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Published: April 30th 2009
We had arranged for guidance up Mt. Mayon volcano and transportation back and forth for P600 each for 5 people. This didn't include food, so we went grocery shopping before we went to bed the night before. We slept a bit but had to wake up at 4:30AM and out the door at 5:00AM. We started the trail at the end of the local golf course as the sun was rising in the distance. It seemed that we were starting pretty far way from the volcano, unlike with Mt. Merapi in Java where we started right at the base.
It was a long hike to camp 1 where were able to fill our water bottles in a flowing freshwater stream. All of us were pretty sweaty and tired already, but there was a lot of climbing left to do! We proceeded up an old lava-flow to camp 2 which was about 1.5 hours away still. We arrived at camp 2 and had our lunch, some spam and bread with fresh fruits. The guys, Boris, Mathias, Ralf and myself decided to head higher up the mountain to get a better view. The climb was technically over, as you're not
supposed to be able to go all the way to the knife edge in one day (the real summit is not safe to climb to with all the poisonous sulfur gas leaking out from the crater). We made it almost all the way to the knife edge to a false summit and after a few pictures decided it was time to head back down and start our descent. We had been climbing for about 6 hours already. Since going down was almost just as slow as going up, we needed to get moving to make it during daylight hours.
It was slow going as it started to rain on and off on the slick volcanic rocks. We eventually made it down to camp 1 where we left the lava-flow and headed back into the forest where descending was much easier. After a 10 hour day, we made it to the nearest town where we gladly drank some cold water for 1.5 Pesos each (about $0.03 haha). After a jeepney back into the town of Legaspi, we all passed out for a few hours. I think we only woke up because we were hungry. It was time for Micky D's!
We decided we earned a bit of normal food after the long climb.
Later that night, we bough some Tanduay rhum for about $1 and had a few drinks before heading into town to check out the local festival. We bar hopped a bit and watched the live music for a few hours, then went back to the hotel for some sleep.
We were headed to an very seculded location the next day! More to come!
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