I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but we had a really kick ass day at Pinatubo.
By the end of the day, we’d trekked for a total of seven hours in humid weather, charged recklessly through muddy terrain on monstrous 4 x 4s, swum in a mineral-filled volcano crater and then proceeded to sun ourselves (and our clothes) dry on the trek to our bus back to Manila.
Added to the 24 hours or so since we had a shower, at some point during the day, even I had to concede that we did not exactly smell like a bed of roses.
You see, one of the biggest arguments Jo and I often have revolves around the issue of smell. Jo, after decades of intense training at being a female, is able to whiff out a day-old sock from two doors down.
I, like many of my counterparts, lack the ability to detect a year-old sock even if we were wearing them. By counterparts, I mean other guys who cannot smell.
I believe that this is a evolutionary development that arised from the millennia-old “Whomever Runneth Outteth of Clean Underwear First Needeth to do the Laundry” war. No prize for guessing who was the winner in this conflict. We promptly proceeded to take away the “eth” from the end of all words. Now you know.
Like I said, somewhere along the way, even I thought that we smelt “funkier than a mosquitoes’ tweeter”.
You can understand why we were at least a little hesitant about meeting up with Nina from Just Wandering upon our return to Manila on this particular day. Nina had been invaluable in providing information when we were planning our trip through the Philippines and one of the things we definitely wanted to do in Manila was to meet up with her.
We were hoping she would like us, and not run in the opposite direction holding her nose.
To be fair, we did warn her that we smelled less than pleasant. She took that in stride and did not even flinch when we met up with her.
We went to Abe’s for some authentic Filipino food. Any misgivings we still had about the taste of Filipino cuisine was thrown out along with any care we had about how the other patrons in the classy restaurant would perceive the two foul smelly, muddy ragmuffins in their midst.
It made Jo NOT care.
The food was that good.
To top off the night, Nina sent us off with a care package complete with the “Best of” of Filipino snacks. We were touched beyond belief.
It proved to us yet again that travelling is one of the best ways to forge unexpected friendships with random strangers. Friendships that are surprisingly strong. Friendships that transcend borders such as race, language, religion, nationality and smell.
Sidenote: Do check out Nina’s AWESOME (and multiple-award winning) blog at “Just Wandering”. Also her latest project PHL360° that showcases the various too gorgeous-for-words travel destinations in Philippines through the eyes of Philippines’ own celebrity bloggers.