Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tagaytay : Taal Volcano

On Monday, we decided to head to Tagaytay which is about three hours away from Angeles City. Thank god we have Joel driving us around everywhere! We couldn't have gone to all of these places without him.

It was a pretty smooth ride all the way up, of course except the crazy traffic we encountered in Manilla. We went straight to Josephine's- which is a restaurant that sits up high the mountain where you can see the most amazing view of Taal Volcano and the surrounding islands. Here is a panoramic view of what it looks like.It was a bit overcast so it was hard to see, but clouds and fog would roll in and out. One minute you would see nothing but white from the fog and the next you would see the full on landscape. It was crazy how quickly the view changed.

After lunch, we followed our tour guide down the mountain so that we could take a boat (much like our boats in Boracay- see below) to where Taal Volcano was. It was about a 30 minute boat ride and then they dumped us off to a place where you had to get on your horse to head up the volcano to see the crater. Right when we got there, people swarmed around us to sell us hat, glove and mask rentals for 50 pesos each. Because the sun was beating down on us- we had to rent hats for the ride up. Uncle Rey, Winnie, Joel and myself took the horses up the mountain and it was the scariest ride ever! The horses were pretty tame and we each had a "guide" with us but it still was pretty scary going up some of those steep paths! Joel was wayyyy ahead of us because his horse just took off... and at one point, we were all spread out. I was just riding along on my horse and all of a sudden, Uncle Rey comes up behind me and says- "Wow, Riza- I didn't know you were a professional horseman!" I didn't know what he was talking about so I carefully turned around (because if you do it too fast you will fall off the horse!) and noticed that my guide was gone!!! I don't know how long I had been riding by myself but then I started to freak out! Shortly there after, my guide showed back up! I was sooo mad at him for leaving me!
Again, the terrain was much like Macchu Pichu and it took us an hour up and about 45 minutes back. Those horses booked it down the mountain! Winnie ended up with blisters around her tailbone from the ride! Hope she gets better!!!!

After the strenuous horse ride- we stopped at some fruit stands to get some delicious pineapple and other exotic fruits to bring back to Angeles. Then we went to Chow King for some halo halo (of course!) before heading back to Angeles on our 3 hour ride back. It was a great time and I am looking forward to hiking or riding up Mount Arayat our next trip in. Unfotunately, this trip we won't have enough time to do it!

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