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Published: December 11th 2009
The previous evening I met some new backpackers at the hostel. Dave and Kelly were an English couple that were coming from China and ultimately bound to end up in Australia on working visas. Simon was a fellow Canadian, originally from Halifax but has been living in Ireland for the past few years. We were all close in age. They asked me if I wanted to travel with them to see an underwater volcano in Tagaytay, which was somewhere south of Metro Manila area. Billy wasn't interested in going, but I instantly accepted the invitation and the following morning we were off.
At first we took the LRT (Light Rail Transit) for a bunch of stations, then realizing we were lost, took a tricycle to the bus station. Simon and myself rode in one and had agreed on 30 pesos for the ride, but upon our arrival our driver insisted it was 30 for each of us. An argument quickly ensued, and it took quite a while before it was resolved, with the driver giving us threats like "My brother's in the police!", to which I quickly responded "And my brother works at McDonald's, what's your point!". After that bit
of fun we boarded a bus and about an hour later arrived at a town called Tanuan. From there we ate and then boarded a Jeepney towards Tagaytay. Jeepney's are actually modified military jeeps that the Americans had used while in the Philippines. Basically they have routes like any bus network. We also saw a motorcycle wipe out while staring out at the road. Weird that they wipe out without anything really causing it, the rear passenger must have shifted his weight or something. With such chaos on Philippine roads it's amazing how I hadn't seen an accident in my time there so far, apart from the previously mentioned one. After our arrival at the water, we negotiated for a boat ride to the volcanic island. The ride there was fairly calm and had gorgeous scenery. When we got there we began our trek up the mountain, and sweat our asses off. But at the top we were treated to an awesome view of the volcanic lake. You could even smell sulfur in the air. There was a vendor at the top selling beer so we all got one and enjoyed our time at the top. We also saw some
tourists heading up and down, most riding rented horses. You could tell we were the real backpackers cuz we decided to rough it out with our own leg strength which was well worth it. Or we just didn't have the money to spend on that sort of thing.
Coming down we even saw fissures in the ground with steam coming out, there must have been molten lava streams deep below. I put my finger near and had to pull away quickly because of the intense heat. The boat ride back was extremely choppy and the boat even broke down soon after leaving. After a short delay, we braved the choppy waters. Dave and Kelly were absorbing most of the waves as I sat comfortably behind them. Fun for me. The rest of the trip back was uneventful, and we returned to the hostel in the evening before cleaning up and heading back out for the Manila nightlife, which you can read about in the next blog.
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