Mayon ATV Adventure: A Paradise of Black & Greens!
The occasional drizzles were not a deterrent to our ATV Adventure. Nor was the absence of Mayon a rain on our exhilarating parade.
ATV Adventure down the slopes of the volcano where all you can see were the black sands washed from the mountain, lush greenery supported by the fertile volcanic soil, traversed by cool streams every here and there, gave us all the excitement we needed for our Sunday Funday.
Of course, the weekend escapade was not enough without sudden side trips decided upon in split seconds. Our adventure was capped by a trek to the lava wall, a zipline ride with the view of the city, a taste of funky dishes for lunchtime, and a reconnaissance of a forgotten but intricate volcanic chapel.
In this blog entry, you will discover that there is more to the volcano's perfect symmetry. Even without a sight of it, a trip to Legazpi City and neighboring places is certainly worthwhile...
The ATV Adventure!
The ATV adventure was fun, fun, fun! We weren't lucky enough to experience it with the full view of Mayon Volcano. Nevertheless, driving the ATVs were enough for us to enjoy the trails. We went from flat terrains and narrow roads to sandy loams, down the cool streams, rocky uphill terrains, amongst the agohoforests...
The diversity of terrains we drove from start to finish gave our escapade a one-of-a-kind experience. The drizzles couldn't stop us. We just went on and on and on!
A dash among the occasional streams with strong splashes of water is a must in an ATV adventure so we made sure that it was going to be part of the trail we chose.
I must admit, I needed even more of these streams. And so, I believe, a second round is possible some time in the future!
The agoho forestwas splendid. I love how it felt so much a different world from the rest of the trails. I wish I had seen more of it. The soft touches of the green and brown were a nice contrast to the rest, which was dominated by the blackness of the volcanic loams.
Streams naturally flow throughout the trails. The rocks, the volcanic loams and the lush greenery made it all fantastic.
A little bit of spice was needed though. Some bright-colored fuchsia flowers appeared amongst the greens, compelling the photographer to take a shot.
The Lava Wall
We were really surprised that the lava wall was indeed a wall. I wonder how it was formed for I didn't ask. But from what I've heard was that it was formed after the 2006 eruption. That it stands as a lofty wall that it is now makes me guess that it ended that way after a hasty cooling of the lava. Hmmm... I could only guess...
After mounting the lava wall, we were astounded by the thousands and thousands of molten rocks piled on top of each other. Amongst them were green molds that were about to support new life forms. It's amazing to think that a paradise can look exactly like this where all you can see were the colors of black and green. You would not expect the beauty of the place until you see it in person!
Beside the molten rocks and molds were the lush rainforest of coconuts and other trees suited for the tropical climate. I wonder what other flora and fauna can be seen amongst them...
Strangely, a helipad with a beautiful view of Legazpi City rises on top of the rocks. On a clear day, the perfect volcano would've been visible. She, however, hid amongst the clouds during our short staycation. We're so much accustomed to its beauty that it almost didn't matter anymore. A tip, however, you must stay for about as long as a week in Legazpi to catch a glimpse of the elusive volcano. Do not worry, there are plenty of activities in and around Legazpi. :)
There was a zipline on top of the lava wall. From there, you can see a view of Legazpi City and the Pacific Ocean.
I did some tricks with my camera. The results somehow fascinated me.
from the Tribal Village
After the tour, we were so hungry so we ate lunch at the Tribal Village. We needed to eat as fast as we can so we didn't capture photographs of the place anymore. But if you've been there, you will see the tribal motif of the resort.
Nonetheless, the foods we ordered were remarkable. Let's take a look at what we devoured...
Lechon Kawali Express
The dishes did not disappoint; they were both scrumptious!
in Tabaco City
We did a side trip to Tabaco City, less than an hour away. A small burger joint in an outskirt had this volcanic motif. If you're in Albay, you will see plenty of establishments with the volcano as its motif. Mayon has grown to be an emblem or trademark of many of the shops in the province.
The burgers were named after the famous volcanos of the Philippines. I ordered Isarog and Ate Larz ordered the Kanlaon.
Stuffed with the freshest ingredients, the burgers had the most tender patties I've ever tasted. I can say that it really was of good quality, if not premium quality.
The Volcanic Mortuary Chapel
of Tabaco City
Often overlooked, even forgotten, is the mortuary chapel of Tabaco City. Passersby of this coastal city do not understand the cultural significance of this chapel.
According to one site, a mortuary chapel is a rarity outside of Iloilo and Cebu. Only very few are scattered in other parts of the Philippines.
One of these rare chapels is Tabaco City's mortuary chapel, whose other characteristics make it even more noteworthy.
Unlike other mortuary chapels, this structure is made of volcanic black sands and stones. Its domed octagonal architecture is also impressive.
Up close, you can see tiny emblems of coconut trees in the middle of the structure, which appears to be a faint attempt of Spanish architects to integrate local elements. Imperceptible as they are, their integration is a glorious addition to the use of volcanic sands.
It is quite common among Spanish-styled infrastructures in the Philippines to integrate local elements that, despite the lack of native architecture, they unwittingly formed a distinctly Filipino architecture.
Even the staircase had to be distinct. Its circular shapes add enigma to the black mortuary chapel.
To break the monotony of the black, bright-colored flowers can be seen growing outside the cemetery. Their vividness is a successful attempt to make the cemetery even more alluring.
The cemetery can be seen from the highway going from Legazpi to Tabaco. The chapel is very visible from the roadside. So many people are familiar of this chapel but only very few appreciate its significance...
As residents of Albay, we find this adventure long overdue. We've been hearing how spectacular it is but we've only tried it now. So to cap our Sunday Funday, we decided on sudden side trips that made our Sunday Funday even more exciting!
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