Raine invited us to join the Lava Trek: Mt. Pinatubo Challenge that they are promoting. Beep! Beep! Adventure Tours arranged the tour for us. Their package included our ride from Quezon City to Tarlac (back and forth), rent on the 4×4 going to the crater and other fees in the whole adventures.
Here is our itinerary and price for the package:*4×4 Jeep ride, guide, toll. *Toll Fee, Gas, Driver’s meals *Taxes and Surcharges 4:00 am Van will ply the route of Baclaran, EDSA, to Mc Donald’s in Quezon Ave. MRT to pick up adventure-hungry persons. 7:00 am Arrival in Capas, Tarlac (Register, prepare for the trek) 7:30 am Group rides 4×4 jeeps 9:00 am Group starts 30-45 minute trek/walk to Mt. Pinatubo crater. 9:45 am At the crater (Boat, swim, discover crater.) *Boat rental at P350/pax not included in package. 11:00 am Descent Mt. Pinatubo 1:00 pm Late lunch (You can either bring your packed lunch or buy food at Pinatubo Spa @ P250.00 (Advance order required.) *Not included in package.
PACKAGE RATE: P1,900/pax2:00 pm Optional add-ons: MASSAGE : P 500 / person VOLCANIC ASH SPA : P 500 / person MUD POOL : P 500 / person
We met at McDo at Quezon Ave at about 4am. Some of us met at Taft and we waited for them there. We headed to Tarlac as soon as the group was complete. Everyone was asleep during the trip and we all woke up at Capas, Tarlac. The van was already in Pinatubo Spa Town when we were all awake. We readied our things and went to the Spa Town to register.
We had a little orientation there and after a few minutes, we are ready to ride the 4×4 going to the crater. There are only 5 people in each vehicle so we divided into groups. The adventure began as we cruise through the lahar covered land going to the mountains. After about 30-50 minute riding the 4×4 we stopped to prepare for the ascend to the mountain. After several minutes of rest we had our second leg of the adventure. We opt to ride at the back of the 4×4 pickup and it was one roller coaster ride! Steep ascend and descend are what we had for the next 30 minutes of the ride. It was pure adventure as we hold on to dear life. It was fun and at the same time daring.
We arrived at the drop off point of the 4×4 several minutes after the roller coaster adventure. The road was not passable for the vehicle so we need to start the trek there. It took us another 30 minutes in some rough road and steep climb to go to the real drop off point of the trek adventure.
It stated that youngsters could reach the crater in 15 minutes, the middle aged in 18 and seniors in 20. We all hoped we’re not categorized as seniors because of our lack of exercise.
The trek up was a mixture of steep climb, stream crossing, flat sandy dry lands and rock walkways. It was really tiring and luckily, we get to stop every now and then to wait for the people in front to pass. Our guide was kind and escorted us on slippery rocks. We reach a place where clean spring water is flowing from the mountains. I wanted to have a taste of the cold water but other climbers begins to go there so we just decided to continue on with the trek. After a few minutes (we didn’t get to time ourselves because of the lots of stops), we reached the top and the crater was now in front of us. It was a magnificent view and it was really beautiful.
The top of the trek has some small huts for guests to rest and some comfort rooms. They also have a store which sells expensive drinks. We had or own water supply so we didn’t buy there. Some bought an ice cold canned cola for P70. It was really refreshing and a bit worth the price.
You can actually swim at the crater but you need to go down 150 steps. We started our descend to the waters. We ate lunch there and some of us swam. The crater has an unknown depth so we were careful not to go far from shore. There are boat rides available but we didn’t get to try it. We stayed and rested there for about an hour before the dark rain clouds came.
We quickly packed our stuff and headed back up. It was a difficult climb up the 150 steps but we successfully made it. It was already raining and so we proceeded to go back down to the 4×4’s. The climb down was the same as the up climb. It was a bit fast going back save for the last part going to the vehicle which was a very very steep climb. My energy was drained there but I am glad to have reached the vehicle.
We went back as soon as we have ridden the 4×4. It started to rain heavily on the road. Good thing the the vehicle can be switched to air conditioned so we could roll up the windows. It was a bumpy ride back and as we reached the plains, most of it became a river. We passed through it to the last ang biggest one near the town. We successfully reached town and we all were safe.
Some of the climbers availed of the spa services on the Spa Town but we preferred to look for food. While others are relaxing, we indulged ourselves with the ihaw-ihaw in front of the Spa town. When we were already full, we went back to our van and slept. We waited for the others before we went back to manila. Everyone was already tired and it was the same as the ride going to Tarlac, everyone was asleep. We all got to Quezon City at about 8 in the evening and we all parted ways.
It was a really fun and tiring adventure and I loved it. I am proud to have conquered yet another trekking adventure!