Sunday, March 25, 2012

Not at all Banal Taal Volcano

An Israeli client needed to be toured around (thank corporate heavens for that excuse!) and where else can we head but to Tagaytay. After impressing him with Antonio's food, we headed to Taal. I was proud to share that Taal Volcano is the smallest known volcano, to which Fred was more than a little skeptic about.

Whether or not Taal Volcano is the smallest volcano (not all searches for the smallest volcano would give you Taal), going there and seeing the crater lake while enjoying the cool breeze or for the more brave ones, going down by the shore of the crater lake is truly worth a visit.

We drove down Ligaya Drive (before reaching Picnic Grove, it's the safer route. Last time I went to Taal with friends, we went through the steeper though shorter road and saw a truckload of fishes slide off the road because the driver was too busy looking at us. NOT our fault!!! We felt guilty anyway. Thankfully, no one was harmed save for the already dead fishes. Thank heavens it wasn't a high fall.) 

Upon reaching ground level, there greeted us boatmen vying for our attention.  But we paid no heed since we already had arranged for one with Lito from Lenny's Resort (0920-2615556).

The boat ride (P1200.00 for a max. of 15 pax, not bad.) to the island was quite wavy. Meaning: I got soo wet! It was just me since I was the only hard-headed one who didn't want to cover up with the big plastic sheet provided. (It's part of the adventure! The guys just didn't get it, sadly.)

Docking on the island, we were no longer met with boys trying to get us to choose their horses like before. Much thanks to the local government, there is now an organized line and a fixed rate of Php 300 (they used to initially shout P1000 to foreigners and P500 to locals) to ride a horse and go up the trail. For really sunny days, one should probably buy (Php 10) or bring their own nose and mouth cover to protect against all the dust stirred around with the wind. Again, I was too stubborn to use one and again, IT'S PART OF THE ADVENTURE!!! (I therefore developed cough the next day. :D) 

The view up the volcano is worth the discomfort of sitting on the horse for 30 minutes through the heat and dust, all of which could be avoided by picking the right time to go and as I said, using covers.

At the top of Taal Volcano, you can sit and buy buko (coconut) juice for an exorbitant amount or a bottle of beer while enjoying the pleasant weather and great view. If you decide to drink beer, make sure not to drink too much, else, you might decide to dive into the sulfuric lake! :D  

The view of Taal Crater Lake

Taal Volcano is just a couple of hours' trip from Manila that it's surprising to know many haven't been to the smallest volcano or haven't even thought of going. Tsktsk. Explore this place, I promise it's worth it!

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