Of trekking, LOTR and the Dora the Explorer experience: The Mt. Pinatubo Trek Challenge10:18 PM
It was on the 31st of January of 2013 when the fellowship was called in order to do a mission, that was to conquer the the sandy and rocky way to the crater... not of Mordor but of Mt. Pinatubo. Hahaha. The mission was a mashed-up of the Lord of the rings turned to a Dora the Explorer experience singing "We did it, Hooray!"; and this blogpost is the blow by blow coverage of our mission! Chos!
|The fellowship of the Cane?!|
3:00AM. that was our call time in the Quezon Ave. Mcdo. There was a little bit of confusion as to the meeting place but we managed to work it out. hahaha. We availed of the package of the Trekking Pinatubo which includes the transportation and the tour guide to the crater. To avail of their cheapest package, we planned to include 10 people to the mission, however, from the original 10, only five (5) of us were brave enough to continue the mission. LOL Anyway, maybe the Elvish King helped us and we managed to pull three (3) more people to help us continue the mission, even though the mission is yet to unfold. The fellowship was composed of me, my brother Ferick and my friend Jean, Ann with her sister Ate Jill and brother RJ, Emy and Ate Belle. Together, we are the fellowship of the cane! hahaha
What we equipped ourselves for the mission?
Nothing, just fighting spirit. LOL kidding. Just basic things, of course your really need water, if you happen to watch the "Lord of the rings" well, it's really a miracle that "Frodo" and "Sam" managed to survive with their small pouch of water. But, since I am no Frodo Baggins, it took me I think? A liter and a half to survive the whole mission. Caution: You really need to bring your own water, there are bottled waters available, but it would cost you a violet bucks for just liter of water.
Suggested items to bring in the Pinatubo Trek mission
1) Extra towel
2) Cap/Umbrella- to protect you from scorching heat (especially during summer time)
3) Off lotion (better be safe than sorry)
4) Alcohol (In case of emergency and for sanitation purposes)
5) Extra shirt
6) Food! Lots of food!!! (I suggest bring biscuits or Banana, foods that are good source of energy) We brought an elvish breads hahahah
7) Sunblock!! (Not being vain, but you really need it to protect your skin from the UV rays)
8) Sunglasses (Make sure it's big enough to protect your eyes, not only from the sun but also from the speck of sand. Another fellow was injured even before we started our mission, so beware too.
9) A hiking shoes. I choose a neon color for me. Just another advice, wear socks, even if it sucks when it's wet, it will really protect your feet from blisters caused by the persistent sands.
10) The magic cane. Don't belittle this cane, it really helped us get through our mission!! I thought the LOTR peeps just wanted to look cool with their cane, but the cane really has its purpose in the long walk! It only cost 20php so better buy it or be sorry. hahaha
|My neon shoes|
7:00AM. We arrived at Capas, Tarlac, the starting point of our mission, we signed papers, a lot of papers, from the registration to waivers. Note: They have this waiver of non-liability, it's a bit scary since it is stated, that whatever happens in you during your mission, they will not be liable of anything. But, don't worry, in law, there is so called "contract of adhesion" if something happens, which hopefully not, you'll still have a cause of action against the organizer (I think?)
|Ann, reviewing the contract thoroughly|
7:30 AM. We are on the first level of our mission, that is to ride a 4X4 jeep to bring us to the starting point of the trek. They offer two (2) kinds of jeeps, one with enclosure and the open jeep. We were originally in the closed jeep, but since Ann, a brave fellow met an accident, with a speck of sand, from the open jeep. We exchanged jeep. That incident almost aborted our mission. LOL
|Team A and Team B|
|Ann, meeting an accident with her left eye. Me, really worried it's just that my face is always comical|
8:00 AM I was with Emy, Jean and my brother Ferick in the open jeep. We were glad that we have experience riding in one since you can really see the awesome features of the Mordor, I mean the Pinatubo. It's a bumpy ride and you will literally hold on to your seats, even the photographer in Emy failed to capture moments and just manage to video the scenery. But, this bumpy ride did not stop me from unleashing my talent in singing. I belted out the infamous " I dreamed a dream" and together with my friend Jean the "Sound of Music". It's a good thing that I have released my talent during the ride for the trek will really shut me up. Not only because it's exhausting, because the noise will cause soil erosion. Not kidding on this matter.
|Nothing gonna stop me from singing except the soil erosion|
|Me and my brother|
Feeling Gino and Mikay of Princess and I
9:00 AM. We started the trek which originally we thought will only last for only two (2) hours back and forth. Unfortunately, we thought wrong. The hike to the crater will take you two (2) hours in the ordinary course of time. Haha... it took us three (3) hours to the crater. But, of course, this is because we stopped in every corner, of course to take pictures...leisure walking it is! Oh, of course with the exception of Gandalf the Grey (Ate Belle) who indeed was strict with the time... and took it seriously to trek for two (2) hours. But, I know the real reason why she was such in a hurry, that is, she really wanted to taste the sumptuous lucky me sotanghon in the crater! LOL which also cost a lot of bucks. Nyahahhaha.
|Moments of Pinatubo Trek|
|Moments of Pinatubo Trek|
11:30 AM. The joke that struck us. The trek to the crater only starts here. WTF??!!! Seriously. Apparently, the 1km in the 7km is the real thing since it is where the feet of Mt. Pinatubo lies.
|The big reveal!|
Trivia: Did you know that the US Military Camp was supposed to be located in the foot of Mt. Pinatubo believing that it was a dead volcano? If not for the titanium test that they conducted that it was learned that the Pinatubo was an active volcano. Thanks for our tour guide for this info!
12:00 noon. At last, we arrived at the top!!!! not really at the crater but at the top of the crater. Hahaha It will take you 192 steps down to really see the crater close-up. We rested. We were exhausted, I was shaking with hunger when I opened my rebisco biscuit. Buti nalang apat ang laman and I was able to share one to Emy. Hahaha. We rested until 12:30 I think. A splendid sight welcome us. You can really rest and sleep for a while at the top.
What we think we are
What we really are!
|The Ugly Truth|
Scenes behind the camera Chos!
12:30 PM. Finally, we arrived at the crater. Unfortunately for us, swimming and boating was already prohibited. It's because the sulfur level, according to them, was really high and it's not really safe for the health and skin. Another trivia, the depth of the water in the crater is 900 meters below sea level, so don't dare play and push your enemy there, just like Gollum, they might be buried there alive!!! To compensate from all our hardships, we took a lot of photos, the downside, it was really obvious that we were exhausted.
|The dangerous Pinatubo crater|
|Chillin at the crater|
1:00 PM. Our we did it hooray shot!!!
|Yey! Jumpin at the crater!|
1:00 PM-3:00PM. We are the walking dead. Thanks to our canes that we managed to make through our jeepneys.
3:00PM-4:30PM. We didn't care how difficult and dangerous it was to sleep in the jeepneys, but we didn't care, it was really our soul that pull us into the land of dreams.
5:00PM. We ate our supposed to be lunch. Tsk. Haha... because of exhaustion we just wanted to rest and was not able to finish our food.
8:00PM- At home at last. Applying OMEGA pain reliever all over my body. Literally, I can't feel my legs. Hahaha... It was really a tiring but relatively awesome experience!!! It's really more fun in the Philippines.
Last trivia: Did you know that the real mission in this story is a walk from Capas, Tarlac to Botolan, Zambales? Yes, technically you cross the boundaries of the Tarlac to Zambales, upon this mission. So who's brave enough to challenge me into another walking session? Hahaha
|Surviving Pinatubo Trek like a boss!|
Some photos were courtesy of Emy and Ann.