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July 5, 2005

Volcano Trek

DAY: 20
LATITUDE : 08 degs,15.24'S
LONGITUDE: 123 degs,18.46'E

I have to admit the hike to the volcanoes yesterday was the toughest one i've done in months. Starting early in the morning from sea level we painfully made our way up to 4754 ft. On our way up Slyvester(our guide) took us to where his friend was working in the jungle and gave us fresh betel nut (energing stuff) straight from the tree and fresh coconut milk which they climbed a tree to get for us. It made a world of difference in my system and my stamina kicked in a few notches and off we went to continue the grueling climb.

The path was fine until it turned into thick brush and sylvester had to machete the way for quite awhile until we got above tree line. Continuing up & up we finally reached the ridge that overlooked this spectacular volcano. Supposedly it hasn't erupted in 300 years - who knows? Anyways, there was this continuous smoke coming out of the cone creating these interesting formations. The ashes that rested in the crevices was this beautiful lemon yellow color with light grey hints to it. Also, an abundance of white ash as well which from a distance made me think of snow. The volcano was surround by a beautiful chocolate covered crater that was covered in areas with the white ash. We stayed up there quite awhile enjoying the scenery of sandy beaches in the distance and neighboring islands sprinkled about. It was quite soothing and peaceful and I could of stayed up there for hours BUT we had to get back.

Heading down was miserable because the terrain was extremely loose with small rocks everywhere. I kept sliding down every few feet and my poorly made TEVAS (only 5 months old) kept falling apart on me. The path got worse which was completely covered with dried leaves and rocks. I should of been wearing skiis cuz all I did for 3 hours was slide and slide and slide and fall and fall and trip all the way down to the road near the village. i couldn't even walk when we got down but, i mustered some energy to walk to the local kiosk to buy some cold beers which turned out to be warm. But, who cares because when we got back to camp I cracked one those babies open, sat in front of the fire and reflected on how much fun I'd had.


Posted on July 5, 2005 3:54 AM