Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #27: Come South, Cam Sur! – Long Journey To Lingating

Da Where: Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Da When: October 20-23, 2011
Da Who: Me and my partner in crusade and crime, Vin! It's his birthday! :)
Da Trivia: Day 1 for this trip was the day we have been on all forms of transportation – air, land and sea. Spell t-i-r-i-n-g! :D

The recent weeks leading up to this trip saw the country pounded by three  typhoons - Pedring, Quiel and Ramon - that left large areas flooded from the relentless rain. It was a relief when the weather forecasts started showing sun instead of rain or dark cloud images and with the words sunny, warm, and dry slipped in. No way in hell I'm getting on a small plane that will land on a small airport if I see any semblance of a rain cloud in the sky! :D

We were delayed at the runway for almost an hour because of airport traffic. Geez, hope NAIA will do something about that. :(

Flight 5J 521 bound for Naga

It is a first for me to ride an ATR-72 plane (thanks for the Piso Fare tickets, Cebu Pacific!) and land in a non-international standard airport so it was still a little surprise for me when the plane finally taxied into the Naga-Pili Airport runway. Now I know why flights get cancelled during Signal No. 1 typhoons there. :)

Hello, Bicol! :)

Wanting to save our dough (this was supposed to be a pseudo-budget trip), we walked out to the main highway from the airport arrival area and asked how we can get to SM City Naga. Two friendly Bicolanas directed us to a non-air-conditioned bus and paid PhP10.00/pax for a 20-minute ride from Pili to Naga.

Bus ride to Lagonoy

It was already noon when we finally got to the Naga Bus Terminal and asked around how we can get to Sabang. This was mistake #1, we should have taken a van straight to Sabang Port instead of the bus which took longer coz it kept picking up and dropping off passengers. Anyway, you can ride a JC or Florencia bus bound for Lagonoy for PhP58.00/pax and ask to be dropped off at San Jose. From there, get on a passenger jeep to Sabang Port for PhP11.00/pax. If pressed for time, right across the bus terminal in SM City Naga is the van terminal. They usually wait for the vans to fill up before leaving though so just weigh your transpo options and time allowance. The van ride costs PhP126.00/pax.

Native street snacks all lined up at one of the rest stops

We got to Sabang Port at 14:30 and to our disappointment, the last trip for Guijalo Port left about 30 minutes earlier. Hungry, tired and cranky, we sat down and mulled on how we'll proceed. The local boatmen in the area we're offering a smaller boat to get us to Guijalo for PhP2,000.00. Yikes, it'll blow our budget out of the water! I let Vin use his negotiating skills and he was able to haggle for PhP1,400.00 as another local passenger will join us on the boat trip. The sun was starting to set at 17:30 when we finally arrived at Guijalo Port after leaving Sabang at 15:00.

The verdant isles remind me of the Pundaquit mountain range in Zambales

Our journey wasn't over yet as we saw Kuya Henry Bien, our contact for the next boat transfer. He will take us from Guijalo to Sitio Lingating in Cabacongan, the resort where we'd be staying. Before leaving Guijalo, we bought some water, junk food and liquor since the resort we'd be staying at is in a remote area and won't have ready access to supplies. We paid PhP600.00 for the 1-hour boat ride from Guijalo to Lingating.

I have an irrational fear being in the open, deep waters sinceI don't know how to swim and that fear actually doubled when the light started to fade. Now all I can see is a vast darkness of the ocean before us and the hum of the boat motor gunning the (thankfully) calm sea to our destination. Flying fishes kept popping out of the water, glinting in the moonlight.

When the boat's tip finally touched the sandy shore, I uttered a prayer of thanks to a star-strewn sky above us. We finally got to Lingating in one piece! :)

The all-blue cabana we had to ourselves at Lingating Resort. Can fit 4 people!

Dinner was already waiting for us so after a quick wash-up (hampered only by a panicked moment when a huge spider greeted me in the bathroom and I went nuts, shrieked like crazy and jumped over all the beds while Vin chased it down with a flip-flop), we hunkered down to a delicious meal of fried lapu-lapu, steaming hot rice, veggies and fruit.

Bone-tired as we were, we ended up downing a 1.5L bottle of Emperador Light with the resort owner, Kuya Ranel, and our boatmen, Kuya Henry and Kuya Mar under a clear, night sky filled with twinkling stars. Cheers to the birthday boy! :)

Inuman sesh,probinsya-style! Happy birthday, pakner!

An hour plane ride, another 3 hours by bus, then about 4 hours by boat.

Delayed flight, missing our scheduled boat trip, going over our budget, boat ride in the darkness and a surprise arachnid welcome.

You'd think we'd have given up by now. Not just yet. ;D

Check out the rest of our CamSur adventure:

Kwentong Kaladkarin #29: Come South, Cam Sur! – Islands, Islands and more Islands in Caramoan!
Kwentong Kaladkarin #30: Come South, Cam Sur! – Wakeboarding Woes
Kwentong Kaladkarin #31: Come South, Cam Sur! – The Trip's Travel Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment