You can see the rim of the original vocano with the lake inside and the volcano within the lake, with a lake inside! Like a Matruska doll.
The green line is our banca ride across the lake and the red line is the pony trek to the volcano. These photos are from Wikipedia.
This was a fun trip on the spur of the moment; little advance planning, just all adventure to see what we could see. Carol, her driver Michael, Randal and I left Makati about 9 am and drove the 50 or so miles to Talisay, a small resort town that offers access across Lake Taal to the inner volcano. It took almost 3 hours in the Sturday traffic, winding mountain roads, and a slight goose chase to find the best (reliable, banca won’t sink and we all drown in the lake) resort to find lunch and hire our banca. When you get to the main lake road in Talisay, you are met by bunches of men waving signs hawking their boat services. We finally settled on these guys and followed them wherever the led us; at times back and forth and back and forth along the main road till we said, “Stop, we’ll eat at the first place.”
I can’t really tell you much about our resort. Its name started with K and there is a large wooden fish over the entrance.
Carol and Randal look at the lunch menu. We shared barbecued pork and rice for 5, though the 4 of us managed to eat it all. Pretty good too.
The resort had a fish cage where they raised talapia. You can see across Lake Taal to the inner volcano area. The large mound on the left is an extinct volcano. It looks a long way across, but it only took about 15 minutes to get there. It felt quite safe; the lake was quite calm.
A typical banca. It held the 4 of us and 3 banca boat men. (They’re small.)
Randal and Carol. Michael and I are in front.
View from the banca. C. C.
Not so pretty. This was the little ranch area where we got our ponies for the ride to the volcano. We took a few photos at the end of the ride when we had more time. I’ll show you later. The ride was an experience, right up there with my pony ride in China when Sallie rode the “zebra.”
Last Thursday morning we took the “express “bus from Olongapo to Manila. The bus stopped 22 times along the way; Randal counted. Two official stops and 20 unofficial stops to let folks on and off along the way.
We had the front row seat. The man standing in front near the window was the ticket taker.
You can see why it takes 4 hours to get to Manila. Lots of traffic out of Olongapo and then insane traffic in Manila. They showed a movie, Deja Vu with Denziel Washington. Totally implausible plot, but it was quite entertaining and made the time pass quickly.
At some of the stops men came on board selling snacks.
These are pork rinds. Randal actually bought some once. They come with a dipping sauce.
When we arrived in Manila we were met by Michael who drives for Carol. You met Carol during our Samat adventure. It was wonderful to have Michael drive us since he knows Manila and Makati and we don’t. Our first stop was to the HSBC Bank. HSBC stands for Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation. When we opened our account in Hong Kong, I asked if our money was insured. The answer was no, but since they were one of the biggest banks in the whole world, we need not worry. Well I can think of other words HSBC stands for, but nothing I can write here. Randal’s ATM card was wearing out and he had applied for a new card. Because he didn’t include his middle name, the Hong Kong Bank wouldn’t send the card. The HSBC Philippine banks say they can’t help because we opened our account in Hong Kong. So?! HSBC is HSBC, NO? And his worn out card wouldn’t work at this ATM. Not a good start for our trip.
Anyway, after that failure we moved on to our next stop, Santis. The chef at Aresi in Subic had sent us there to buy a blender that would chop ice. Michael drove us to Santis. Lots of wonderful foods and spices and wine and everything you might want if your goal was not to buy a blender. But it was a blender we wanted and blenders was what Santis didn’t have. We give up for now.
Next stop was Carol’s place to dump our stuff. Luckily on our way there we noticed an HSBC branch at the Power Plant Mall. Power Plant Mall is walkable from Carol’s place. Luckily the ATM card worked with no problem.
Cash in hand we strolled through the Mall looking for shoes for Randal. That was one of the “must buys” on our list. His old shoes were falling apart.
We opted not to try this and went off to Power Books to browse. We bought a Lonely Planet travel guide to Southeast Asia since it included lots of our future stops.
Later on that evening a view of the Pasig River that is the northern border of Makati.
A small, local ferry runs back and forth across the river. Carol said at one point the river was clogged with water plants but it has been cleaned out. A larger fast speed ferry goes along the river’s length. I just read that it costs about 45 pesos and is air conditioned and has a bar. It saves travelers from taking a combination of buses and jeepneys to get to their destinations.
Friday night we went to Fort Bonifacio for dinner. You saw the photo of Clawdaddy and the Patriots and Red Sox banners. But you didn’t see who we met while strolling along the shopping area after dinner.
Elvis may have left the building, but he is presently standing here in Fort Bonifacio, Makati.
Randal is wearing his Mt. Samat hat and the shirt he had made in Olongapo. One of his favorite shirts had been used as a pattern.
ps I sent this as an email post and the photos didn’t show up so now I am re-editing it. It is hard to get just right. I truly may have to read the directions. Till then, the layout might be odd, but the photos should be labeled correctly.
Just a few random photos from our trip to Manila until I sort through the hundreds I took.
Fort Bonifacio is a great little shopping and restaurant area in Makati. The owner of Clawdaddy was a fan of Boston sports teams, at least the Sox and Patriots. Patriots banner, Red Sox banner and photos of Ted Williams!! I felt completely at home.
Our waiter took this photo.
Yup, got on a pony again! Thought I would never get on again
after my crazy ride in China. My sidekick is riding on back.
This was part of our trip to the Taal Volcano. C.C.
Sunset up in the Tagaytay Highlands. C.C.
Lots of stories and loads more photos. This will have to do till I get it all done.
If you search for Lake Taal Volcano in the Philippines you can read about it, quite interesting.
Unless plans change, Randal and I are off to Manila tomorrow to visit our friend Carol and to do a last round of chores that can only be done in Manila; like buying Randal shoes that actually fit and a blender that really chops ice and doesn’t destroy itself in the process. Thanks to the Chef/Owner of Aresi Cafe we have the name of a restaurant supply store in Makati so there is hope. I am looking for a slow cooker, though they are available here too, so that’s less important. But I do need new bike pedals; mine are beyond repair.
We will go Thursday and plan to return Sunday. That will give us time to do chores Thursday and Friday and go seeing sites with Carol on Saturday. We would like to stay and visit with Carol longer, but too many boat chores.
If you haven’t yet noticed, it is baseball season. I have been refraining from posting daily Red Sox scores on my email. I figure, if you care, you already know, if you don’t care, you don’t want to know, and if you are a Yankee fan, you hate knowing. So unless there is a really huge reason to write about the Sox, I’ll just keep it to myself. I’ll just say that my new little red (Red Sox) ring and red bangle seem to be bringing them luck. That and digging up Big Papi’s shirt from under the new Yankee Stadium.
We are actually next to the slip with the plus. I walked down the dock and counted spaces today. DoraMac must be out on a trip to Silanguin since our space is empty.
You can see the swimming pool at the club and I have actually been using it lately. Catherine and Rob Coulson, who are in the next slip on Bob-the-Boat, are swimmers. I have been going with Catherine late in the afternoon. Next to Cat and Rob are Dave and Dorothy on DavidEllis. Across from B-T-B. are Nick and Zaida. On the other side of the + are JR and Heidi. I have mentioned all of these folks and now you know where they live. Dave and Jamie Fritsch were on the other side of Dave and Dorothy, but Dave Fritsch is on his way to Hawaii and Jamie is in Connecticut waiting to rejoin Dave there.
This was my first attempt to use paint and add text and lines. It was a battle to get the photo the correct size and the text and line done. Time to read the help section on paint and then practice. Wish I could take a class in Paint at the Roanoke County Public Library! I’m sure one of my former co-workers could teach me in way less time than it will take me to teach myself. I am doing battle with blogspot just now too. This is my fifth or so attempt to post this.
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 6:38 PM Subject: Gunk
Gunk is how I labeled the photos I took, so I guess it’s as good a name for this email. The sink in our rear head was draining slowly so I decided to clean it out. The same things that are living under the boat seem to make their way up pipes too. Yuck. Before I had thought about a photo, I had scraped the thing clean and trashed the trash. But then I decided to clean the trap under the sink too. Same gunk. Yuck. I did take a photo of that. You might not want to read this email if you are eating. And my sister says this is way too much information!!
Looks like a creature from a really bad horror movie
This is the drain trap…..supposedly to keep yuck from going down the drain. Seems to me it is keeping gunk from coming up the drain.
This is an email Randal wrote to Ken, his brother-in-law and my friend! Not sure if the Excel sheet will work. If not I wil try to see what I can do about posting our route.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
See Excel Attachment
We have two electronic chart programs. The Raymarine chart plotters, one in the pilothouse helm, an E-120, and an E-80 up on the flybridge, both equipped with Navionics electronic charts. These are an integral part of the boat and are hardwired to the radar, GPS receiver, GPS compass, primary and secondary autopilots, depth sounder, and necessary alarms. We also have a large laptop with C-Map charts. I used the laptop software to plan our trip leaving Subic Bay yesterday and then manually input the information into an Excel file so I could include the information important to me, like departure times each day to be able to reach the next anchorage by .
This will give us an overview of our trip and how long it will take. Each days trip will have to be manually input into the boats chart plotter where it can be refined and checked once more to make sure I’m not taking the boat over a small island. In the Excel file the “Day” column represents travel days not consecutive days. We intend to lay over in Puerto Galera long enough to get our scuba diving certification for example. We don’t know what calendar days these will be so I have left the tide column blank until I find out.
I made nearly this whole plan not knowing if most of the anchorages are suitable or not. We have been to Hamilo Cove, Puerto Galera, and Marinduque, but the rest were just based on what the chart looks like. Before this is locked in concrete I will consult with fellow cruisers, my cruising books for the Philippines, and see if I can figure out how to use Google Earth to look at the harbors.
Then there is the weather. Direction of the prevailing wind/waves has a strong presence in passage planning. The veterans do it instinctively because here at least the prevailing wind comes from mostly two directions, the NE monsoon and the SW monsoon. The NE monsoon comes during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and the SW monsoon comes during the summer. The SW winds bring rain almost everyday and the NW winds bring drought. In trip planning you want the wind behind you are at least on your rear quarter if possible, certainly not on your bow where waves will build and gives you a hobby horse ride which is only fun for a short time. Of course if you’re going from point A to point B and the wind is going from point B to point A then there is little choice, unless you can wait, like we are going to do to cross the Indian Ocean.
Of course just because you’re in the middle of the NE monsoon does not necessarily mean the wind will be coming from that direction on the day your boat is where it is. Fronts still move through and land masses which we try to avoid with the boat are disturbing the wind as well, speeding it up, slowing it down, and changing it’s direction. All of this is much more important to sail boats than to power boats. While sail boats get their horsepower from the wind, we diesel crankers are only concerned with comfortability and safety.
I’m going to play with Google Earth for awhile now and might even print the anchorage pictures and put them on my plan clipboard. Some of those aerial pictures show the channel and the shallows better than the charts do.
Footnote: Ruth asked me to send this to her as well to see if it is worthy of posting on her blog.
Footnote 2: Passage planning is very much like planning life’s journey. The best laid plans can be set adrift in the event of a typhoon; but only if you don’t plan for a typhoon, which I
Tomorrow, Sunday, April 20th, we are making probably our last day trip to Silanguin Bay. We want to try out the re-done, and re-done yet again paravane fish and also hopefully clean some of the crustaceans off the propeller.
I have set up the process to email directly to our new blog www.doramac.blogspot.com and want to see if it works. Hopefully it will.