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.

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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.

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