We had booked four nights in a nearby hotel, the Vista Al Mayon, which is centrally located and relatively low-priced. With a cab, we just needed like five minutes from the airport to the hotel and enquired by the friendly cab driver about day trips. He was registered, had a price list for day tours in the area and seemed friendly and a reliable driver so we wrote down his number. It was great that we could already check in at the hotel. The room was small but clean with TV and a refrigerator. They have a big pool which would have been a plus factor, but unfortunately, it was occupied most of the time by groups of children though and is in front of a church centre or something. If it’s a consolation, you can readily see the view of Mount Mayon.
My friend was a bit shocked when he found out that Legazpi City has a non-smoking policy in public spaces (which means everywhere outside) with high fines and the hotel had no smoking area, so he had to hide behind bushes or anywhere whenever he wanted to smoke. Although I’m a non-smoker, I just find this regulation to be a bit excessive. I badly needed a cold shower since it was so hot that day and it was perhaps the hottest week (39-40°C) we were there.
After some relaxing we stopped a passing tricycle from the main road in front of the hotel and took it to the nearby Pacific Mall, to get something to eat and do some grocery shopping. Before that, I’ve asked the woman at the counter of our pension how much the local transportation rate is. The tricycle rate should be 8 pesos for the first 4 kilometres. So a tricycle from our place to the city centre should not cost more than 60 pesos for the two of us. When we got to the Pacific Mall, I handed out a hundred peso bill, and the driver was waiting for me to get out of his tricycle. I generally don’t mind paying a bit extra knowing how difficult life could be in my home country, but if people just assume that they could get away with their tricks, I’m evidently not amused.
Back in the hotel, we asked at the hotel to summon a cab for us to finally start the sightseeing. We settled for 1.500 Pesos (24 Euro) with the cab driver for bringing us to the Cagsawa Ruins just outside of the town and later to the Lignon Hill and then back, which was like a half day tour. The Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga are what´s left of the most violent eruption of the Mount Mayon yet, which took place in 1814.
The Mount Mayon so far is the most spectacular volcano we’ve seen and were really happy to finally be there. We were actually close to being there already three years ago when a typhoon in Legazpi forced us to skip our plans in the last minute. But this time we were there outside the typhoon season that lasts roughly from June to November. You can actually also hike and climb at the Mount Mayon, but we didn´t want to, after last year there were fatalities after a minor eruption, that can happen anytime.