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Published: April 23rd 2013
Said to be the world's most symmetrical volcano. I had serious intentions to hike up some parts of it until a nasty virus sidelined me for a couple of days.
It was brutal, but I finally got there.
Traversing almost the entire length of Luzon, from the northwest to the southeast, it took two legs of lengthy bus rides, first 11h from Vigan to Manila for a quick overnighter, then another 12h before I finally arrived in Legazpi, in the dead of the night at 4 a.m.
Where possible I normally try not to arrive at a new city at such unearthly hours, as it makes for challenging guest-house hunting. But the bus schedule was as such, and the last time I remember arriving in a new city at such hours (Mandalay in Myanmar, back in July last year), it took only two tries before I found one with a vacancy, so I thought surely it couldn't be so difficult this time.
How wrong I was. It took six tries this time, including two futile early-morning tricycle rides, and a few hours wait in the lobby of an inn, before I finally chanced upon a vacancy. I should have heeded LP's warning about the Magayon Festival during the month of April packing rooms to the gills. This was pretty much the first time ever during my 11 months
of travelling so far, that I started to wonder whether I would really be able to find accomodation at all.
SO why the bother? Well I figured since I pretty much only had time to explore Luzon this trip, I'd better check out the other coastal end of the massive island as well, after having spent so much time in the Cordilleran highlands of the north. Also, Legazpi is the town from which to explore the neighbouring Mount Mayon, said to be the world's most symmetrical volcano, as well as the launching off point to see the whale sharks off the coast of nearby Donsol.
Alas, circumstances put paid to my plans. The day I made my way to Donsol, a small rural coastal town about 1.5h away, I found out I'd arrived late, and that I'd already missed the last boat out, so I'd have to return another time. And my plans to trek Mount Mayon were ruined by a viral attack that pretty much sidelined and had me bedridden for the better part of two days.
But I'm not quite about to give up yet, not after having come such a long way. I've decided
to head back to Donsol to spend the night, so I hopefully won't miss the early boats out to see the whale sharks. And even if I do get aboard one this time, I've been told sightings are not guaranteed, given the shy nature of the creatures. Wish me luck.
Stayed at Catalina's Lodging House.
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