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Beautiful Disaster (A day trip to Mt. Pinatubo)

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wandersells94.7428 days ago3 min read

During a casual office chat after lunch, the topic of Mt. Pinatubo arose. A colleague who recently visited shared their wonderful experience, triggering memories of my visit before it became a popular tourist spot. Reflecting on its raw beauty despite its destructive past, I agreed that it was a remarkable sight. When the idea of revisiting was proposed, I hesitated at first, preferring to explore new destinations. However, seeing the eagerness of my younger colleagues who hadn't experienced it before, I decided to join them to share in the wonder I had previously witnessed.
 
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And so, on March 23, 2024, we set out to witness the "beautiful disaster" firsthand.
 
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Arriving around 7 am, we encountered a few minor setbacks before embarking on a thrilling 2-hour 4x4 ride to the base of Mt. Pinatubo. Dividing into two groups, some opted for the open-air 4x4 ride while others, including myself, chose the closed ride.
 

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Despite initial hesitance from my group, I found a companion in Irish to join me for the top-load ride.
 
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The journey was exhilarating, though the lack of cushioning made the bumpy ride a test for our backsides. However, the breathtaking scenery made it all worthwhile, with the partly cloudy weather adding to the dramatic atmosphere.
 

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After the exhilarating ride, we took a brief rest and restroom break at the foot of the mountain before embarking on a 2.5-kilometer trek to the Mt. Pinatubo crater.
 

After an hour of hiking, we finally beheld the "beautiful disaster." Though still stunning, the cloudy weather dampened the experience slightly, and the crowds made it difficult to fully appreciate the view. Descending for a closer look at the crater was challenging, particularly the steep climb back up, but manageable for me, though not for everyone in the group. With lunchtime approaching, we didn't linger long.

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Fortunately, food stalls awaited us at the jump-off point, offering a range of dishes priced between 50 to 200 pesos. While slightly pricey, considering the logistical challenges of transporting goods to such a remote location, it was a reasonable cost for a satisfying meal.
 
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The return journey was met with rain, soaking us through. Initially planning to change and shower at home, I couldn't resist the opportunity to revel in the rain once more, a childhood joy I couldn't resist. Soaked but refreshed, we showered quickly before heading home, arriving around 11 pm.
 
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Despite waking up to sore muscles the next day, the experience was undoubtedly worth it. It provided a much-needed break from the demands of work and school, offering a refreshing change of scenery.
 
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In summary, the trip was a fantastic diversion, offering a unique and awe-inspiring landscape different from the everyday grind.

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