Calayan Island

During my 4th day in Claveria, there was no way coast guard would let lampitaws sail. I engaged myself into more sleep. I also booked a hotel room in Tuguegarao because I lost hope and decided to leave the town and fly back to Manila the next day as scheduled. However, Albert and Rayn were still hopeful that we would be able to cross the sea the following day. Then I thought, I planned this trip; if I would not be able to get there… WHY THE HECK? So I stayed and cooked Tuna Spaghetti for dinner instead. Ilang araw na kasi ako nagcra-crave for pasta eh.

Sunday, February 22.

Without notice if the lampitaws would be allowed to cross the sea, I prepped just in case. After shower, I received a text message from Ms. Tessie that MV/Vynne Vynne (?) left Calayan with her Wild Berry Wine products so mostly we would be able to leave mainland that day. I immediately sent a text message to Kuya Sabino asking the same. Guess what? He didn’t reply. So I called him. He said that he was waiting for (Calayan’s) Mayor’s text/call if he would go back to the island that day but we were sure to sail!!!

Then off we went to the port and waited for few minutes before boarding the lampitaw. We had to put our bags in garbage bags because it would likely get wet along the ride

Lampitaw ni Kuya Sabino
Not so comfortable.

Luckily, there were seats available. Although, the seats were just enough for the three of us. It felt it was reserved for us as their guests. Other local passengers had to sit uncomfortably behind us. But I guess they were used to it.

We left around 7am and arrived at 12:30pm. 5 and a half hours of lampitaw ride. It was the longest boat ride I ever had experience. ‘Yung natatanaw mo na yung island, isa’t kalahating oras pa pala aabutin mo sa dagat bago mo marating! Sobrang init pagdating namin, sign na magiging maganda ang panahon sa mga susunod na araw.

When we reached Calayan’s shore, we were greeted by Kuya Jomar (not his real name as I forgot his name). We hopped on his tricycle that looked like a delivery service tricycle used here in Manila. Bam, after about 3 minutes we were already at Ms. Tessie’s Homestay. We had a short introduction and she showed us the rooms we can use. Dahil nabasa ako pagbaba ko ng lampitaw, shower muna ang inatupag ko kahit gutom na gutom na mga kasama ko.

Our lunch was sumptuous with bonus wine tasting. She brought us around her house to chill and chat more. Siguro napagod na rin ang lola niyo kaka-daldal, she let us rest then. I went out to buy detergent (running out of clothes!) and a Smart sim card (no Globe cellular reception). Our group rested for a bit and agreed to walk around at 4pm.

When we headed outside, our first goal was to find the market for us to buy bulk dried fish. Kaso habang naglalakad kami, may chumika pa sa aming Lola. Good thing though because we were walking to nowhere pala because they don’t have a market. DUHHHH! Ang mga daing na isda pala ay nilalako mostly in the morning. Kapag gusto mo naman ng fresh seafood, magpapahuli ka mismo.

Facing the sea

Since bigo kami to find a market and anyone who would sell us dried fish that afternoon, we went straight to the beach instead and waited for sunset. Doon din mismo yung daungan ng ibang lampitaw. Ang ganda ng sunset sa Calayan!!

Hi, Sun!

Cloudy lang pero the colors were amazing. The wait to get there was worth it! ‘Yung akala mo hindi mo na mapupuntahan pero, thank God.. He’s very kind, He allowed us to sail even it was too late (considering our jobs).

After witnessing a great sunset, we headed back to the homestay where we did nothing but wait for our dinner. Merong dalawang batang nagdala ng dinner namin. Syempre, seafood galore na naman! During those times, I started my cut-rice diet but every viand was soooooo goood, I couldn’t help it!

I couldn’t recall but after dinner I think we went to the grocery store to buy few snacks and other thimajings. When we got back to the homestay, Tita Tessie was there already… Chika galore again! Until she invited us to her home (few houses away from the homestay) to have some wine (mango flavor)! We were introduced to her nephew, Kuya Medi who then was our tour guide. Ms. Tessie also showed us the room where she stores her wines. It was a fun night!

We headed back to the homestay and prepped for the night because electricity will be cut at 12nn! I tried so hard to keep my eyes closed until I fell asleep. The house was old and eerie. Even Rayn was in the same room, it didn’t make me feel at ease because he was already snoring! It was even harder the following day because I decided to take a full bath with no lights but those from my phones. 😉

Cagayan Day 3: To Pagudpud

Sun was up and it was hot. We thought we had a chance but no we were wrong. Heartbreak or something else even more painful. None of our plans were happening. We were doomed.

Plan B for day 3 is to hit Pagudpud because why not, it was only a hour away from Claveria and where else could we had gone to? Nowhere but Nikita’s or town. So we prepped and off to Pagudpud via UV Express. We had to wait few minutes for the van to be filled with passengers. I sat in the passenger seat with one of my travel buds, Albert. Did I mention in an earlier post that they don’t use the airconditioner of these vans? Windows down! It was sunny and windy. It was the best UV ride I had so far!

That electric wire tho

We reached Pagudpud around 10 in the morning and it was freaking hot!!! We just hailed a tricycle to tour us around. We negotiated the tour down to P800 (from 1200) because we won’t be visiting few other tourist spots anyway.

Our first stop was Bangui Windmills. There were windmills in Pagudpud already but it was not open for tourists. So we had to cross borders and toll patrol asked us to pay for toll fee upon arriving the town of Bangui. The area we went to was not the one I went to in 2013. There were lesser people and it was quite difficult to go near the windmills. We had to slide down the sand and hike back… On my mind while walking my way up the sand then was “parang hindi naman ako umuusad! Lubog lang ng lubog.” It was stressful and truly tested my patience. Ikaw ba naman pasong paso na yung paa mo sa sobrang init ng buhangin, hindi ka pa susuko? I swear yung init, perfect na sana to sail to Calayan!

Look at that number of windmills now

Next stop was in Kabigan Falls. This was where we ordered food for lunch also. Lunch was inihaw na baboy (na matigas) + pinakbet. Our food was ready after our trek. I learned from our tour guide that there were about more than a hundred of guides! So each guide can do tour once a week or sometimes once a month!

After lunch, we went to Mairaira Cove where Hannah’s and a new dinosaur-animaly resort was located. Same area where you would find Bantay Abot Cave and Dos Hermanos islands. Kuya was very kind to drive us until the end of the cove to see Dos Hermanos. I opted not to walk farther because it was noon-sun-is-serious-scorching.

Some miss enjoying her weekend at Bantay Abot Cave
Very probinsya!

Then off to our last destination, Patapat Viaduct. In 2013, I asked our tour guide where the bridge leads to… He said Cagayan. I never thought I would get there and take that road. But no, after the bridge, it’s still Pagudpud and few more minutes before reaching Cagayan.

Can’t get enough

After the tour, Kuya drove us way past the bridge to wait for a bus. It was just less than 20 minutes of waiting and we were waving our good byes. Pagudpud is still one of my favorites.

Day 3 Expenses

P10/each – Tricycle to van terminal
P100 – Van Claveria to Pagudpud
P8.3/each (P25/tricycle) – Toll Free Bangui
P20 – Water at Bangui
P43/each (P130/group) – Guide + Fee at Kabigan Falls
P10 – Karioka
P160/each (P480 good for four) – Lunch Paluto
P20 – Environmental Fee at Mairaira Cove
P266.6/each (P800/tricycle) – Tricycle Tour
P30 – Ordinary bus to Claveria
P10 – Trike to Nikita
P5 – Water Refill
TOTAL= P682.9