When I went to Sta Juliana on a Saturday, I was expecting to hike to the summit, pitch up a tent, stay a night beside the crater lake, wake up to a stunning view and leave after a while.
Nothing happened to plan!
When I arrived at one of the 4WD offices, I was informed that there was a cut off time at 8am for hikers going up. DAMN! It was 10 am and we were not allowed to go any further even with a 4 wheel drive (4WD)
Never anywhere did I hear of such information – and till this day, I still think of it as a ‘scammish’ move.
Let them come – say they can’t go up – let them know there’re nothing else to do – offer them another ‘day package’.
Way to go.
Anyways, because we were so hyped up, we decided to do this trail too to kill a day. I’m not exactly sure of the name of this trail but I’ve read and seen some photos and I’m fairly certain that this is what I saw and did.
Cupang Luwak to be precise.
The owner of the Bognot Homestay continuously confirmed with me that this trail is better than the Mount Pinatubo one for ages, and that all the other hikers agreed with him. I passed it off and I was right. Beautiful as this trail may be, it didn’t beat Pinatubo for me. But, there is more variety in the trail, and much more that you can see. It’s just that the mind-blowing view of the lake was well, mind-blowing.
We started at 11am after rain. The first part of the trek was hot and muddy, very muddy. My feet sunk more than 10 inches into the ground a few times.
I wouldn’t suggest skipping the guide for this unless you’re up for getting lost. Not that much of a popular trail, its still unmarked and you will walk through loads of bushes and step on vegetation ( non- trail looking things!).
After 2km or so, we reached our first destination : the aborigines village. This was a complete disappointment for me because I expected more out of it, more engagement from the people and from me even!
Before we started, we were informed that we can/should buy sweets or candies for the children there. This seems to be common practice because when we arrived, the kids ran knowing that we had treats with us. Also, our guide was rushing us through here, not giving enough time for us to stop and have a decent conversation with anyone.
A little more walking and now you’ll reach the grassy part of the trail. This was fun!
There will be a first ‘lake’ which to me was more of a pond/meadow looking. This one looked magical really. With the green grass, and the light blue water and pops of purple flowers it was stunning.
It gets a little challenging as the trail gets steep downward toward the second pond. This is where you’ll get a chance to take a dip. I can’t say the water was crystal clean but it was refreshing and fun nonetheless.
There was a herd of bulls ‘taking a shower’ by the pond and the sheer number of them so close to you is quite overwhelming. I wonder what would’ve had happened if I’d worn red?
Want to go through the same experience by the lake as I did? Click the link to the video below!
I also saw piglets, horses, goats and birds of course. Like I said in the beginning, the trail is very diverse.
The last part of my trail with the guide.
And that was it, with a 4WD back, a through mud-removing-shoe-cleaning process and a good dinner (I suggest walking out of Bognot Homestay, turning right and going for the barbecue stall which is much cheaper) I was asleep on my bed for a long time.
Well until 6am I guess, because we were heading to Pinatubo! The reason we came all along.
Till my next entry,