ice_of_dreams: (manga)
Well, I finally went to Kamakura today. I was going to go to Sanuki (which apparently in tourist terms means Takamatsu and NOT Sanuki itself... because Sanuki is the old Japan name for the city and Takamatsu is the New Japan prefectural system that was once part of Sanuki along with Sanuki city itself...

Anyway, I got lost in the sleepy sleepy town of Sanuki, (In which case, I STILL have no idea what to write for the Nabiki arc, which is entirely set in Sanuki/Takamatsu... I have ideas, but not enough research and not enough plot for it to work) which had nothing in it but... things I can't read because no one speaks a lick of English, and I wasted four whold hours in that trip becuase I kept falling asleep in the train and missing my stops....

After Sanuki I went to Kamakura, which from most people who read Rendezvous, was the town in Sagami that I set the entire fanfic in.

I got off at Kamakura station and got tourist maps and tourist information off the information counter (a must for any tourist, right?)... then I walked around 700m (around a 30 minute walk for me) from the station towards Sagami Bay, which again, from most people who read my fic know that that's where I placed Rose Brier... after which I walked BACK towards the stations, taking smaller roads to the Zeniarai Benten Shrine (The money washing shrine) where Nodoka was supposed to meet up with Ranma and Nabiki when she was visiting for the New Year. The Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine was SPECTACULAR, and Unique... however if long treks up steep slopes turn you away, there might be difficulty reaching it. (I have pictures... will upload it when I have time... when I get back to the Philippines).

I then walked all the way from Zeniarai Bentzaiten through Genjiyama Park towards Kuzuharaokaininja Shrine. (Which is not part of rend, but seeing I walked through it anyway, is part of this...) And I also took a picture of Hino Toshimoto's grave, also not a part of Rend, but was included in today's walking list... thus is written down. After that ... and I do not suggest doing this just before the sun sets or if you have terrible directions, and if you are alone (as it is a hiking trip through treess), and marginally, if you don't know Japanese (I was lucky, I asked directions from someone who knew English pretty well, and we were both going towards the same direction anyway)... I walked towards Tokeiji temple, which unfortunately closes as 5, and I arrived there at 5:30PM ( had I reversed this entire trek... started at Kitakamakura walked through Genjiyama passed Zeniarai Benten and walked towards Sagami Bay, I would have been able to see everything before five, and the walk would have all been down hill... alas, it was not meant to be... especially since all the tourist maps and all tourist information centers are in Kamakura station and not in Kitakamakura station in the first place.

Finally, (as I said) my last stop was the Tokeiji temple, which was where Ifuku took refuge along with Omokage. I have realized that the walking in my fic was all a bit off. It took me roughly two and a half hours (by walking) to get from Sagami Bay towards Tokeiji Temple, which was brisk walking, but also slow going since I was doing touristy things (like dipping all of my yen in the spring water and taking lots of obscure pictures so I can upload it)

SO honestly, I think the entire trek from Sagami to Tokeiji would have taken one hour and a half to two hours by brisk walking. And in Ranma 1/2 speed, probably half the time it took me to get there. Pictures will be uploaded soon ;p (I have to let you guys see the Zeniarai benten shrine)

Anyway... anyone know ANYBODY in Sanuki? Takamatsu? ANy tourist guides in Takamatsu and Sanuki that you guys know?
ice_of_dreams: (reach)
I've been busy, I haven't had the time to travel lately. Med school does that to you I guess.

But here's Boracay for you, all served up and pretty. The older pictures in my account's links are being fixed so I'm going to have to change them but these links are okay.

Tropical beaches are the best, and Boracay, dubbed the land of the beautiful is another famous summer spot here in the Philippines. We reached Boracay by plane via Katiclan (becuase the plane is larger than when you use the Calibo airport of which there are only SMALL planes, and I hate riding in small planes.) If you're saving up, you could also take a bus and a roro to get to Boracay.

We have a hotel at Terminal 2. If you've more money than us students, Terminal 1 is the place to go, there are less people, but if you're saving up again there's terminal 3. We stayed at Courtyard inn, Php 1000 per night five to a room. So if you only have two people in one room it's more expensive. But hey we're students.

Tons to do in Boracay, there's scuba diving, although I'm not licensed (and don't have the money to go diving anyway) since it's 10,000 a dive. It's popular with foreigners though, but I think Puerto Galera is the place to go for better dives. It was once a port hence old shipwrecks in the area, and therefore better dives, and the marine life is better there too.

We went sunset sailing on a paraw. It's sunset sailing, but you could ride a paraw any time in the day. But as the name implies, you get the better deal if you sail off into the sunset than if you sail in the middle of lunch. Where's the fun in that? Php 1,200 for the paraw. If you're planning to propose, don't drop the ring.

There's a glass bottom boat if you don't want to snorkel, but unless you're a kid, snorkeling is better. There's a Php 100 rental for the snorkel and additional snorkeling environmental fee. Again the sea life is better in Puerto Galera, but since you're in Boracay, go ahead.

Crystal caves is also another one of those popular stops, and pookah beach. Don't get the pookah, they're an endangered species. I think regulations allow you to take one or two, I wasn't there so just check.

Other things to do, NO surfing, we don't have strong waves in Boracay, but there's jet skiing, banana boating, fly fish. And Parasailing (Php 1,400) Strapped on to a parachute connected to a boat. It feels like a ferris wheel except that you're over the sea (and more expensive than a ferris wheel too)

If you're not into the daytime activities, the land of the beautiful also has an active night life on Terminal 1. As I said, there's always something to do.

Boracay Pictures )
ice_of_dreams: (memories)
Photos From All over )

OK I just got back from the long awaited trip. It feels like a Detective Conan tour to me. We kept saying: Oooh that's the Kyoto case, where Shinichi found out the killer guaging from the picture of the flames in the mountain. Oooh we're in a bullet train, there was a case where a bomb was in one of the suitcases and conan had to figure out who the men in black planted it into (Oh, and we finally realized why Conan could call inside a train, even without the cell phone... they had pay phones... somehow we understood that but when we saw it it was like... a lightbulb moment). Oh gosh, we're in Osaka castle, this was where Heiji and Conan went in one of the movies. Oh gosh look at that map, it's the map of Kyoto, wasn't that what Hattori's "true love" sang to remember the roads of Kyoto?

We pondered over the fact that there are 300,000 suicides in Japan per year (around 100 per day... and therefore Shinichi would never run out of cases) and that there are a total of 6,000 traffic accidents per year. (It was decreased from 10,000 becuase of strict traffic rules. 800,000 yen for drunk driving etc) And police could tell if you're driving a fast truck because if three green lights are lit on the truck it means it's speeding, two lights means it's under speed limit and one light means it's slow.

What else? Well if I remember more conan factoids when we were walking around the trip I'll write it down.

We shopped around, got gashapons for our friends who likes miniatures, got a Draco-Harry doujin for one of our friends who likes those type of doujins.

who would like to scanlate Roy-Riza Doujins? I can provide scans. I bought a ton of them, and I haev no idea what to do with them because I can't read. I was just supporting the circle. My sister bought a couple of Lupin-Sirius and Roy-Ed doujins with Naruto doujins and FujixTezuka (POT) doujins.

I also bought several Detective Conan special edition manga, and some of the shoujo manga that I download off the net. Merupuri, Wanted, Shinishi Doumei Cross, some Chie Shinohara book, a Yuki Yoshinara book, a couple more Arina Tanemura books, a couple of books done by the author of Mucha Kucha Daisuki etc.

As I said it was a shopping trip too. Oh and I now have a couple more ideas for rend since we visited two castles and two shrines. Just check out the pictures.
ice_of_dreams: (memories)
Oct. 15 -- Departure Manila (Terminal 2) for Fukuoka via Philippine Airlines flight PR-428 (0900-1330)
** Arrival Fucuoka Airport, transfer and accomodation at New Otani Hotel.

Oct. 16 -- Half day city tour of Fukuoka with English Speaking Guide
*Fukuoka Tower
* Hakatamachi Cultural Museum
* Canal City
* Shopping
* Lunch at Local Restaurant :)

Oct. 17 -- New Otani Hakata to Train Station
* Bullet Train Nozomi from Fukuoka to Kyoto
(2 hrs and 45 mins travel time)
* Half a day City Tour of Kyoto with Guide
* Golden Pavillion
* Nijo Castle
* Kiyomizu Temple

Oct. 18 -- Bullet Train Nozomi from Kyoto to Osaka (15 mins travel)
* Half Day City Tour Visiting Osaka Castle
* Accomodation at Miyako Hotel

Oct. 19 -- Motorcoach transfer with Guide to Kansai Airport
* Departure Osaka for Manila via Philippine Airlines
(PR-407 0955-1255)


OMG. OMG. I'm actually going to do this. WAAAH, Eto yung aking large large thing. My VISA is not yet with me.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
More pictures, haha it's fun to be on vacation isn't it?

Having freshly graduated from UP Diliman some of my blockmates and I decided on a road trip to idyllic Laluz Resort in Batangas.

Unlike Boracay and Puerto Galera, Laluz Resort isn't a party scene, so it's something that you'd take your family to on a nice quiet weekend to get away from the busy and quite noisy city life.

It's not the cheapest place on the block, but the place is good, you have a cabana in front of your room for the open fresh air of the sea, beach side lounge chairs and free life vests. Why free life vests? Unlike usual beaches, laluz beach resort has sudden plunges into the deep sea. However, it's a very rocky beach, big rocks sprout out of the water and my friend recieved a long gash on her leg for it.

Wet shoes(?) are advicable. Thing is the snorkeling here is ok. Considering it's in the shore, you could already see a number of gaily colored fishes even if you don't venture far. If you take their free life vest, use a snorkel and goggles you brought along you'd do fine.

However, Batangas isn't a place that you'd spend weeks and weeks over sicne you could barely do anything there but swim, take pictures, lounge in the sun and talk to your friends. It's the quiet get away, but after you've soaked in enough sun, you don't know what to do anymore.

:)

A lot of pictures )
ice_of_dreams: (reach)
Taken with a Sony Ericsson K500 camera. Don't expect SLR quality.

Non-clickable. WYSIWYG.

I have more pics but they're still not scanned... I wonder when I'll get around to actually scanning pictures.... **sigh**

Puerto Galera pics )

More pictures to come hopefully, especially that batangas trip.
ice_of_dreams: (reach)
We met at Shell Commonwealth early friday morning to ride a bus bound for Batangas. That was a two hour ride followed by a boat ride on the Batangas pier for another two hour ride. If you're deciding between a boat, an airconed boat or a ro-ro, take the ro-ro, followed by the airconed boat and ONLY take the open air boat if you're trying to save money.

The airconditioned boat is ok, they provide DVD service you can watch BUT they have the small cockroaches all over the walls. The type you see in airconditioned buses that haven't been aired out or fumigated in ages. The open air boat is extremely uncomfortable and they try to clog in as much people as possible (and they spew oil out in the sea), they have monoblock chairs for your seats and if you're extremely unfortunate, you'll be standing up. You can get wet and if the waves are extremely choppy... well you can get thrown out of the boat.

Fortunately I was light enough to sit on the steps therefore I was able to lean back against people who were sitting on other steps. I was very fortunate, since my other friends were sitting on pther more extremely uncomfortable places. I was even able to sleep on the boat ride. The only bad thing about my position (I was initially sandwiched between two fat people and therefore could only sit on the edge of the seat which was killing my butt... imagine a jeepney ride where you had to sit on three inches of space before I decided enough was enough and the footpad infront of me could seat me) was that I was facing the opposite end of the boat making me dizzy so I shifted about so that I rode sideways, which was better than riding backwards.

When we arrived in Puerto Galera, Mindoro it was lunch time, though we still had to check in our rooms. We landed on White Beach, but our inn was in Aninuan, so we had to cross over the entire White Beach or find a tricycle. My friends and I chose crossing over some rock face that some guy told us was a 5-15 min walk to our inn. Imagine 7 girls with bags heavier than ourselves walking over extremely large boulders, we were sweating profusely by the time we reached the other side of the beach and our eyes widened when we realized that we had to walk another one fourth of the beach that was presented to us before we reached our inn.

Thankfully we got settled in and then changed into our bikinis and board shorts to take a 10 peso tricycle ride (compared to 4 pesos back in manila) back to White Beach to hunt for a late lunch. EVERYTHING is for sale in Puerto Galera, including non-mineral water drinks that you could get for free. So what we did was using our old 1 Liter mineral water bottle from manila, bought 15 peso refills for them in the Brian Resto. Compared to the 25 peso cold mineral water bottle that was ok. There's no tube ice for sale on the beach but if you get out to the little sari-sari stores outside the beach they sell the large plastic ice. It usually sells for 1 peso here in manila but they sell for 5 bucks a pop there. If coolers are available it would be nice, but what we did was to break the ice into little pieces and then fill it up with water. (Next time I vowed to bring a cooler as I drink 1Liter of water per meal and 50 pesos for all my water needs a pop was too much thus the 1 liter refills and the ice... let it not be said that we aren't resourceful.)

After that we took a ride in the banana boat. I was seated in front and was bumping around... the bad thing about being in front was all the salt water was in your face, and if you went up against a wave that's so strong, water rises up towards your neck. It's much more adventurous being in front but the best seat would be the second seat. Gaah, one thing's for certain NEVER get a life vest that's too large for you. I was practically drowning in that lifevest and my barkada swears that I look like a turtle... you could see my arms, the life vest... but where's the head?

Gaah It took me all the strength I had to try to swim back towards the banana boat... which unfortunately isn't stronger than the waves, because it completely washed me away (even after two tries) in the end I let the guy that was manning the jetski rescue me with the rope and the rest of the barkada to pull me up, because I didn't have the strength to pull myself up. Do you know how difficult it is to try and rise up an inflated bannana above sea water? Chlorinated water lends you less bouyancy so when you rise out of a pool the difference of weight isn't that large. But from sea water to banana boat, my strength isn't enough. At the three other times we fell from the banana boat, the guy who manned the jet ski crossed over to help us up. He even extended out banana boat tripping, either because we were seven sexy girls or we were a game bunch screaming and hooting over every bump and taunting him to go faster or maybe because we were just too slow getting back up the bannana boat.

After that we ate dinner, and someone ordered Mindoro Straight (that's the drink that everyone goes for in Mindoro, and everyone must taste it when you go there) but since I'm hyper acidic I just took two small small sips and then decided I wanted salt. I'm a salt person and likes salt with almost anything. Then we crossed over to our side of the world and slept so that we could get an early start for snorkeling the next day (the boat, we comissioned the day before and made sure it was 50 pesos per equipment we borrowed... but 1k for the boat... they offered to wait for us for three hours as soon as we got to the beach... there was someone who was offering 800 for the boat and 150 for ALL equipment, but he wasn't willing to fetch us from Aninuan for that price ... 1k if we want to be fetched there)

Snorkeling is FUN. But the best place to snorkel would be at the Coral Garden which was around 20 minutes away from Aninuan and at 7am we were the first people there. Early birds and all haha. We had a monopoly on the fishes. Bring pandesal, it does wonders for the fishes and eveyone would be willing to bite off it... but you have to lure them in with small pieces first and then hold the pandesal out so that an entire school would cluster in front of you. I even enjoy watching the fishes fight over a semi large piece of bread and find it disappear. All the starfish we saw were blue... and don't go towards the area with lots of sea weed cuz majority of the fishes there are snobs towards panesal... because they're already full. Just go to an area full of corals (that doesn't have a forest of sea weed on them) . Don't go to Little Boracay, since Little Boracay's water is less clear than coral garden... has tons of people with bread and by 11am has some microorganism that stings you. Although it's not jellyfish... but it is some microogranism which boatment call 'kutong dagat' (sea lice). And please, please ask your boatman not to steer the boat with their big bamboo poles becuase they break off corals that way. Just use their motor and maybe a paddle.

That afternoon we shopped for pasalubong, we decided that 30 pesos per person to go to the 'bayan' (city) is too much unless we were buying a lot of things, so we bought off in the beach. Sayang though, we could have gone to Tamaraw Falls and the hot spring instead, but we didn't learn about that until that evening and it was too late since we would be going home the next day.

That evening we went stargazing while the other more adventurous half of the barkada went clubbing. (Uh, and they puffed jutes whatever prohibited drug that is) ... ... ... so if you're going to galera, just make sure that the people you go clubbing with are ... in their right mind enough to 'just say no'. We did see a meteorite... in all of it's orange glory with a tail haha, too bad we were too stunned to take a picture of it in the night sky. One of my friends counted 10 shooting stars... I was only able to see six. Out in our side of the beach (Aninuan) where there were virtually no stores, the sky was dark... darker than that in White Beach and darker than that of Manila definitly. When you lie down in the cool sand (which almost feels like a water bed in its small dunes) and gaze up at the stars, you feel closer to the heavens... you could feel as if the entire sky would fall down on you and if you reach out... you could touch them. It's as if your world began and ended with the heavens, 360 degrees of the abyss.. however when you turn your head you could see some of the locals with their gas lamps going home using the beach. It's a very precarious position lying down there. We were above shoreline even if low tide in the evenings, we made sure that even in the high tide we were still above it. We retired at 12 (we saw the meteorite at around 8pm to 830 saturday evening).

The next day, our wasted friends were in the next room, so we had an early start walking the rest of the beach. We saw a sea urchin, and saw Ayala-Zobel's small mansion by the sea. Afterwards we crossed back over the rocks and decided to try the fly fish... however, the motor of the boat was under repair so we just decided to explore some caves towards the north, which we saw when we were riding the boat towards the coral reef. We ate a brunch and then went home.

Pictures... my pictures were on film, deciding that a digital camera is not good in a wet place and since my disposable camera was waterproof film. (Uhh... buy your disposable camera in metro manila at 330 pesos rather than in puerto galera at 700.) I'll try to scan some pictures, but i'm not sure how well my scanner and I get along right now. :)

Diving in Puerto Galera is great they say... since as the name implies it was a port in the spanish regime, and well.... there's a lot of sunken ships out there. I'm going to try and learn diving sometime. It's a risky sport though since you can get killed when you rise up too fast and all.

I'll see what else I could scrounge up within the week, though I STILL haven't uploaded my Ilocos photos yet!!
ice_of_dreams: (reach)
Hmmm... I was looking through old pictures. I was going to upload some of my Ilocos pictures but decided I didn't want to tackle my scanner right now. :/

But I did find pictures from that trip to Subic from last October. Which is just as good. There are only a few pics because I wasn't in a photography class at that time, and I didn't have time to take pictures of that opposite end of the beach.

The pictures are a result of boredom while waiting for our parents to finish eating breakfast. So my sister and I decided to take a stroll on the Boardwalk, and bring my dad's SLR along the way.

Half of the pictures were me in a half-baked attempt to try to be a biologist, so most of them were little species with six crablet pictures, and just two or three photographs of the view.

Subic Bay was formerly an integrated Naval force of the Philippines and the United States by order of President Roosevelt in 1940. On 1992 Subic Bay was handed over to the Philippine Government.

Pictures Along Subic Boardwalk )
ice_of_dreams: (reach)
It's very rare that I go to trips around the Philippines, my family sucks at planning vacations and I personally would rather bury myself in front of my computer doing geeky things than take the time to go out in the sunny beaches or even camp out in the wild.

So a three day road trip to a nine hour trip to Ilocos for photography class was a novelty only closesly repeated by my Palawan experience, way back when I was twelve.

Ilocos is a picturesque city really and I love the Vigan longganisa. But before that the trip. We left UP at nine in the evening, it was a trip broken every so often by stops into Select stores well into the evening. We arrived our first "photograph" place at four in the morning the next day -- the grotto.

I wasn't able to go up to the Virgin Mary -- I was the last one to leave along with a close friend of mine from the crowded van. My back was aching because of the bar that was digging onto it for the nine hour tripand my body felt fully bruised, so naturally the first few moments of the Ilocos trip I lagged behind everybody else.

My friend had the bigger problem of being in a photography field trip slash finals with only one roll of film (I had four) and her camera suddenly blinking low battery on her. She missed the first few pictures of Ilocos. Luckily for her, we were able to find batteries for her in Vigan, but she'd already missed taking pictures of the grotto, wild goat and the bridge that connected Ilocos Sur to Ilocos Norte.

Let me say at this point that we didn't have breakfast yet, I missed taking pictures of the sunrise and we went straight from roadtrip mode with no-REM sleep into full awake mode with camera at hand. I could barely focus my camera to see if what I was really seeing was all blur through the lens or that was just the semi lucid state of my eyes.

Thankfully, our professor finally got around to the breakfast part of our meal, got us to a nice inn where we had tapsilog for breakfast and water which didn't pass the light test. But to hell with that, I always said that if bacteria doesn't kill you, it'd build your immune system. (Little note to Philippine visitors, always bring a mineral water bottle with you. As a rule of thumb people usually don't trust waters in the provinces becuase sometimes even Filipino's can't ingest water in the remote areas. For example in Masbate, water carries traces of sulfur higher than normal consumption levels that would make non-locals sick. Besides, Philippine food is great and all but not necessarily easily ingested with people with ... lesser immune systems. Especially people who live in extremely sterile first world countries.)

Anyway, after having been sidetracked with the food, we took pictures of Vigan pottery while they were making it. Really nice, it had a really big kiln and the pottery wheel. Some of us even dabbled in trying to make pottery. After taht we visited the late President Ferdinand Marcos' tomb. It was quite a propaganda for the Marcoses, not that the Marcoses didn't really hold Ilocos at the tip of their fingers. You'd actually realize what a great orator Marcos was. He had powerful words that resonated with the Filipino psyche (All written across the walls before the meuseum where we viewed the late president's "body" under the glass... a snow white of sorts... with eerie music as background). He had ambitions for the Philippines, just not enough will to carry on without corruptiong with that much power.

Afterwards, we took pictures of several churches with little "village" type encasements. I got to see a garrote, a torture chamber, carriage walkways, wells all built within the Spanish era so it had Spanish terms all over it. It made me itch to write a colonial story at par with Jose Rizal's novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo (Small plug for that, if you haven't read it in the language you favor, go to the bookstore NOW, they're wonderful reads a must for any Filipino/Spanish Colonial enthusiast.)

We visited two more churches and went up a grand lighthouse, only to find out it was closed. After a cell phone call to the lighthouse keeper, who wasn't there at the time, we were granted permission to scale the walls of the lighthouse. Ha. That was an experience of breaking and entering in the worst proportions. But we did manage to scale a wall twice my height. After all, going through the steep little steps of the lighthouse just to find out that it was closed was such a waste of energy that we had to break a few rules to see the view on top. Haha, don't worry we didn't actually burglar the lighthouse and the keeper knew we climbed over one of the fence (so now he needs to put chicken wire or something to ward off intruders.)

Anyway, enough of that, after the lighthouse, we actually went to Pagudpud resort. Lovely waves, lovely sunset, I took a panoramic picture of that. I promise I'll post pictures, but this being a film class, this was all on negatives and none on the digital camera.

The next day we went to another beach the Blue Lagoon and took more pictures there. I hope the girl who took my picture when I was standing on top of the rocks, the wind billowing over my loose thai-pants would develop nicely because I'm vain enough for that. Haha.

What else? TO finish the entire trip we went to Crisologo Street. A street of cobblestones that sold Antiques in Ilocos. Cars couldn't pass by that cobbled street, only calesas, which are horsedrawn carriages remnants of the Spanish colonial period. We took night photography there, bought some scraves, chichacorn, langgonissa and Bagnit. All food which you'd want to get your hands on when you get there.

OK enough of the tourism plug. I'll post pictures eventually when I finish developing them off the contact prints.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
Literally.

I promised rend fans I'd give this, so here it is. :)

-------------------------------------------------

For my birthday last year I had the insane idea that I should climb a mountain. Fortunately for me, it was a small volcano (the smallest volcano in the world in fact) that we climbed. (we meaning the five other insane people with me... namely my barkada).

Of the six of us, there was only one person who was remotely athletic, (athletic meaning she was the captain of the pep squad when we were in high school). One of us took tennis way back whenever and the rest of us were couch potatoes. So what made us want to climb a mountain in the middle of nowhere. [A caldera actually]

Oh it was BONDING. :) I actually enjoyed it (minus the gripes of course). We slept late the previous night because we were a possy of girls. We just had to giggle at every little story that we were telling each other so that we could catch up with our lives.

So naturally, we woke up late. We were planning to be out of the house at five, but ended up leaving at seven because almost all of us were fast asleep. (Including me as I am inherrently noturnal rather than a morning person).

So we set out late, and we had three caps between the six of us.

We also had two water bottles and one gatorade. (Wow, imagine going up a small mountain with that much water to be shared. And since it's a tourist spot, water costs thrice as much than your supermarket).

Us being the penny pinchers that we were. We haggled for the price of the boat, as well as the price of the tour guide. The locals being the devious people that they are, decided that the tour guide didn't come with the money that we were willing to spend.

... ok backtrack... why is there a boat in the middle of a mountain? ... sorry. We were in a caldera (as previously mentioned) therefore we were at the rim of the outer volcano. We had to cross a small lake (Taal Lake) to get to the base of the inner volcano to see the main crater.

picture of the mountain while we were in the boat )

So anyway, we trekked without the comforts of a tourguide with only three bottles between ourselves. We were conserving the water like crazy, especially since it was hot, humid, dusty and if you stepped in the wrong place you could land in horse shit. (We didn't ride a horse because from memory, I thought the area was very easy to climb especially since there were really no sheer drops).

where we could fall )

It was a relatively small mountain, therefore if we fell down, we could just break our bones. Oh, but everything was complicated by the fact that daki our ever loving friend had heat stroke at the last tenth of the way.

Imagine, we were on our last leg at around eleven in the afternoon, our body was overheating from the excercise (not to mention my feet irrevocably damaged because of the rocks) compounded by the heat of the sun, it was really bound to happen. And with no tour guide and sparse water, we were hardly the girl scouts here.

Fortunately, we were able to continue (through sheer will or whatever blind luck you might want to call it). We were divested of ten pesos when we reached the last leg of the climb, which I absolutely didn't remember paying the first time we went up, and managed to walk/crawl/slither all the way up to the peak.

Was that climb worth it? Well, let's just say I didn't have an SLR camera at the time to capture the essence of the entire show, but here's sample pictures of the crater.

taal crater )

That doesn't exactly show you looking down from a great height, but it was a good distance.

Not the most spectacular thing you'll ever see in your life, really. But it's a small achievement that you're not likely to forget.

November 2010

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