A different kind of high-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Monday, January 13, 2014
HAVING a high feeling does not necessarily mean taking an upper substance or drinking an energy booster. To me it may mean reading an inspiring book, watching a good movie, and travelling distances to explore places. The last item had proven its effect to my wanderlust spirit.
Thus, a nine kilometer-adventure ride for 45 minutes was another high I experienced recently. But isn’t the one digit figure for a span of such a time slow? Or very slow? Not so if you’re making an uphill climb through rough, zigzagging roads, passing a dry river bed, maneuvering from one boulder to another and getting your feet wet all the way through shallow river waters in an ATV or all-terrain vehicle.
Yes, Virginia. Mimi had fulfilled one of her most desired dreams which gave her an exhilarating adrenaline rush -- riding an ATV towards the Black Lava Wall of Mount Mayon.
Arriving very early at six in the morning in Barangay Pawa in Legazpi City, each of us boarded six out of the 75 units of Your Brother Travel and Tours three-wheeler ATVs. The ATV is a stable motorcycle which has low pressure tires and travels on slow speed, and has a seat that is straddled by the operator.
After a thorough instruction from the experienced riders, and a test drive around the area, we took our much-prized ride. We convoyed and rode along smooth roads, at first, passing the villages with the happy faces of the locals who kept on waving their hands and shouting “hello” as we went by.
Then amidst tall green grasses and bamboo trees, we trekked through small rivers, some dry, some with flowing waters, and encountered rocky terrains. “Enjoy the ride,” “this is not a competition” and “marvel at the sight of Mt. Mayon” were all reminders that our guide kept on telling us as we moved along.
Up the mount, down the valley, through the river, and up the mount again, the all-terrain vehicles each of us were riding kept on stomping. And when we saw a row of pine trees and the tall pile of black lava rocks ahead, our guide told us that we were almost there.
Our guide informed us that the Black Lava Wall was formed during the 2006 eruption of Mt. Mayon. So after parking our ATVs and quenching our thirst, we started our walk and climb to the top of the lava wall.
Hmmm, honestly we had labored breaths, and made a few stops just to reach the top of the black lava wall. Up the wall and seeing the majestic Mayon whose cone tip was covered with white clouds was another exhilarating experience for me. Truly such an experience was a different kind of high.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 13, 2014.