Day 5: Sablayan – San Jose

Returning via bangka to Sablayan from Pandan island. A 91km day of rough gravel road ahead of us...

Returning via bangka to Sablayan from Pandan island. A 91km day of mostly rough gravel road ahead of us...

Bridge, Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental.

Bridge, Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental.

The road got pretty rough in a few spots. This truck was completely bogged indeep rut and a bunch of dudes were unloaded massive sacks of rice from it in 30 degree heat.

The road got pretty rough in a few spots. This truck was completely bogged in a deep rut and a bunch of dudes were unloading massive sacks of rice from it in 30 degree heat.

Another village - not sure which one.

Another village - not sure which one. We stopped and ate some burgers though.

Rice paddies, under threatening grey skies. Given it was the monsson we were really lucky to only get rained on twice (on the bikes) during the whole trip.

Rice paddies, under threatening grey skies. Given it was the monsoon we were really lucky to only get rained on twice (on the bikes) during the whole trip.

a basic wooden sledge, hauled by a water buffalo. One day we saw a whole family travelling down the road this way - with what appeared to be all their belongings.

Saw heaps of people transporting goods this way: a basic wooden sledge, hauled by a water buffalo. One day we saw a whole family travelling down the road this way - with what appeared to be all their belongings.

We were rehydrating at a wee shop when a truckload of armed police turned up. According to the guy in charge (who wouldn't let me take his photo), there was a fugitive hiding in a nipa hut just down the road who had killed 9 people. The antipated shootout didn't eventuate unfortunately and it turned out it was a case of 'mistaken identity'. Police in full DPMs with M16s and pump action shotguns were a common sight on Mindoro.

We were having a break at a tiny shop when a truckload of armed police turned up. According to the guy in charge (who wouldn't let me take his photo), there was a fugitive hiding in a nipa hut just down the road who had killed 9 people. The anticipated shootout didn't eventuate unfortunately and it turned out it was a case of 'mistaken identity'. Police in full DPMs with M16s and pump action shotguns were a common sight on Mindoro.

After a long hot day on the road we hit San Jose. It's crazy arriving in these towns after a day of pedalling on virtually deserted highways. Suddenly you are surrounded in tooting tricycles, jeepneys and taxis.

After a long hot day on the road we hit San Jose. It's crazy arriving in these towns after a day of pedalling on virtually deserted highways. Suddenly you are surrounded in tooting tricycles, jeepneys and taxis.

Riding biggish days was a neccessity for us to be able to get accomodation. Most days we'd roll into town shortly before dusk, check out the LP book - and find somewhere to stay that suited our budget. We got briefly confused in San Jose looking for the Plaza Hotel and a helpful local on a motorbike escorted us there.

Riding biggish days was a neccessity for us to be able to get accomodation. Most days we'd roll into town shortly before dusk, check out the LP book - and find somewhere to stay that suited our budget. We got briefly confused in San Jose looking for the Plaza Hotel and a helpful local on a motorbike escorted us there.

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7 Responses to “Day 5: Sablayan – San Jose”


  1. 1 Louisa June 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Hi,

    I am hoping to do something similar, but on my own, do you think there are enough hostels or rooms for me to go without a tent?

    Well done by the way
    Loux

    • 2 highlux June 18, 2009 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Louisa – yes there were plenty of budget hotels, hostels, resorts etc. We used these every night. Sometimes you are committed to a longish day between the bigger towns, but no more than 120km on our route. We used the Lonely Planet guide to choose accom most of the time.
      Have fun!

  2. 3 Jovan January 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    We did the same route, too! Thanks for the inspirations, guys!

    Here’s the link to our adventure. I think the pictures will remind you of your adventure.

    http://www.bisikleta.ph/2011/01/mindoro-bikepackers-day-two-sablayan.html

    • 4 highlux January 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Hey that’s cool – thanks for letting us know. Glad you had a good ride – it’s a beautiful country you have!
      We’re preparing now for 6-7 months riding in SW China, and then SE Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia. Looking forward to it!

  3. 5 Jovan January 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the compliment!

    Looking at your pictures it seems the roads are not as good as when we rode it last December. There were a lot of stretches that are cemented already.

    Can’t wait to read about your adventures in Southeast Asia. Hope you could post a link going to that journal when you’re done.

    Cheers!

  4. 6 asaddog April 3, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Hi, where did you stay in the entire trip? Did you stay in a motel or did you camp? I’m interested in doing in around the Philippines, I wonder if its doable to camp given a limited budget that I have. Thanks

    • 7 highluxphoto April 3, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Hi. We stayed at cheap resorts/hotels and guest houses the whole way. And met people in Manila via Couchsurfing.
      I think camping is possible, but tricky. It’s hard to know what is private/public land and there are many people around so it can be hard to get privacy. If you persevere you could do it but I think staying at the cheap accom is more relaxing.


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Welcome to VeloTour

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

I've created the blog to be a day-by-day account, but it's all based around the photos - so don't worry - we won't bore you with loads of text ... just pages of photos instead. Blogs show the most recent post first - so if it's easier, use the menu below to navigate.

All photos © Mark Watson unless credited otherwise.

Highlux on Flickr


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