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Batangas | Hiking Taal Volcano (with 60-year old and 4-year old in tow)

Binintiang Malaki of Taal Volcano
Binintiang Malaki - Taal Volcano in the postcards ;)
It was more than a decade ago when I first climbed Taal Volcano, during our visit to a friend who is from San Nicolas, one of the towns situated alongside the lakeshore of Taal. It was a memorable hike, not only because I was with friends, but also because we had some misadventures then. It was a spur of the moment adventure so I'm not prepared, most of us actually. I'm wearing a pair of sandals then, girly sandals that got torn along the way. And with no one to guide us, we climbed the old crater (at least, that's what we were told), not the one with the bluish-green lake. In short, we got lost. On our way back, the lake was a bit rough I thought we're going to sink. And to think we have no life vests! Ahh... young and adventurous, that's what we are then...hehe.

Anyway, last Independence Day (June 12), I got to climb this mountain again. This time, with my mom and nephews and an (former) office friend. I'm supposed to leave my mom and my 4-year old nephew at the resort but after being assured that it's fairly safe for them to come with us on the boat, I agreed. But they're not supposed to climb with us, I'm supposed to leave them at the tourism center. However, when we got there, they don't want to be left out. Again I agreed, worried though. Imagine, hiking Taal Volcano with a hypertensive 60-year old and a 4-year old in tow! Worrisome somehow so I always check on them, asking if they're okay, and they would always say they are. I never heard them complain actually. I think I was the one who made a lot of complaining then...haha! Anyway, they made it and I'm proud of them.

see the kiddo in white shirt and yellow shorts? that's my 4-year old nephew ☺ (photo courtesy of Say)

Hiking Taal Volcano is actually not that difficult, the trail is relatively easy, even kids can make it. The trail is mostly plain with a gradual ascend, no steep climb except when you reached the summit. However, the trail is sandy/dusty, that despite the fact that it rained heavily the previous night. Actually I thought the trail would be muddy because of the heavy rain. Surprisingly, it's not! I'm thankful by the way, I'd rather have dusty trail than a muddy one anyway. ;)

trail to the crater
Taal Volcano steam

We saw this steam vent along the way to the crater. My friend and I were so amazed, it was our first time seeing volcano steam. In amazement, I even tried putting my hand directly in front of the vent where the steam is coming from. It's hot, but not too hot; and as expected, it has this foul sulfuric smell...eww! *arte lang...hehe* At first, it was just one steam vent, then afterwards it became two. I jokingly said to my friend that we should be rushing our hike, the steam vents are breeding, might be a sign that the volcano is going to erupt...hehe. Anyway, that's a telltale sign that this volcano is so alive, it's active. No wonder this volcano is permanently monitored by PHIVOLCS.

Taal Volcano - Daang Kastila
red soil formation along the trail they call Daang Kastila
Taal lake, view from Taal Volcano
Binintiang Malaki, view from Taal Volcano

After so many stops and wow's in between, at last we reached the crater, or rather the crater rim, Taal Volcano's viewing deck. It's beautiful, amazingly beautiful. The scenic view all around kept us in awe, no wonder a lot of tourist go there. I'm pretty sure photographers and wannabes will love this place too, the view is simply beautiful, it will surely keep their fingers on the shutter. (I am a wannabe, pardon the injustice on my photos! :P)

Taal Volcano Crater
Taal Volcano Crater
Taal Volcano Vulcan Point
Vulcan Point - an island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island :P

I tried going to this point in the summit where the amazing view of Taal crater is much better. Unfortunately, I didn't get to it. As usual, my fear of heights consumed me; at first I can still walk though in an almost squat position but later I stopped...at all. See the photo below? Yes, I was almost there but the trail is so narrow, I guess it's only about two feet in width, definitely less than one meter, cliff on both sides...wahhh, super duper scary! So I stopped, sat there and just waited for my friend and nephew to come back! ;)
  
I'm almost there! almost... ;P
this is my friend Say's photo, could have gotten the same view if not for my fear of heights :(

~ oo00oo ~

Taal Volcano, the crater, the lake, everything there, is truly amazing. It's really beautiful up close. The scenery all around is simply breathtaking. No wonder that during our hike, we saw hundreds and hundreds of Koreans hiking this volcano too. Indeed, Taal Volcano is one of the Philippines' major tourist attractions. And a lot of people benefit from it. Proof of it is the small community who built their houses (concrete-type houses, I should add) at the foot of the mountain (despite the permanent danger zone warning from PHIVOLCS) because of the steady income this Taal Volcano tourism offers to these people. Yes, it may not be that awesome when viewed from the lakeshore due to the fish cages around the lake, but once you start your climb, once you're past the community area, you'll see its beauty, you'll be amazed at the scenery. Taal Volcano will keep you in awe all throughout your hike.

What about you, have you been to this small but terrible Taal Volcano?

~ oo00oo ~

Taal Volcano Tour Expenses:
Bus Fare (aircon, from Buendia/Taft terminal to Tanauan) - P96.00
Jeepney Fare (from Tanauan to Talisay) - P30.00
Tricycle Fare (from Talisay to resort) - P20 (regular), P60 (special)
Boat Rental (up to 6 passengers only) - P1,500.00
Tourist Fee (per person) - P50.00

~ oo00oo ~
Taal Lake/Volcano
Talisay, Batangas
June 12, 2013

13 comments:

  1. Astig ng nephew at wow si mama mo nakaya umakyat dun? Congrats! Tal visit kita, punta tayo dyan hehe

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    1. Sure Gracie dear, samahan kita, kelan uwi mo? ;)

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  2. breathtaking sceneries! bilib ako sa mom and nephew mo. :-)

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  3. Ganon pala itsura ng taal volcano. Now, I have seen it. Thanks to you:)
    Galing ng lola at apo:)

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  4. astig to ah naka plano narin ako jan dati na cancel lang dahil sa insidente sa Mayon noon...

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  5. Wow, my wife and I almost got to this place last 2010 but I guess we were unlucky that time because the volcano is acting up so we were not allowed to go anywhere near. Too bad, hope to get a chance some day. Nice post btw ;D

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  6. lawa sa bulakan na nasa Lawa, Galing ng nature

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  7. Buti pa ung bata nkpunta ako nganga pa din lols , im afraid sa heights too kya takot ako sumakay ng eroplano

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  8. Wow.....I wish I could someday visit the place too!! all the photos are so beautiful.....I have a fear of heights too ;) thank you for the virtual tour :)

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  9. Wow, first out of town ko sa baler and tagaytay is part of the list talga, ang ganda, thanks for the share, isang mgandang patunay na PH is such still a great country!

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  10. hello Lori, ate Joy, manong Unyol, Sam, Arvin, Jonathan, Josh, Kulasa & Steven, thanks for the visit and the comments. Hopefully someday, you'll get to see Taal too. :)

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  11. Nice pictures of Lake Taal and surrounding area...

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