Monday, March 28, 2016

Around Mt Pinatubo

Tambon(?) Lake is a mere 20-30min 4x4 'Jeep' ride from the jump-off.  Heavy presence of shellfish and snails (their pink eggs in this picture) and fish - make it challenging for a relaxing swim (but possible).

Went to Mt Pinatubo to once again visit the crater lake, but as fate would have it - the crater area was suddenly (and indefinitely) closed due to some 'territorial fee issue' between two towns...  Politics or greed do affect adventure tourism, or someone's semi-planned vacation trip.
But living the motto of 'make the best of whatever is there', my small team went around the area anyway and still had a great time.  Sans the crater view.

GoPro-ing around Mt Pinatubo
Capas World WarII Memorial Shrine is around 18km before Sta Juliana Pinatubo jump-off (on the same road).  A quick trip is easy before or after Pinatubo tour depending on your time of arrival / or departure (entrance is 20php per head plus 40php for cars).
40,000 soldiers (whose names were etched in the memorial's wall) were imprisoned (mostly died) in this long-ago concentration camp, i.e. POWs who survived the infamous Death March (100+km from Mariveles Bataan)

 the tower, seemingly looking up the sky for hope and salvation

'looking up' from tower's interior/ground

An Aeta village may also be visited; unplanned - we just bought little kiddie snacks as giveaways.
A very short hike going up the small village of 100 families 

the only well-built structure is this chapel, houses in typical kubo-style

kids posing for picture

A good 'next visit project' is something like this solar light (installation), they'll need more

Kids lining up for our mini snack rationing

Curious piglets checking out my GoPro

more piglets

simple life, no traffic jams, sudden brown-outs, social media, consumerism, etc.
Apparently, there is a hot spring in the vicinity... in fact a few structure was built as a resort
40+C is too hot for me, others don't seem to mind
Short hike reveals the source, a small river - sulfuric and hot

on rainy days, no one hikes here... too dangerous and no escape if there's a sudden rush

A small grotto was built in the interior
Not being able to visit the crater lake doesn't mean we'll not see a lake.
(on the way out of the hot spring area and to lake Tambon(?)) How cows survive this desert-like condition is a wow... they don't seem to mind the heat

Pretty big lake, which somehow eludes tourists visiting the main (crater) lake.  Clams/ shells and fish thrive here providing some food to the local inhabitants

The trip was not as expected but not bad at all.  In fact, in some ways - I'm glad to have seen and visited these 'minor' places that I've been over-looking for the past decades. :)

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