Since there was no school today because it was faculty day (teacher’s work day), my friends and I decided to be ambitious and trek Taal volcano in Tagaytay. We left at around 5:30am to start our drive to Tagaytay, where we arrived at around 8am. We ate McDonalds to go on the way there, which was a great idea because it was an intense journey.
When we arrived, we had to take a boat to Taal, which was supposedly a 40 minute ride. However, our boat’s pump started to give out a quarter of the way so the driver decided to turn around and switch boats for safety. By the time we got to the volcano, we were all soaked because the water would splash directly onto us since the boat was going to quickly.
Above: view at Taal Yacht club
The boat ride was really choppy and I was afraid I was going to get seasick but being slapped in the face water the whole time made it feel more like a water ride so it was manageable in a way. It was hard to get a nice picture of our view because it was so wet though.
Once we got there, we were immediately hit with the smell of horses as it was advised for tourists to ride horses for the trail we were going. We chose the secret trail which led us to crater lake. We didn’t know at the time, but it was a trail for more advanced hikers. As you will soon see, we were not in shape enough to have an enjoyable hike since we took a lot of rest breaks and drank at least a liter of water each but the views were worth it.
Above: Our climb
Our tour guide was actually 20 years old and he told us he would climb this trek every other day. He constantly made fun of us about how inexperienced we were but said it was entertaining to watch our struggles.
Photo Cred: Kim
Above: Trixie and Marco holding onto to her because he fell since it was too steep to go down standing.
Although it may not seem like it in the pictures, the hike was actually really intense. With the heat and humidity, we were all sweating like crazy. It was also such a steep hike that we all were afraid of falling. The guide almost fell a few times too.
Above: Our view at the half way point – 1 hour in of Taal Crater Lake. It took about another hour to finally get down to it. For those not on the secret trail, they would just get to this point and go back down. For us, we got to go all the way down to the lake.
Above: Another hour later, finally at Crater Lake. It’s a sulphur lake but it really didn’t smell bad at all. Our guide told us not a lot of people chose to swim in, though it’s allowed, because they believe sulphur is bad for you which is quite the opposite.
We went swimming in it for a few minutes, which actually felt so nice after sweating for 2 hours and sore legs from a constant incline.
The trip down was a breeze and we got down within an hour. We went back on the boat ride, which was even choppier since we went against the current. The boat was lifted in the air by the waves a few times and we were all drenched by the end of it. Fortunately there were showers when we got back and we all brought a change of clothes.
After we left the Lake Taal Yacht Club, we decided to eat lunch at Breakfast at Antonio’s since it was the only decent restaurant that would allow still somewhat dirty, casually dressed people. I had a bacon, mushroom, and cheese omelette which hit the spot after a long day of hiking. According to my phone, we walked a total of 9 miles today but that didn’t take the inclines to account. 🙂 We also stopped by a local pastries shop to eat some buko pie.
*More pictures to follow as they were on Trixie’s camera because we didn’t want our phones to get wet/dirty.