Where I Spent the End of the World

I imagine a lot of you have wondered where I would spend the end of the world (in particular so you could share the occasion with me).

Well after a lot of time, money and science the optimal choice was obviously inside a volcano. After all if there is anything I remember from primary school it’s that putting baking soda and vinegar in a cardboard cone is a lacklustre affair and consequently the most boring (and therefore safest) place to be.

So on the 21st of May 2011 I traveled out of Manila to Mount Pinatubo the last place God would think to look for sinners.

Mt Pinatubo erupting in 1991


So I’ve taken this end of the world thing further than is warranted (or at least as far as I can be bothered with), so I’ll just get to putting up some of my most impressive pictures and making the occasional comment. The first of these much-anticipated comments will be a (retrospectively) obvious observation that the closer you get to the mountain itself the larger the rocks are, so the initial trek went from being a pleasant stroll to an epic struggle of man against nature (as usual my preference is to simply eradicate nature, but it’s a work in progress).

And even though an epic struggling may seem to some an exageration, it’s not, and as far as I’m concerned you’re not a man until you’ve stared down the barrel of one of these bastards:

Unintentional double-entundre aside the walk was long, but cruisy and in my opinion an undersold component of the journey (along with the absense of Jollibees on the trail), the landscape is incredible, depite the state-sanctioned age discrimination (see below).

I’m not telling you where I belong.

I have to admit the sign’s overconfidence bothered me the most, essentially its accuracy (and the reputation of the Philippines) rests on a sixty second window. After obnoxiously elbowing (pretty much literally) my way past a bunch of octogenarians not adhering to the sign’s recommendations I managed to make it to the head of the pack, at least that’s how I’ll be telling this story from now on.

Thanks to some naturally occurring signage, I managed to track that crazy crater down.







I don’t have a legitimate segway for the next part, so let’s just say we fucked around swimming in the crater for a bit until a boat was available to take us across to the other side of the crater.

Unsurprisingly the opposite side of the river was pretty much identical except that you could burn your feet on the ground and that there were some of the scraggliest rocks I’ve ever seen:

You scraggly bastards!

As you may have also already guessed the water was also (at least in parts) piping hot, meaning that you had to piss-bolt out of the water when swimming to outrun third-degree burns. Having been able to do this successfully, I then proceeded to wash my hands in the water ten metres along dashing my hopes of hand modelling.

Anyway, the trip was amazing and highly recommended. If there is one thing I could say honestly at the end of the day, it’s that this destination is undersold to foreigners. In anticipation of the runaway success of my call to arms I’ve purchased Qantas shares.

I also met a monkey: