According to some locals, hiking down the main Crater Lake bed of Taal Volcano has been stopped by authorities since the past few months. However, a conflicting information from another local maintains that my team can still get down to the lake bed if we go to the other side of the Volcano Island and take the alternate route down the Crater Lake by horse. Looking at the steam that could possibly be toxic gas, I don't think I am ready for more adventure.
The discolouration on the lake bed is most probably due to oxidation. Do you notice the steam coming out from the ground?
As I found out later on from the website of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS), Taal Volcano is in Alert Level 1. Although this means that eruption is not likely to happen, there is a possibility of a sudden steam explosion which may result to an increase in concentration of toxic gases. PHILVOCS reminds the public that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).
The ridge's track for tourists to trek along the Crater's Lake.
Riding down the base of the Volcano Island was quicker. I found my horse guide very friendly and cautious of my safety, so I gave him a tip equal to his one day of work (P 50.00 = US $ 1.20). I use this amount as a guide for tips to other cohorts in our trip (boat captain, mate, the little child who reached out his hand to help me get out of the boat).
A bamboo bridge where one gets on or off the boat.
The wind picked up going back to the Lake Taal shore. As our boat was going against the waves, our ride was a bit bumpy. But it was a fun ride. The water was fresh, the weather was nice, and all we could have wished for was to have brought our swimming gears to enjoy a good swim. We were all soaking wet when we get to the shore. Luckily, I bought a souvenir shirt back in the island and was able to change into a dry clothing. Indeed, the Taal Volcano trip was a great fun adventure and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an unforgettable escapade in the Philippines.
A small local souvenir shop on the base of Volcano Island.