the.gipster: kaladkarin

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Conquering Pinatubo

It took all just an invitation from a sheltered girl to get myself out of the comforts of civilization and head out to try the outdoors. Honestly, I never thought that this plan would materialize. I never thought I would ever do camping. I never thought I would say YES to this invitation with all but a pat on the back. But I did.

Kaladkarin nga naman.

For starters, the beautiful Jill Lejano chose the best trail for us -- Mt. Pinatubo. It all began on a Saturday morning at the 5 Star bus station in Cubao. All 15 campers (wow, camper na tawag ko sa sarili ko), were patiently waiting for the next bus ride headed for Tarlac.

We disembarked in Tarlac and had our breakfast over at McDonald's. Jill and the others were teasing Ruby to buy us breakfast. They argued that since she was the last person to arrive at the meeting place, buying us breakfast is her punishment. Nothing really happened in that conversation. We all ended up buying food for ourselves. Anywho, not long after we had our fill, we all jumped into a van to take us to this town where we our next ride awaits. Before we totally heading out far from civilization, most of us took the opportunity to complete our gear for the trek -- water.

"Bakit corporate look ka pa rin?" -- Pam

Camping newbies (except for Pam).

Pam all set with her FishEye 2 cam.

Fifi looking all groovy and ready for the ride.

Soon to be bride, Michelle, pouts for the cam.

Jill gives her version of a pout.

All set and ready for ride, the three 4x4's sped off away from the borders of civilization. 15 campers. Three 4x4's. A long bumpy ride. One fantastic experience.

Leader One's 4x4 lead the pack to the middle of nowhere.

A stream slowed them down giving us time to catch up.

Chrie gives manong driver a thumbs up for a job well done.

It felt like I was in a movie car chase watching
Leader One's 4x4 trailing behind us.

Streams kept slowing down everyone.

But not us. We kept on going and going..

..until we're in the company of all but sand and dust.

.. of lahar mountains.

..of cattle transplanted away from their barns.

..and of lahar graffiti.

We rendezvoused erm.. in the middle of nowhere to catch our bearings. A stopover would mean one thing. Pictures!!

Leader One's 4x4 came right next after us.

..Together with all our camping guides.

Chubby. Cuddly. Round. But still beautiful Jill.

The other 4x4 pulled in a couple of minutes after.

A couple of chitchat brought us all back to our 4x4's for the final 15-20minutes of ups and downs on the unforgiving terrain. But who cares? It wasn't going to end there. It was just the beginning. We disembarked at our drop off point at the foot of a small hill with a flight of stairs on it's side leading to God knows where. We all took our lunch on site and made the preparations for the trek.

Ruby and I getting ready for the trek.

Up the stairs we went.

It was a hike on the side a small hill.

After the climb, we found ourselves heading
down, preparing to brace the waters of the stream
that cuts through the terrain.

Taking a break from the trek with first time
campers Fifi and Chrie.

The terrain was good enough to accommodate us.
That's lahar in the background.

Pam and Jill trailing behind the pack.

Sometimes the terrain was good to us.

Sometimes it's a little cruel.

Leveled ground led us to the mountains' slopes.

The slopes became steeper and steeper.
It felt like it wasn't going to end.

Jill estimated that the trek should be around 2 hours. But it took us 4 hours before we reached our destination. My feet were sore and all wrinkled because of wet shoes and socks. Ruby dropped her stuff and slumped herself on the floor to rest. Pam came in with a grumpy look and immediately laid down to rest her aching back.

Most of us can barely lift their feet. Some were tired. Some were perky. Some were famished from the trek. But no one really cares. It was all worth it. The source of destruction is now a place of beauty. Enough said. 

Crater of Mt. Pinatubo.


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August 8, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Blogger joelmcvie said...

Nice pics! I've always wanted to do something as adventurous as trekking up Mt. Pinatubo. :-)


August 9, 2007 at 8:31 AM

Blogger gipster said...

joel.. Hey! Thanks.. Hehehe..

If you're really up to it, and you get the opportunity to do it, try it. I think you will love it. :)


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