Eventually the destructive lahar flows have eased and Mt. Pinatubo has since become a tourist attraction with its lahar canyons and picturesque lake at the crater. While today the norm is to hop on board 4X4 vehicles all the way to the foot of the crater, at the time hiking was still prevalent. It wasn't much of a climb, as the slopes were extremely gradual, hardly noticeable in fact. And so we dubbed that activity "Trek to the Crater of Pinatubo," or TCP.
It's a desert out here, framed by fragile and ever-eroding lahar canyons.
We were on jeepneys until about halfway to the crater, at which point we continued on foot and under the punishing March sun. The views were splendid although I wondered how much longer the canyons will exist given the constant erosion (it's just sand after all) that is accelerated further during the rainy season.
All smiles even under the sun and in the midst of this desert-like landscape.
At the time camping overnight was still allowed. Today it's all day trips and camping is no more unless you can secure a special permit from the local government. Nonetheless, the sight of the crater lake alone is something to look forward to.
Following the eruption, water soon filled up the caldera and a magnificent lake was formed.
Me by the edge of the lake the morning after.
Me taking it all in. Such a glorious view!
Me clowning around with My Bibe.
Maybe I should go visit Pinatubo once again some time. How about you, have you been there yet?
Interested? There's no shortage of operators everywhere offering organized tours to Pinatubo, and you can find them all online.