Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ilocos in 48 hours

Last weekend, I had this intense, almost pathological need to be on a bus to anywhere. So before I set out for work last Friday, I packed my bag and my camera, bloghopped about possible destinations doable in one weekend, and decided to set out for the Ilocandias.

At 5PM, after a long day at the hospital, I shed off my white coat and my office attire, donned my favorite travel pants and slippers, and set out for another healing journey. For adventure seekers, here's my travel itinerary:

7PM - Leave for Pagudpud (GV Florida Bus with its terminal along Lacson St. in Sampaloc. Fare: P700)

7AM - Arrive at Pagudpud Public Market; Take a trip to Saud Beach for accommodations.
8AM - Start tour. They have standard tricycle rates in Pagudpud: P600 for South (Burgos, Bangui, etc) and P600 for north (Pagudpud areas). Left my backpack at the resort in Saud. I haggled and haggled until the price for an overnight stay was reduced from P1000 to P600.
9AM - Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Burgos, Ilocos Norte. This was the best sight so far. My tour guide was wise in making this the first leg of our tour. The sun wasn't so hot yet and the place was isolated. I could enjoy the view in quiet and take pictures without other tourists around.
10:30AM - Cape Bojeador, Burgos. I spent several minutes talking to Kuya Celso, the 4th generation lighthouse keeper.
11:30AM - Bangui Windmills, Bangui. The famous Ilocos Norte landmark.
12:30PM - Kabigan Falls. The obscure site can be reached after a 20 - 30 minute trek across farmlands and semi-forested trails.
2:30PM - Patapat Viaduct. This is an engineering feat during the Marcos era.
3:30 PM - Timmagtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, Mairaira Beach (Blue Lagoon)
4:30PM - Back at Saud, snack at a nearby restaurant, freshen up, have several beers, watch the sunset (that never came in my case, because of an afternoon rain), sleep

5:30AM - Walk along Saud Beach
7:30AM - Back at Pagudpud Public Market; Take a bus to Laoag
9:30AM - Walk around Laoag, eat empanada, take photos
10:30AM - Jumped into a jeep bound for Paoay. Paoay Church. Missed out on the lake because tricycle drivers tried to rip me off by demanding exorbitant fees. Besides, the sun was already burning hot.
11AM - Batac for Marcos Museum. Seeing him mummified in that glass coffin was eerie and strange.
11:30PM - Stayed at the sidewalk in Batac to catch a bus to Vigan.
2PM - Arrived in Vigan. Took a calesa ride around the city. For more alta-ness. Heritage Village, Vigan Bell Tower.
4PM - Took a Partas bus to Manila.

Total expenses: P4.5K (all in)

I was in the hospital by 12 midnight for a conference at 8AM. By 1AM, I was typing at my laptop cramming for a report the next morning.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Fisherman's net and the windmills of Bangui

The windmills in fish-eye

Cape Bojeador, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Patapat Viaduct, Pagudpu, Ilocos Norte

Heritage Village, Vigan Ilocos Sur.

The famous longganisa of Vigan

To all aspiring solo travelers out there (the females, especially): TRAVELING SOLO IS DOABLE! Do an "Eat, Pray, Love". But be careful with the love part. When you travel alone, you won't necessarily find a man, but you will certainly get to love - yourself and the world around you.


Ola said...

I have just discovered your blog. I completly share your need to travel:) nice pictures, I especially liked the fishermen's nets - very good shot!

Walking on Water said...

Hi, Ola. You should visit the Philippines soon.
I dropped by at your site but I couldn't understand anything. Your country looks awesome too!


will said...

wow ma'am jean! i've always wanted to travel by myself but first i need to get me some sweldo. will ask you for tips when that time comes!

SIU said...

love your pictures maam jean.

g_saturn said...

Ganda sa Ilocos Jean, noh? :) Carl is from Laoag and on the times that we get to visit the in-laws, hindi talaga ako nagsasawa na pumunta ng Agua Grande, Pagudpod, Paoay Church, Vigan... :)