Monday, May 11, 2015
Although Manila has the largest mall in Asia (the World?), we didn't go to the Philippines to hang out in the city. In fact... Allison and I had no interest in it. However, we had to spend a day there waiting for Ian to get there the next night. So, what is there to do near Manila that we could do besides the mall in the city? We decided to get a taxi (Jared had made friends with Nick, his Taxi driver he had the couple of days before Allison and I got there) and go a couple hours away to hike Taal Volcano. The smallest and the second most active volcano in the Philippines.
You have to take a small boat over to the volcano and then hike from there. It was a beautiful day and we were loving our boat ride over singing and dancing to the Backstreet Boys our boat driver was playing.
When we got there, we knew most people take horses up to the volcano. We didn't want to pay the extra money... the hike wasn't that long and plus the horses looked so straggly... so we decided to just hike it ourselves. This was our first day in the Philippines. I was NOT used to the heat and humidity. Actually... I never got used to it.... but on the hike up I really thought I was dying in a sauna. My face was so red the guy leading us in the hike gave me his hat to block the sun. The hike up was all in hot sand (I was wearing flip flops) and it was hard and I thought to myself... you know, I can see why people take the horse... I wouldn't have hated that.
However, I did eventually make it up there. It was worth it. The view was beautiful. We hung out up there for a while... gave me a chance to cool down, enjoy the view and Jared even hit some golf balls into the volcano (which they took pictures of him and had them framed for him to buy by the time we left). Then it was time to hike back down... which I knew would be A LOT easier than the hike up.
As we were hiking down, the sun was covered up by clouds and we got some sprinkles. Not sure why it wouldn't do that for us on the way up... that would have been nice. It felt good though. However... by the time we reached the boat... it started pouring. We got on the boat and headed back to shore... but in the middle of the 20 minutes boat ride it was pouring rain AND a lightening storm and we couldn't see anything around us. Here we are in a medal boat in the middle of a lake in a lightening storm. Good place to be. Ha! It was kind of fun though. We finally got to the shore, but since he couldn't see where he was going, we didn't end up where we started. We were quite a ways away actually. He was going to wait until the rain stopped and then take us back to the right spot... but the rain didn't stop. We just sat in the boat for another 10 or 15 minutes getting drenched in the windy rain waiting. It was fun... but I was so soaked and worried about everything in my purse. Oh man... he finally told us to get out of the boat and run up to the street for cover. We waited there for our taxi driver to pick us up.
We then had our two hour drive home... drenched in the car with the AC blasting. It was a LONG cold ride home. We were so happy to get back to "The CoZee Monkey" (where we were staying) just so we could get out of our wet clothes. The drive home wasn't a total drag though. I saw one of the most amazing sunset's ever. It was a good thing I wasn't driving... because I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was an awesome day and a great start to our adventure in the Philippines.