Archive for the 'Philippines' Category

Day 21: Manila – Home

Mid-morning, corner of Ponte and Pasong Tirad Streets, Makati, Manila. The two nights we spent in Manila at the beginning and end of our trip were just a short way down the street from here.

Mid-morning, corner of Ponte and Pasong Tirad Streets, Makati, Manila. The two nights we spent in Manila at the beginning and end of our trip were just a short way down the street from here.

Pasong Tirad Street, Manila

Pasong Tirad Street, Manila.

Tricycle driver, Makati, Manila

Tricycle driver, Makati, Manila.

Rooster and bicylee. Ponte St, Makati, Manila

Rooster and bicyles. Ponte St, Makati, Manila.

Kids, Makati, Manila.

Kids, Makati, Manila.

Boy washing. Everything happens on the street here. Makati, Manila

Boy washing. Everything happens on the street here. Makati, Manila.

Woman wasihng clothes. Makati, Manila.

Woman and chicken. Makati, Manila.

Sucks to be a duck in Manila.

Sucks to be a duck in Manila.

Jeepney

Jeepney.

Fish market, Makati, Manila.

Fish market, Makati, Manila.

I'm not sure if this was guy baulking at me, or the quality of the fish...

I'm not sure if this was guy baulking at me, or the quality of the fish...

Homeward bound.

Homeward bound.

The final leg.

The final leg.

Return to the Land of Mountains.

Day 19: El Nido (boat trip 2)

On our last day at El Nido we went for a second boat trip, to some further-flung islands in the bay.

On our last day at El Nido we went for a second boat trip, to some further-flung islands in the bay.

Rock on the flanks of Matinloc Island.

Rock on the flanks of Matinloc Island.

Somewhere on Matinloc.

Somewhere on Matinloc.

Another swimming/snorkelling spot.

Another swimming/snorkelling spot.

More rock than you can shake a Hilti at...

More rock than you can shake a Hilti at...

Intestines from a pig (i think), not sure, but I ate them anyhow. Yum.

Intestines from a pig (i think), not sure, but I ate them anyhow. Yum.

Bakery treats - don't be fooled by colourings and different shapes - they all taste identical. Although the small 'breasty-like' ones with a single red spot have nice coconut stuff in them.

Bakery treats - don't be fooled by colourings and different shapes - they all taste identical! Although the small 'breasty-like' ones with a single red spot do have nice coconut stuff in them.

Tricycles, Hama Street, El Nido.

Tricycles, Hama Street, El Nido.

Serona Rd, El Nido.

Serona Rd, El Nido.

Serona Rd, El Nido.

Serona Rd, El Nido.

Day 17: El Nido (Cadlao Is.)

We had some postcards to send.

We had some postcards to send.

What better to do after 4 days in a row in the saddle than paddle out to a desterted beach and listen to your ipod in the sand.

What better to do after 4 days in a row in the saddle than paddle out to a deserted beach, go for a snorkel, and listen to your ipod in the sand. (Photo: Hana)

Looking back across to El Nido bay.

Looking back across to El Nido bay.

Cool trees around.

Cool trees around. View across Bacuit Bay.

Tree and limestone boulder

Tree and limestone boulder.

Chilling on Cadlao island.

Chilling on Cadlao island.

Day 11: Sipalay – Dumaguete

Sugar Beach, sans bike

Sugar Beach, sans bike.

Not far out of Sipalay we ground our way up a short steep climb. My 10-year old drivetrain was starting skip really badly. It had slowly been dying, but not we were faced with having to replace it right away, before we hit the hills of Palawan.

Not far out of Sipalay we ground our way up a short steep climb. My 10-year old drivetrain was starting to skip really badly. It had slowly been dying, but now we were faced with having to replace it right away, before we hit the hills of Palawan.

At the

At the bottom of the hill we cruised into Hinoba-an, and there it was - a likely looking bike shop (bikes are popular in the Philippines, but are usually in disrepair). Looked like it had Shimano parts too, and we had just enough pesos left ... (Photo: Hana)

At the bottom of the hill we cruised into Hanoba-an, and there it was - a likely looking bike shot (bikes are popular in the Philippines, but are usually in total disrepair). About an hour later we rolled back out of the shop with a new mid-range Shimano drivetrain on my bike, costing a grad total of NZ$60 - bargain!

About an hour later we rolled back out of the shop with a new mid-range Shimano drivetrain on my bike, costing a grand total of NZ$60 - bargain! The guys in the shop were stoked for the business and helped me transfer it all over. (Photo: Hana)

Spot the dog.

Spot the dog.

Hana chatting to villagers on the road between Hinoba-an and Bayawan. Most of was gravel, but we managed to knockout the 92km that day pretty fast.

Hana chatting to villagers on the road between Hinoba-an and Bayawan. Most of it was gravel, but we managed to knock out the 92km that day pretty fast.

70-year-old guy in same village.

70-year-old guy in same village.

Planting rice - got to be back-wrecking work.

Planting rice - got to be back-wrecking work.

Rice and grain shop at Basey. We were right out in the wops here and I think tourists rarely pass this way. We attracted heaps of stares here, and people were really shy. Makes you feel quite self conscious, especially with a big camera round your neck.

Rice and grain shop at Basey. We were right out in the wops here and I think tourists rarely pass this way. We attracted heaps of stares, and people were really shy. Makes you feel quite self conscious, especially with a big camera round your neck.

We stopped at chatted to this village tailor for a while. His sewing machine was treadle operated.

We stopped and chatted to this village tailor for a while. His sewing machine was treadle operated - cool! He and his wife were another couple that seemed so happy, with so little, that you really do wonder about the gig the Western world is on.

After 92km of mostly gravel road from Sipalay we hit Bayawan tired and dirty. We needed to be getting a ferry to Cebu the next day, so to make up time we caught an early evening bus the last couple of hours to Dumaguete.

After 92km of mostly gravel road from Sipalay we hit Bayawan tired and dirty. We needed to be getting a ferry to Cebu the next day, so to make up time we caught an early evening bus the last couple of hours to Dumaguete.

Day 8: Idio – San Jose

The highway out of Idio was smooth and rolling. With a 120km day ahead of us we hit the road early and stopped for a breakfast of bananas and bread at the first decent shop.

The highway out of Idio was smooth and rolling. With a 120km day ahead of us we hit the road early and stopped for a breakfast of bananas and bread at the first decent shop. In the background horizon you can see the coastline we ride rode the previous day.

Funeral procession - Phillipines style. We got cheered and waved as we rode past this happy bunch. We were surprised how many funerals we saw - but in a country of 90 million people you are bound to see a few!

Funeral procession - Phillipines style. We got cheered and waved as we rode past this happy bunch. We were surprised how many funerals we saw - but in a country of 90 million people you are bound to see a few!

Probably my favourite cycling photo from the trip. Going places on a deserted highway... We crossed a lot of wide river beds and bridges like this. Judging by the size of the river beds and some of the damage we saw the rivers clearly flood the whole valleys during typhoons.

Probably my favourite cycling photo from the trip. Going places on a deserted highway... We crossed a lot of wide river beds and bridges like this. Clearly full on torrents when the river floods during typhoons.

Not sure what this guy was making - part of a boat maybe? He was old as the hills.

Not sure what this guy was making - part of a boat maybe? He was old as the hills.

Laundry out to dry on the road side.

Laundry out to dry on the road side.

Hana)

This bridge was about 500m long and had a few marginal dwellings in the riverbed underneath. These guys had built up a couple of stories, to reach the bridge, and then made a cool entry portal from the bridge into the top of their hut. Like a tree house for big kids. (photo: Hana)

Flood damage from Typhoon Frank - and probably a few others - underneath the bridge.

Flood damage from Typhoon Frank - and probably a few others - underneath the bridge. Yes - that is a truck!

Another clever - but terrifying in a flood - home.

Home Sweet Home - must be terrifying in a flood...

Rolling on down the road - near Patnongan I think.

Rolling on down the road - near Patnongon I think.

We dozens of these beasts, usually wallowing in a nearby river or mudhole, every day.

We saw dozens of these beasts, usually wallowing in a nearby river or mudhole, every day.

Want to watch a cockfight in Patnongan? This is where you go.

Want to watch a cockfight in Patnongan? This is where you go.

Flood damaged road. Quite a few houses had been taken out here - and the termac had been swept off the road in a long strip and deposited 100m downstream.

Flood damaged road. Quite a few houses had been taken out here - and the tarmac had been swept off the road in a long strip and deposited downstream.

We were well stoked to reach San Jose de Buenavista after 122km and six hours in the saddle. Fortunately the money machine was online too so we got cashed up. This photo's taken on the beach just outside our lodgings for the night.

We were well stoked to reach San Jose de Buenavista after 122km and six hours in the saddle. Fortunately the money machine was online too so we got cashed up. This photo is taken on the beach, outside our lodgings for the night.

I wouldn't want to have been in these nipa huts when Typhoon Frank hit town...

I wouldn't want to have been in these nipa huts when Typhoon Frank hit town...

We were pretty hungry campers after our long day in the saddle so we caught a tricycle (this one was notably flash) into town and hit the best restaurant we could find. After three meals between us we went in search of dessert.

We were pretty hungry campers after our long day in the saddle so we caught a tricycle (this one was notably flash) into town and hit the best restaurant we could find. After three meals between us we went in search of dessert.

Chow King delivered the dessert in the form of Halo halo - a funny mixture of ice, fake fruit jelly bits, sweet beans and icecream. Pretty tasty.

Chow King delivered the dessert in the form of Halo halo - a funny mixture of ice, fake fruit jelly bits, sweet beans and icecream. Pretty tasty.

Day 7: Caticlan – Idio

Hana at top of one of the sweetest descents of the trip - a smooth, steep concrete road that snaked down through the jungle, taking us back to sea level.

Hana at the top of one of the sweetest descents of the trip - a smooth, steep concrete road that snaked down through the jungle, taking us back to sea level.

At the bottom of the hill we rolled into Libertad, another cool wee town split by a river. We'd were getting very short of pesos and went in search of a place to exchange some US dollars.

At the bottom of the hill we rolled into Libertad, another cool wee town split by a river. We were getting short of pesos and went in search of a place to exchange some US dollars.

The Western Union shop in town didn't exchange US notes, and we were faced with riding 50km or more with only enough pesos left for a couple of bananas. A local guy had shown us the Western Union and offered to escort us down to a shop that might be into doing some sort of exchange. Fortunately the shop came to the party, and we had stuff to eat and drink again.

The Western Union shop in town didn't exchange US notes, and we were faced with riding 50km or more with only enough pesos left for a couple of bananas. A local guy had shown us the Western Union and offered to escort us (by motorbike) down to a shop that might be into doing some sort of exchange. Fortunately the shop came to the party, and we had stuff to eat and drink again.

Philippine-style cemetery. The caskets are all above ground and stacked in a cluttered but organised fashion. When you enter the cemetery you are towered over by wall of coffins.

Philippine-style cemetery. The concrete caskets are all above ground and stacked in a crazy fashion, making lots of coffin corridors.

Soon after Libertad the road turned into a rough dirt track and wound its way around a really nice part of the coast. Excellent riding.

Soon after Libertad the road turned into a rough dirt track and wound its way around a really nice part of the coast. Excellent riding.

Small fishing village. We road past villages like this all morning.

Small fishing village. We rode past villages like this all morning.

Woman selling yellow fin tuna on the side of the road. She was chopping big steaks off it and selling them to a small crowd of villagers.

Woman selling yellow fin tuna on the side of the road. She laughed at me taking photos of it, but is holding the tail back on here for the picture.

Kids at one of the villages we stopped in down the coast.

Kids at one of the villages we stopped at along the coast. Once they get over their shyness the kids in the Philippines loved posing for photos.

Soon after this we reached Pandan and got back onto sealed road, busting out 82 km in total by late afternoon.

Soon after this we reached Pandan and got back onto sealed road, busting out 82 km in total by late afternoon.

Our trusty steeds. Pandan, Antique.

Our trusty steeds. Pandan, Antique.

We'd heard that there might be somewhere to stay at Sebaste, but on arrival discovered it was tiny, with not a resort or hotel in sight. Asking at the local 'Pulis', they suggested we go back up the road to Idio, and ask the buranguay captain (like a local mayor) about a place to stay. Eventually we tracked down the right guy and he and his village generously let us sleep in some old offices (back left of photo) for the night. Dinner in the local, dirt floored, eatery that night was interesting (cold fatty meat chunks and super-dry salted fish with cold rice).

We'd heard that there might be somewhere to stay at Sebaste, but on arrival discovered it was tiny, with not a resort or hotel in sight. Asking at the local 'Pulis', they suggested we go back up the road to Idio, and ask the barangay captain (like a local mayor) about a place to stay. Eventually we tracked down the right guy and he and his village generously let us sleep in some old offices (background of photo) for the night, providing us with bedding and a shower. Dinner in the local, dirt floored, eatery that night was interesting (cold fatty meat chunks and super-dry salted fish with cold rice).

Before dinner we walked down to the beach for a swim. Villagers live literally just above the high tide line right along this coast. As usual there were kids everywhere - massively excited to see a white couple.

Before dinner we walked down to the beach for a swim. Hundreds of thousands of people live in bamboo huts literally just above the high tide line right along this coast. As usual there were kids everywhere - massively excited to see a white couple.

Antique, the western province of Panay, was hit pretty hard by Typhoon Frank. Several times during the day we had seen shipping containers washed up on the coast, and it turned out they had come off a container ship that had sunk during the storm. Apparently it had over 100 on board! The containers that washed up all contained goods (food mostly) and this had been divided up equally among the villagers whose beach it happened to wash up on. The kids thought it was an awesome plaything.

Antique, the western province of Panay, was hit pretty hard by Typhoon Frank. Several times during the day we had seen shipping containers washed up on the coast, and it turned out they had come off a container ship that had sunk during the storm. Apparently it had over 100 on board! The containers that washed up all contained goods (food mostly) and this had been divided up equally among the villagers whose beach they happened to wash up on. The kids thought it was an awesome plaything.

Coastal village, Antique.

Coastal village, Antique.

That night we finally witnessed a decent sunset. With lots of cloud in the sky, monsoon sunsets can be mindblowing.

That night we finally witnessed a decent sunset. With lots of cloud in the sky, monsoon sunsets can be mindblowing.

Departure – Arrival

a 9hr flight; 14 hours at Changi Airport, Singapore; and then another 3hr flight to Manila.

Leaving Christchurch with a bike and two panniers each - the way to travel! So on the 3rd July Pete dropped us at Christchurch airport and we began the long journey to Manila: a 9hr flight; 14 hours at Changi Airport, Singapore; and then another 3hr flight to Manila.

In Singapore we joined the legions of spaced out travellers who drift around the gigantic airport and after much persistence (and a couple of hours of sleeping on the floor) we managed to get ourselves a room in the transit hotel for a few hours sleep before the final leg to Manila.

In Singapore we joined the legions of spaced out travellers who drift around the gigantic airport and after much persistence (and a couple of hours of sleeping on the floor) we managed to get ourselves a room in the transit hotel for a few hours sleep before the final leg to Manila.

The mega-airport.

The mega-airport.

Arrival in Manila. Shortly before we left NZ typhoon Frank had reaped havoc in the Philippines - causing widespread flooding and capsizing a number of large ships - including the much publicised ferry tragedy that drowned 800 people. Thoughts lingered of monsoon deluges, typhoid outbreaks, road damage, and really not knowing a whole bunch about the regions we were going into.

Arrival in Manila. Shortly before we left NZ typhoon Frank had reaped havoc in the Philippines - causing widespread flooding and capsizing a number of large ships - including the much publicised ferry tragedy that drowned 800 people. Thoughts lingered of monsoon deluges, typhoid outbreaks, road damage, and really not knowing a whole bunch about the regions we were going into.

Francis Gumapec and Megan McNeill (an Aussie living in Manila with her Filipino husband Mike). Francis met us at the airport, took us to her place and made our arrival there really easy.

Francis' place, Makati, Manila. Through couchsurfing we had made contact with a couple of locals: Francis Gumapec and Megan McNeill (an Aussie living in Manila with her Filipino husband Mike). Francis met us at the airport, took us to her place and made our arrival there really easy.

Makati, Manila. Just down the road from where we were staying. It's so much better having a local to stay with than the anonyminity of a hotel. We were leaving the next day anyhow - so with Francis, and later in the evening Megan and Mike we made the most of our time there and explored a tiny bit of Manila.

Makati, Manila. Just down the road from where we were staying. It's so much better having a local to stay with than the anonyminity of a hotel. We were leaving the next day anyhow - so with Francis, and later in the evening Megan and Mike we made the most of our time there and explored a tiny bit of Manila.

Downtown Manila.

Downtown Manila.

Firearms anyone?

Firearms anyone?

Hana, Mike and Megan.

Hana, Mike and Megan. We met Mike and Megan through couchsurfing.


Welcome to VeloTour

This blog's about a three week cycle touring trip in the Philippines in July 2008. Check out the introduction.

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