A perfect timing indeed when Sulit.com.ph booked an out of town after the Philippine Presidential Polls, May of 2010. After a month long preparation, it is time to see nature.
Going to the airport at 3:00 am is quite difficult specially for a lazy person like me since during that time I was staying on my cousin’s house in Caloocan. It would be better that I sleep over my office mate’s house nearby Taguig. Thanks to Kuya Jemar who whole-heartily granted my request.
I started preping things up early Thursday morning around 2:00am, and arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 earlier. It was a 6:00am flight so better be early than sorry. Too excited on my first time to travel via plane!
Arrival at Pili Domestic Airport
All 25 persons boarded in time via Cebu Pacific. It was just a 45-minute ride from Manila to Pili Domestic Airport, Camarines Sur.
I thought our travel ends there. Past 7:00 am and we are all in a van to take us to Sabang Port. There were two (2) 12-seater compressing 25 people.
We had our first stop over in Bigg’s Diner, Pili to have some light snacks. It was a quite a long trip to Sabang port. But we really had a nice view of majestic Mayon volcano from a distance. I felt that I returned back to our province. The view is spectacular!
After a 2-hour trip, we finally reached Sabang port around 10:00am. Had a little rest while we wait for our boat. It was a motorized boat that can accommodate 40 people. We had all our baggage put beneath the seats to be more comfortable.
Off to Caramoan Port
Tiring but we had a relaxing view of blue water, Mayon volcano and neighboring islands. Sea wave is not forgiving making some of my office mates panic. But for me it is an adventure since I am an expert rider of any sea transport.
Waves of the sea
It was past 11:00am when we finally reached Caramoan port, our final destination before transferring via land transport. It was just like traveling in a deserted place. Road is rugged and isn’t even asphalted or concrete made. The driver many times had to stop on terrain. After one (1) more hour ride on a jeepney, (we hired 2 actually to get us to beach front) we’ve reached Rex’s Tourist Inn, late in the afternoon. Food is ready that time making us eat all we can. Locals served us seafood, crabs, veggies and pork.
Arrival at Rex’s Tourist Inn beach front
After a tummy-filling lunch, we had some siesta, wrap ups and room assignments. I was lucky that we were only three (3) in the room making it much comfortable to sleep. We started island hopping after our siesta. First stop is Gota. Unfortunately we were not allowed to step into the island since Survivor TV series shoot is commencing. There were even patrol boats to and fro the open sea securing the place.
Literally the island was guarded! So t he “crew captain” decided to hop into another island. I would describe this as a hidden paradise! White sand and crystal clear water! All nature scenic place. We use all our energy swimming, playing with the sand, exploring the island (though there were restricted areas) and enjoying nature.
At 5:00pm we headed back to beach front, diner was served and it’s party again. There are a number of beer, wine and other beverages for 25 person, made all drunk =D
Group picture at the Island
It isn’t an island hopping if it is just an island to go. Continuing to another island that is! Next stop is quite distant from the first. We prepared earlier the following day for our next pitstop. It took an hour to reach our destination, though the view is still breath taking. Temperature at highest (30-40 degrees) made our skin boil.
Arrival the the “Cave”
We’ve landed at low tide that made us walk under the scorching heat but didn’t made us stop. It’s a go go! (5 kilometer walk that was). A tummy packed lunch was delivered while we were at the island after some hours of waiting. It was fish “adobo” (cooked in soy sauce) and rice, really filled our hunger and thirst…
A close encounter with nature was also experience with a sea urchin. Actually a “trip” by my office-mate suddenly turned in to chaos. Advised the stupid guy not to touch the thing yet didn’t follow. Yeah! the thing pinched his fingers and it hurts. Great heavens!
Porcupine vs sea urchin
Almost 3:00 in the afternoon and it is time to proceed with the next destination. It was an hour boat ride to another island but since it is getting dark, the captain just advised to make the island visit quick until 5:00pm.
I once experienced a hundred steps up to a grotto when I was a kid. This one is 2 times more! Welcome to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in a remote area in Brgy. Tabcon, Caramoan, Camarines Sur!
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary statue
It is a man-made statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary rising 3,000 ft. above see level. WARNING: person with heart disease is not required to climb up. It is a steep climb of 45 degrees up having a 245 steps reaching the Grotto. Halfway we are so exhausted. Good thing somebody brought bottled water that refreshed our energy. Finally we’ve made it to the top! View is spectacular. A panoramic view of Caramoan islands can be seen from up above. Really breathtaking.
View from the top
Descending is far more difficult than going up. One wrong move can instantly bring you down in seconds. Steel railings are installed as guide yet we were still cautious to avoid falling down.
Group at the peak
After descending, we’ve proceed a nearby parish. Actually the other half of the group didn’t joined the climb and we were surprised that actually the locals offered us some snacks after we’ve finally regrouped. [Parish name] wholeheartedly accommodated us. After some snacks, the “captain” finally gave us a go to head back to our lodging time since it is getting dark already.
Around 4:30pm the boat started engine screaming, we are going back. I had a nice view of the sunset when I decided to be on the rear of the boat, and my ears are already immune with the noise coming out from the engine.
Sunset at Caramoan
About 6:00pm, and it is dark, we are still in the middle of the sea. No lights just 3 persons maneuvering the boat, and the 25 aboard. We just hit a fish fence forcing the “captain” to a full engine stop. All scream, except me who is relaxed watching what’s going on. And the boat hit second and third time. Finally we’ve made it to shore, there supposedly is an after party but everyone is tired and thankful that the boat didn’t tipped off else we may be arriving unhappy.
Sunrise at Caramoan
Early morning, the following day, it is time to prepare for our departure.
Last shots before leaving
We had a nice breakfast, fried rice, fish and eggs. I took the opportunity to capture remaining view in my Kodak C13 camera.
Night or day Caramoan Islands don’t change. 100% refreshing and relaxing, nature’s best that is.