Mt.Pinatubo

I must admit- It has been some hectic weeks since I came back to Norway after a far to short visit to the Philippines. Work has been intense and I also have had a few visitors. Hence, writing have not been my main priority. Somehow I have also managed to delete my domain that I so proudly have showed to the world. Please do not ask how I managed to do that and if I have to pay 10 times the price of the renewal to get it back. HEY I am saving money for that great adventure later this year!

Time is picking up speed and one of my boyfriends and my first goals are soon within reach. In August/September we will hopefully be able to say auf wiedersehen to our distance relationship. He will take a sabbatical year from his work and the hotel manager at the hotel where I am now employed will be back after her one year maternity leave on the first of October. Hence, my job here will be done within a couple of months. Our plan is to travel for a couple of months or a whole year if we feel like that before finding a place to start our life together. It is not a new chapter that is waiting for us, rather we are picking up a whole new book to start on in a language that no one of us are really fluent it. It is fantastic an a bit scary at the same time. But we are a great team and when looking back on what we have been through I think that we will manage this new reality very well.

We did only spend 13 days in the Philippines and one of our most exciting experiences was for sure our hike to Mt.Pinatubo. Mt. Pinatubo is an active volcano crater on Luzon that erupted in 1991. 800 people died and over 10.000 where left homeless.  The volcano Is located 87km northwest of Manila and our driver picked us up at 03.00 am in Makati (Metro Maila) and drove us the 3 hours to the small village of  St.Juliana where we got on a 4×4 in order to get to the hiking spot.

We left St. Juliana in the dawn and the ride until the hiking spot was rather magical. The drive goes through Crow valley that has a very distinct landscape shaped by the eruption. We were the first ones who left from on that day together with a couple from Malta so we did not meet any people except a few children from the indigenous Aeta tribe.

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Sunrise over a wast landscape
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Josch at Crow Valley on our way to the hiking spot
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Aeta children
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A moonlike landscpape early in the morning

Our guide was insanely fast, but it was of course not his first hike to the crater. A few kilometres before we reached our destination another guide passed us with what seemed to be four Australian guys with Jollibee paper bags (the Pilipino version of McDonalds).  We walked the last part in a light rain and we could feel on the temperature that we were reaching a higher altitude. A nice change from the intense heat we had experienced in Manila the last days.

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Pit stop in a Aeta village along the hike were we had to register as we entered into volcanic area.

We reached the crater around 10 a.m and we spent around 1,5 hours exploring the area . The crater is nowadays filled with water and the lake is one of the biggest crater lakes in the world. When the sun managed to stick its head through the clouds the whole lake turned green and left us and other visitors guiet with open mouths.

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A first glimpse of the crater lake
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The green hills was covered in heavy rainclouds
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Josch is looking out over the lake.

After eating our packed lunch we walked down the many stairs to the beach. Swimming was not really recommended and we stayed on the shore contemplating the stunning scenery and exploring the area.

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Mountains or Crater walls?

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Soaking up the view and the fact that we are actually “inside” an active volcano

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The hike back  to the 4×4 spot did go downhill but the sun had rose and the sun was burning. On our way back we met several groups of people that had not been up as early as we had. And seeing them struggling in the heat made me rather grateful for our early departure from Makati.

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A last view of the crater lake

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