Thursday, 5 April 2007

Volcanic Ash

This morning I decided to blame Ange for our difficulties yesterday - afterall it was her who exclaimed 'Jesus Christ' when we saw a sign for 24 hours of prayer and worship on Easter day. This is not the time or the place to blaspheme. However, she has repented of her sins and today we actually managed to leave Manila!

Obviously the buses were still out of the question so we hired ourselves a driver and headed to Talisay. Our destination Lake Taal - a lake within an island within a lake - and to climb the volcano.

We were a little confused when our boatman gave us a tarpauline to cover ourselves in - why would we need this on a lake? However, we soon realised that this boat journey was more like crossing the atlantic in a gale - we were drenched in about 5 seconds. But we made it across in one piece ready to climb the volcano.

Before you think that this was terribly energetic of us I will point out that this is actually the smallest active volcano in the world - set your goals small eh! However, we were about the only people who walked up. Everyone else rode a pony to the top and couldn't understand why we wouldn't do the same. There were several reasons for this. Firstly the poor little buggers weren't much bigger than Shetlands, secondly horses freak me out and most importantly I love walking. The sense of achievement when you reach the top and take in the view can't be the same if you hitch a lift. We weren't able to explain this to the enterprising locals though who followed us for the first ten minutes with spare horses just in case we realised our folly and changed our minds despite their shouts of:

'it's very steep'
'it's 10 km'
'it's hot!'
'it will take you 2 hours'
'it's too hard for you'

Finally they gave up.

In the end we actually made it to the top in 30 minutes (I told you it was a small one), but obviously we are superfit and caned it up there. We were, however, covered in black volcanic ash and were more than a little sunburnt. The view of the crater lake below us and surrounding us was very cool, as was the steam venting near the craters edge. What shall I climb next?

1 comment:

Ange said...

It wasn't all my fault!!! God almightly Alex you go on a bit eh?!