small furrow when it happened. . . . . . I felt that dreaded SNAP in my calf and pulled a muscle . . . . . . needed help both sides to climb the last dozen steps up to where the view was.

Took a horse down the return trip. . . . . .

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


The climbThe climb
The climb

significantly steeper than Pinatubo
looking backlooking back
looking back

on the island looking back to where we started - the white dot in the centre shorleine
The calf muscle went hereThe calf muscle went here
The calf muscle went here

just at the foot of the stairs

looking accross the active crrater and then the outer lake

11th January 2013

Disapponted much?
Hey I did that trek when I was 11 and enjoyed it other than some poison ivy on my hands while climbing back up the wrong side of the volcano. I was followed by around 8 other guys who slid down with me using our runners for fun! So we had to climb up again and trekked down the right way. I loved the vista of the lake in the crater! That wasnt the end of our adventure. On our way back to Tagaytay, we were met by onset of Typhoon Didang which brought about waves that nearly swallowed our banca. Seeing 3 to 4 metre drops while on a wave was terrifying ... Im glad we made it to shore safely!

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