Viva No Lava!
Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
38Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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Where I stayed
I was rather surprised at my taxi driver this morning for not knowing about the bus terminal to Tagaytay, even though the directions were quite clear - BSC bus terminal at Pasay Rotunda. We got there in the end and he managed to spot a BSC bus entering the rotunda, so he followed suit. There was a very long queue to a BSC bus bound for Batangas. I was told to just join the queue, so I waited for an hour (after two busloads of departures) before a seat was available at 10 am. Only to get stuck in a massive traffic jam immediately outside of the Rotunda! I was glad that the air conditioning was working well.
Keni Po Hotel
Finally in Tagaytay town at 1 pm. Hopped onto a tricycle and went straight to Keni Po hotel. Best room I stayed in Philippines so far - 1500 php for air-con, wifi, hot shower
Modes of Transport to Volcano Island
Wasting no time, I arranged for Michael (my tricycle driver) to meet me at 230 pm in the lobby for the afternoon's volcanic excursion. It took another hour snaking down the winding road to the lake. The boat ride to the island was slow enough for me to enjoy the scenic views of the ridge/crater and the approaching volcano island. The more impressive looking crater is on the western banks with its conical shape revealing parts of its crater at the top. We were however heading for the main crater in the middle.
The horse ride up was tough for the tiny horsie, even tougher for the guide who had to walk and lead the horse up. The route was hot and dusty, and for most parts featured no shade at all. You could buy a surgical facemask from the locals at 50 php or you could wrap your neck scarf around your face like me. Trust me, you will need either one or the other
Looking down the crater, plumes of hot smoke were rising out of cracks on the rocks. Walking west to a higher viewpoint, there were better views of the lake and beyond. Right there and then, a plume of smoke was fluffling out of a hole on the ground. I placed my hand near the hole just to make sure it was hot. Man! It might just cook an egg!
Sore Bum Crack
The horse ride down the crater was possibly easier for the horse but not for me. Having to sit upright to the ground while the horse plodded down the slope, my bum was viciously grating against the back saddle and caused alot of skin friction on my (ahem) bum crack! The boat back to mainland was marvellously scenic with the setting sun but that meant that I missed out on the sunset photo opportunity at the top of the ridge. We hurried in our tricycle and stopping occasionally to check out viewpoints but we were too late. Dinner at Java Jazz surprised me with a wonderful modern filipino pork dish. Java jazz is also an artist's gallery and the waiting staff were an absolute delight to chat with.