The Trails of Taal Volcano (Part 1)

I’m back to write about our adventure trail run we had last Holy Thursday. June, Reggie, Reggie’s son, Raymund and myself  headed off to Taal Volcano in Batangas, a 60 km stretch from Quezon City to witness, in close-up, one of the smallest active volcanos in the world. Reaching the Tagaytay City Rotunda, we made our way down to a long descent of zigzag roads to the town of Buso-Buso, Laurel. 

However, instead of stopping in Talisay which is the usual jump-off point to the volcano, we headed further to Agoncillo, a typical fishing village at the shores of Lake Taal. Its banks is predominantly occupied by motorized bancas (fishing boats) and the middle portions of the lake are cluttered by fish pens, most of which are used to raise tilapia. 

June’s friend, Reggie knew one of the fish pen owners, a certain Mr. Landicho and it was one of Mr. Landicho’s banca that we rode for our trip to Taal Volcano island. Before going straight to the island, Reggie decided that we make a stop over first on one of the owner’s fish pens and witness the harvesting of tilapias. I was delighted to see hundreds of these fishes being hauled into one big singlet net! 

We then continued our boat ride to the island and as soon as we docked, we immediately changed to our running gears and headed to the trails going to the crater and were accompanied by two young boys who acted as our guides. Here in pictures is Part 1 of our trail run to the crater of Taal Volcano: 

At the shoreline of Taal Lake, waiting to our motorized banca to arrive

Leaving the shores of Agoncillo, Batangas

Enjoying the boat ride with June

Taal Volcano in the foreground

A view in the lake

Making a stop-over on one of our host's tilapia fish pond to see how they are harvested

The one that almost got away!

We continue our journey

Nearing Taal Volcano island. Foreground is Raymond's hat!

Approaching the island

Start of our volcano run. Boy guide leading us

The trails are mostly sandy

June and the guide atop the trail

View at my back

We continued with our run

On shot is Raymund slowing down for a walk

Giving myself a push not knowing that the view of the crater lake was just behind me

With Trekker, Reggie (L) and June

Continued our run to get to the crater lake

We meet other runners on their way back

Part of the trail where crater lake is visible

The trails ahead of me

All downhill from here

Coming in closer

This horse momentarily stopped when i took its picture. Must have been blinded by the sudden flash

Dry leaves all over the trails

Now out at the open field

A few hundred meters from the crater

A few hundred steps more

Now along the shores of the lake

Taal Volcano's crater lake, a magnificent view!

From our starting point in the island up to the high ridges and down to the crater, it took us some 6.5kms of continuous volcanic ash trails with some stagerring climbs, dusty terrain while the heat was piercing as we sweated profusely.

More pictures on Part 2.