A Quick Escape From Manila

Monday, September 29, 2014

There are only three months left before the new year, eighty-six days to go before Christmas, and two more days before September ends. Wow, time flies so fast and I didn't even feel it. I also didn't notice that a month has passed since our Tagaytay escapade. After the Avon NASCON 2014, my friends and I had a quick bite, and immediately went on the road because it has been months since we had an adventure together. We reached the high lands earlier or later that midnight. 
Nike booked us a room at Alfonso Hotel in Tagaytay. From getting hotel accommodations to tour packages, everything was impulsive. It was risky and yet at the same time, exhilarating. Luckily for us, Alfonso Hotel offers Taal Tour packages in a very affordable price. All of us paid around P900 which was inclusive of transfers back and forth, boat ride, and a trek guide. Not bad, right?
It took us around forty-five minutes to an hour to reach our stop and another thirty minutes, more or less, for the boat ride going to the trail.
I will be honest. I am clearly not an outdoor person. I didn't see myself climbing any mountains or even a volcano anytime soon. Heck, I easily pant like a horse whenever I go up the stairs. But I rose to the challenge and joined my friends in climbing the steep route. I actually had a choice: to ride a horse or to trust my favorite sneakers. Well, my competitive side will not go down without a fight.
May I remind you that it was incredibly hot that day. Not just hot, it was scorching like hell. Aside from the fact that I came from a very tiring event, I lack sleep, and I am no longer the fit girl I was before, it easily drained me--energy and hydration wise. At first, I was so pumped up to reach our goal while dodging a large amount of crap all over the path.
But it got to me eventually, and worse, when we were still on the first point. I feel nauseated, dehydrated, and my face felt numb. I knew if I pushed it I would faint and not even gracefully--imagine horse crap touching my face...Ahhhh! I told myself I can't lose my consciousness. Nike already told me to get a horse but my pride won't let me give up just yet.
I walked a few more steps and I really can't go on. My friends led me to a mini shed so I can rest and take a breather.
They saw it on my face and got me a horse for P750.

My horse galloped through the road and I watched my friends went smaller and smaller for my vision to clearly see. I was already on the top of Taal in just ten to twenty minutes. I waited for my friends to finish the trek. To be honest, I was a bit sad that I was not able to finish it with my own two feet and that I was not able to share most of it with my friends. I was really disappointed with myself but instead of dwelling into the negativity, I made it my motivation to be fit again so I'll be ready to face everything the next time. My consolation to myself was at least, I half-achieved it! :P
The view on top was breath-taking plus you know the air is fresh that you just want to savor it all to yourself. Plus it was sort of cool and a perfect contrast to the unbearable heat.

Can you see that plywood board on our rightmost side? My friends took turns in taking their photos on the brink of the volcano. But I do not have the strength or courage to fight and conquer my fear of heights just yet. Well, it wasn't that easy. I guess I really have to work on it.

It was definitely a lesson learned. Here are some tips you can use if you plan to go up Taal:
1. Bring a cap or a hat to protect your face from the sun. Good thing, my friend Roch lend me hers.
2. Save those beautiful eyes from direct contact to the sun by using your favorite sunglasses.
3. You could have a mask handy to protect your nose from the dust (and the smell of crap LOL). Seriously, if you have allergies or respiratory issues, make sure you have one.
4. Always hydrate! Bring at least two bottles of water with you. Believe me.
5. A towel to wipe off all that dirt and sweat.
6. Lather sun block all over your exposed skin and of course, your face. Your skin can age quickly if you don't protect it.
7. Have extra money with you just in case you want to ride the horse or get refreshments.
8. Make sure that your outfit is trekking-appropriate, especially your shoes because it will be your savior for the day.
9. Have your camera ready to capture amazing moments and photographs. Also make sure that you have space to save them all!
10. Of course, let your friends tag along with you so you can bear the heat and have longer endurance.
11. Lastly, make sure you are fit to climb uphill. Don't risk it!

The heat and the tiring journey was indeed satisfying. Despite my nearly fainting situation, I had the best long weekend with my girls and I can't wait to embark on a new adventure with them! Have a great day everyone! :)

(Photos by Roch & Nike)

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