FIRST DAY: December 09, 2013 (Monday)
It was 4 in the morning when we started our journey. It was an expected long trip since we were going straight to DONSOL, SORSOGON, the farthest part of Bicol (roughly, 588 kms. away from the city! whhewww!).
We met at the pick-up point, Mcdonald’s Pioneer, Mandaluyong City. We were a party of three. All thrill-seekers, globetrotters, trippers, wanderers, fearless young women. In the name of adventures and explorations, you can count us in. I arrived first at the meeting place, then Benj, then Paj. After few minutes of exchanging pleasantries and loading baggages, we were all set. Time for Sitti, our official carrier, to be on the road, exactly on our planned 3 a.m. departure.
Let’s get it on!!!
(our facebook status when we left)
Just a coffee break in a gas station in South Luzon Expressway to charge our morning ritual, then we hit the road. 4 hours non-stop until we reached Gumaca, Quezon, we had our breakfast at the Lita’s eatery known for its famous sinigang na isda (fish stew). Of course, we had to try this.
We continued our drive, stopping only when we have to refill our gas tanks, or have our bathroom breaks, or change drivers. From SLEX (South Luzon EXpressway), we travelled through Calamba, Sto. Tomas, San Pablo, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya and Lucena. The only bad part was the drive along the next roads in Quezon area passing from Pagbilao, Atimonan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Lopez, Calauag, Sta. Elena, Tagkawayan. Too much holes and uneven pavings that we had to slow down and avoid bumps and rough parts. A lot of times, and i say A LOT, we hit unexpected deep holes in the middle of the street, and road blocks due to undergoing constructions. I was scared for the car especially the tires, but Sitti never gave up. That’s our girl!
After the grueling road hazards, we reached the gateway to Bicolandia, Camarines Norte. This was the tricky part because we have to really be careful and look for the highway not passing the “bitukang manok” (chicken intestines, because it kinda look that way, so thin!), since it was known to be a very zigzagging road, plus a very narrow and steep one. We had to choose the Rolando Andaya highway, an additional hour-drive but we don’t care, as long as it was safer. After asking directions, i think every 5 minutes, from people on the sides of the street, and making sure we were on the right track, we continued on.
(Arjaye-Paj TODA— “basta drivers, sweet lovers!haha)
We passed by the towns in Camarines Sur, Del Gallego, Ragay, Lupi, Sipocot. It was quite a long drive. Then we followed Libmanan, Pamplona, San Fernando, Milaor, Naga City, Pili. We continued on through the small towns passing to Legazpi. I remember the happiness we felt when we saw a sign stating Donsol, only 28 kilometers left. An uphill zigzag battle, but we were nearing to our destination, so you can imagine our excitement. It was already 5 in the afternoon, completing our 14 hr-ride. We headed straight to the Donsol Tourist Center, before checking in to the resort. Luckily, Ate Myra was still there to accommodate our “touristy” needs. We registered first for some activities, FIREFLY WATCHING for the night and WHALE SHARK WATCHING the next morning. I will describe them in full details on my next write-up.
Look how beautiful the sight that welcomed us!
We stayed at Amor Farm Beach Resort.
It was a pretty decent place, affordable and empty. It felt like we rented the place for ourselves, a perk during off-peak season. It was cheap also, 1,200 Philippines Pesos only, good for the 3 of us already.
It was a pretty decent place, affordable and empty. It felt like we rented the place for ourselves, a perk during off-peak season. It was cheap also, 1,200 Philippines Pesos only (roughly $27), good for the 3 of us already.
We had our dinner in their restaurant, ordering bicol’s specialties ginataan manok and bicol’s express, not that spicy, of course.
To end the night, we had one round of drinks to celebrate the successful first day while recapping the firefly watching and thanking God for all the blessings. Since we had an early wake-up call the next day, we turned the lights off and signed off for the night. Well, actually, we were knocked out! 🙂