Monday, May 14, 2007

Peering Down Craters

It took a lot of convincing, all of them internal, to put my heavy ass inside a plane. Don't get me wrong, but I like flying. I like it so much, that well, I have enough material to talk about in this blog about my travels. However, this was no ordinary plane - it was a small plane, so small that it can only seat 3 passengers and the pilot. Remember that old Daffy Duck cartoon that he'd stand on the propeller and yell "Contact!" ? Yeah, that's the one. Out pilot, Jimmy Boyd, consoled us that at least every one sat in first class.


So there I was sitting nervously in a little plane, waiting for our turn to take the runway. The takeoff was relatively smooth, but in a small plane you can feel all the little movements. Whenever the pressure changed due to a rise in altitude, Little Plane That Could jerked a little, causing my stomach to churn, my head to tilt, and my eyes to rapidly search for a parachute (there were none, but there life jackets, how comforting). Boysen, an aerospace engineer, who assured me that it was *probably* safe with a counter-argument "How you know your car is safe?", gets usually airsick. Just puke it out, and you'll be fine, he suggested. Ah, just like getting plastered after having a notorious night of drinking - vomit will set things right.

Nice view!
Back to the flight, we finally reached our desired altitude to properly view the crater of Mount Pinatubo. This sure beats a 2-day trek! From the meandering lahar flows that spark contrast with the lush green foliage of the mountains, to the crater lake that was semi-dark from all the sulfur, it was definitely a sight to behold. There are a lot more pictures, but I'd like to think that I'm considerate for non-DSL connections (us, mainly). I just did not feel awe at the sight, but also sadness; I offered a moment of silence to remember all the people who were displaced, killed, lost, from the events that were borne of the fury of Pinatubo.

Lahar flows... There's probably more pictures to upload in my Flickr account.

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