Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
To get to Pinatubo you have to travel through the former Clarke American military base near the Angeles City (largely abandoned by the Americans after the eruption). Although many of the buildings are obviously left over and have been re-purposed to suit the new goals of a duty free zone and discount airline hub, it is still feels much more American than Filipino- the roads are wonderful and the traffic is orderly and pretty much obeys the standard rules of the road- the whole place is neat and tidy, and it's almost eerily quiet when juxtaposed with the rest of the country. Some parts of the leftover town around the base hold less pristine reminders of the American presence including a section our driver euphemistically referred to as “the road where husbands disappear at night”. Can’t imagine what that means and DH wouldn't let me find out through night time exploration??
Getting to the start point for the hike to the crater itself involves hiring a driver with a 4x4 and a mandatory guide (we got a bonus driver who was being taught to drive a 4x4 by the first guy). After her maniacal 4x4 performance in Pelau, I would have preferred to see DH at the wheel- we would have shaved an hour off the trip in and out
There wasn’t much else to do here so we started walking back out just as the crowds were arriving (we even ended up doing some sort of interview with a Filipino television crew that was recording a travel show- DH kept elbowing me to one side as visions of a Filipino modeling career quickly developed). The hike back wasn’t particularly challenging but after spotting a ‘Volcanic Spa’ back at the village, DH suddenly developed a back problem that needed immediate attention... and after spotting me hanging around looking incredibly bored (intentionally), she immediately added another 30 minutes of treatment- not sure what the hand, foot, and temple massages had to do with a back issue but apparently it worked as she did that runway walk out of the spa and, with a hair flick, announced that it was her best massage ever. You can take the girl out of the spa but...