An island in a lake in an island in a lake ...

Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
Trip End Apr 02, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Calabarzon,
Monday, May 14, 2012

I could've done without seeing the morning the next day, but we only had one day spare and excessive enjoyment the day before is no excuse for not going to do something.

The plan was to visit the Taal Volcano near Tagaytay, which is around two hours south of Manila.  After a bowl of Frosties, we hit the streets looking for a cab to take us to the bus station.  Well, when I say station, I just mean a lot of buses parked on the side of a road.  Miraculously we caught a bus straight away, but it was a local bus with seats arranged to suit Asian butts … and not one with any meat on it.  At one point, when the driver forgot to slow down for a hole in the road, everyone left their seats and did a somersault into the row in front.  Well, not quite … but not far from it.

We pulled into Tagaytay just before midday.  We were dying for the toilet, so we headed into Maccas for a McPee as Donna likes to call it.  Whilst there, Donna managed to start talking to someone (how strange), and the next thing we knew, we were getting a free lift down to the lake, plus the use of a boat for a normal price.  The guy even stopped for us to take photos on the way down, which would never have happened had we taken a jeepney (the local form of transport).  It only took ten minutes to arrange a bangka (outrigger boat) and we were on our way over to the Taal Volcano.  The boat took around half hour to get across the lake, with guaranteed splashing along the way.

Being a volcano, still active apparently, the ground is made up of black sand and dirt, which soaks up the sun and super heated us on the forty five minute journey to the top … just what I needed when I was already dehydrated!  We could’ve taken a mule to the top and back down for a lot of money, but because the animals looked half dead already, it didn’t seem fair … even if walking up didn’t seem like a good idea.  We eventually made it to the top in a sweaty mess and covered in black dust.  The smell of sulfur was almost nauseating, and the lake within the volcano was a very unhealthy green colour.  Of course there were a couple of shops around the top, trying to sell us a cold drink for the national debt of a small country.  We could’ve also hit a few golf balls into the lake, for a small fortune, if it had taken our fancy.  If this thing ever blows again, it will be raining golf balls for miles around for days!

With the mission completed, we headed back down to the bangka and across the lake.  Once back on dry land, we had a quick rinse off, so we did not look like something out of the wilds.  Then some friendly locals put us into a tricycle (a motorcycle with a side car), and sent us in the direction of an area full of jeepneys.  The tricycle driver quickly found us a jeepney to take us to a town where it’s easier to get a bus back to Manila, and where we could find something to eat.

It took a while to find the bus for Manila but when we did, it was much better than the one that had taken us here.  It had seats big enough for a white butt and air con … but of course it was three times the price.  

It was raining heavily again by the time we reached Manila.  Luckily we were dropped off outside a mall where we could catch a taxi back to Alex and Nu’s flat.  We arrived at about 7pm … but only after a ten hour, non-stop, round trip, which consisted of seven different modes of transport … taxi – local bus – local guy’s van – bangka – hike – bangka - motor-tricycle – jeepney – bus – taxi.  Wow, what a day!!!  After something to eat, it was an early night for all … cream crackered.

We were up at 4.30am the next morning to find a taxi to get to the airport.  We were off to Cebu on another mini epic journey.
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amy page on

haha sounds great! definately an interesting day!!! xxx

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