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Honeymoon Recap 3: Tall Taal

January 7th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

(For pictures of this leg of our journey, visit Tracy’s blog here.)

The next region we stayed (after a brief-as-could-be jump through the hectic capital of Manila) was Taal Lake.  Taal Lake is beautiful and boasts within it the eminently hikable Taal Volcano, which if you didn’t know about upon arrival, you would within minutes of stepping off the bus.

For it appears on the surface as though hiking Taal Volcano is the only reason for non-locals to visit the region.  So if you look like Tracy and I do (ahem, tourists), everyone who works at hustling tourists has but one question to ask you: “So, you guys want to go to the volcano?”  It seems everyone knows someone who has a boat by which to take you, and can get you a good deal, too (without fail, their friend will take you for 1500P).

Even the tricycle driver who took us to our hotel seemed intent to sell us on a tour (“tricycles” in the Philippines refer to motor bikes with a sidecar attached to them–you should have seen the feat of Tracy and I squeezing in with our huge traveler’s backpacks).  I give him credit for holding the bike so steady in 30mph traffic while poking his head in the sidecar to make his pitch.

On our second day we did make the trip across the the lake (1200P, as it turns out we were able to find) and hiked up the volcano.  Feeling fit, young and sexy enough to decline the many offers to ride a horse up, we were only a little winded when we reached the top, and I was all too happy to then enjoy a coconut cut right for enjoying the juice from a straw (best 50P of the whole trip, in my estimation).

Our final hours in the Taal Lake district were spent learning how to sail a Topper at the Taal Lake Yacht Club (there might have been a few liberties taken on the club’s naming, that, or all the Yachts were out that day).  It was my first time, and I’m delighted we got to double down on our reasons to visit the lake.

I actually did find yet one other reason to visit the region: buko pies.  As evidenced by the fact that I have coconuts on our honeymoon registry, I am, um, cuckoo for coconuts.  Buko pie is a traditional Filipino pastry made of tender slivers of young coconut meat, and is absolutely nummy.  So much so that I bought three of ’em just before boarding the bus back to Manila, and somehow managed to stuff them all in my bag like some seasoned pie smuggler.

Best 360P of the whole trip, in my estimation.

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