Earth Hour

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Northern Trip (Last Part )

Along the way to Pagudpud, we passed through several towns that seemed deserted.  Maybe it was because there were no lampposts in most of the streets that we passed through during our trip.  We arrived in Pagudpud a little before 9 in the evening. and spent the night at my brother in law's house. 

It felt good to wake up in the morning without the usual sounds of a busy city.  We walked a few steps from the house and admired the view.  The skies were clear and the rice fields were green.

The mountains were dark blue from afar. On our way back to the house for breakfast we found some of the kids riding a carabao.  I haven't tried riding on a carabao and have no plans of doing so.  I've tried riding a horse before though, when I was still studying in UPLB.

After having breakfast, we went to the beach and enjoyed the white sands of Saud Beach.   The water is still clear and the sand, still clean. Hopefully, the place will remain in good condition as it is today although efforts are now being made to promote it as an alternate destination to Boracay.

The waves were a bit rough that day though. In fact, I almost lost my flip flops when one big wave hit the shore and swept to the place where I left them.  Luckily, a second wave hit again and returned my slippers.

After soaking in the crystal blue waters of the beach, we went to another must see part of Pagudpud, the Patapat Aqueduct.  It's one of the longest aqueducts in the country.  Something else caught our sight though.  There was a ship stranded in the rocky shores of the sea.  There was nobody around to ask what the ship was doing there but it was such an eerie sight.

We also passed by the Bantay Abot Cave. It was such an awesome display of nature's power of creation. A large whole was carved by the sea on the side of a hill.  From afar it looked like a giant whale washed ashore. We had to carefully go down the rocky shore because the concrete stairs and railings were reportedly damaged by the typhoon Pepeng.

We spent another night in Pagudpud and left the following morning for Manila. Since my sister did not join us the previous day, we had to go back and visit the Patapat Aqueduct and the Bantoy Abot Cave again.  It seemed that the places took on another appearance but maybe it was because of the morning light which made the place looked softer.

Along the way, we passed by the now famous Bangui Wind Farm.  This energy producing project of the provincial government reportedly provides some 70% of the province's requirement.  The beach where it's located is also very nice to see although the waves were very strong when we were there.

We also stopped by the centuries old parola at Cape Bojeador in Burgos.  The lighthouse found on top of the hill was still functional until late last year but something broke and the spare part has not arrived yet when we were there.  The caretaker even said that he doesn't want to spend the night there because of some ghostly visits.

The sight from the balcony of the lighthouse was fabulous, it looked out to the South China Sea and the deep blue color of the ocean was so relaxing and calming.  I didn't go up the lighthouse though because of the spiral staircase.  I don't really know why I am afraid of spiral staircases.

When we got to Laoag before lunch time, we bought some longganiza for our baon in Manila.  After this, we went back to Vigan to visit the house where Padre Burgos was born.  It was not open when we were there three days ago but this time it was open.

I was disappointed with the house though.  It was in total disrepair.  I know that those in charge of maintaining the place wanted to preserve the structure as it is but the place looked like it would crumble anytime.  It needed some repairs here in there to ensure that future generations may still be able to see it.

Our last stop was the belfry in Bantay.  According to our driver, the belfry was known to change colors depending at the time of day.  It turns into fiery red or gold during sunset.  We cannot wait for the sun to go down though because we still had several hours to go to get to Manila.

After travelling non-stop, we got off at La Union to buy the dried fish we planned to buy earlier.  Once again we were mobbed by the vendors selling the dried fish.  It was total chaos with the vendors, some speaking in their local tongue, trying to outdo or may be outsell each other.

After this, it was a 5 hour drive to Manila and we arrived at around midnight, exhausted but truly enjoyed our Northern Exposure.

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