Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taal Volcano

Pineapple fields, Batangas, Philippines
We got up early this morning and headed to Tagaytay and Taal Volcano.  It was great to get out of Manila—away from the traffic—and to breathe some fresh air.  We took an outrigger from Taal Yacht Club (I am laughing as I type this because a Yacht Club by American standards it is not) across Taal Lake.  On the way over Mr. Man turned to me and said "I was picturing a much bigger boat." I admit I too was thinking the boat would be along the lines of a ferry.  We are such Americans. 

Our transportation to Taal Volcano
The lake was very choppy and by the time we reached the island my shorts were soaked.  We were met by villagers wanting to sell us water, hats, masks and/or horse rides up to the crater.   We opted to hike the one-and-a-half miles.   It was very dusty (especially on the way back down, and I had to turn my back into the wind several times to avoid getting sand in my eyes—even so, I felt like my teeth had been sandblasted), and I regretted not buying a mask.

For at least half of the way we were followed by “guides” on horses who took every opportunity to make sure we didn’t want to ride up; they were very annoying and we were grateful when they finally turned around and left us in peace.  While permanent residence on the island is prohibited, poor families have settled there, living in huts with no electricity or running water.

Our Entourage
View from Taal Volcano
The views from the top were breathtaking.  The crater is large with a green sulfuric lake and in several areas you can see the steam being released.  Taal Volcano is famous for having an island in a lake, on an island in a lake, on an island in the Pacific Ocean.  The island was evacuated in August 2008 due to volcanic earthquakes accompanied by rumbling sounds; the last eruption was in 1977.

Taal Lake and dormant volcano
On the rim of Taal Volcano
To view more pictures, go to my Picasa Web Album:

No comments:

Post a Comment