Road from San Antonio to Legazpi
Early wakeup (6 am) – I was not planning to woke up so early but I did not feel tired.
The sea breeze, the lack of constantly trumpeting vehicles and the sound of the sea effectively regenerated me.
Thanks to this, I had time to swim in the sea and calmly pack. On foot I got to a tiny port (a regular beach with a booth collecting a port charge of 14 pesos).
In a boat I got to Allen where I caught a three-wheeler and later habal – habal to Lavezares. At the end there was another boat trip on Biri Island.
Ok. 11.20 I was already at the next port. With the habal drivers waiting there – I negotiated a half – day drive in a habal around the island for 300 pesos. I did not want to waste my time, I just left my luggage at Glenda’s B & B (1000 pesos room with a double bed, high standard, in this case the price was adequate to the proposed conditions). Regi drove me to the Turist Office, where you had to report your arrival. There I found out that I need to pay unexpected 550 pesos fee for entering the rock formations, environmental fee, for guide and motor.
As I already had a driver, the price dropped to 327 pesos (of course after a short discussion). Thus, the payment for the driver dropped to 200 pesos (the standard price in the tourist office, I mean at the port was significantly overstated). I found out that visitors have to pay for a short time and this is why there was no information about it in LP.
The tourists can only be guided by a licensed person while being on the rock formations, and in this condition, apart from Regi (without the license),the licensed guide – Ralf went with us. I could have resigned from Regi’s presence, but the deal is a deal.
There is no way to see the rock formations without showing a ticket, which can be purchased at the Tourist Office – there are few checkpoints in front of each entrance, so if you think that you will be able to trick them, you can surprise yourself slightly on the spot. Getting into the formations is only possible during low tide, a large area must be overcome wading in the water, also sandals, flip flops or bath shoes will be very desirable and useful.
I do not know exactly how long the trip lasted, but for me it was sufficient and definitely worth its’ price. The formations at the foot were smooth and polished by the waves in a higher parts and they looked like honeycombs. There were also several reservoirs created in rock hollows, where local people swam and fished. I also jumped into the water :).
After returning to the hotel, I complained to the ladies that I was surprised by the entrance fee. In response, I heard that the Polish couple the day before was also not satisfied because of this (is it our national vice :D?).
I spent the evening with a group of Filipinos who came to the island to celebrate the birthday of one of them. It was very funny, considering the fact that the group consisted of five gays and two women. I was an object of their interest at that evening : D – good to know that I also have other options 😀 😀 :D.
The whole company, including the chefs – ladies and the ladies from the reception, had a good laugh when Edgar tried to get me into a change of orientation – without success. A cheerful evening ended in the morning :).
I would forget about food – very tasty on my way. The kitchen usually serves what it has in stock. You can choose the method of preparation – my supper was grilled tuna, in the amount that I had to share with the dog – not to be eaten. The portion was too big.
Daily expenses in pesos:
- 2 port fee 40 the trip San Antonio – Allen
- 100 breakfast: two fish with rice
- 10 three-wheeler
- 70 habal – habal Allen – Lavezares
- 64 garlic, onion, 6 tomatoes, carrot, a few kalamasi
- 24 for 200g of dried fish
- 7 pencil
- 10 pen
- 80 ticket to the Biri Island with all fees
- 200 habal – habal for half a day
- 327 fee in the Tourist Office
Hangover! A penalty for good fun and lack of moderation.
After eating breakfast with some of my companions from the previous day, I went alone to the port. After 9 I was already in the boat, but I waited for a set of passengers. I could buy „Special Trip” for 590 pesos and sail alone – I was not in a hurry so I sat quietly. We set off when the boat was almost full.
I spent the whole day on the way: after reaching Lavezares I had to get a three-wheeler to the port in Allen, from there I went by ferry to Matnog (I found myself again on Luzon), there I caught a bus to Daraga, and finally a three-wheeler to Legazpi. I found myself in the hotel room at 21 o’clock – I think it was a good time, considering that everywhere I was waiting:
1 hour in Allen – for the boat to leave
1 hour on the ferry in Matnog – the port was closed due to checking the area after a bomb explosion
1h at the station in Matnog – waiting for the bus to leave – the rest of the route passed almost without any problems.
There was also an incident with a child on the bus. The newborn lost the consciousness. The mother started panicking, fortunately there was an older man who took matters into his own hands and got the whole situation under control. The mother calmed down, the child regained consciousness, but the awareness that in the event of any accident there is no point to count on the help of the doctor still remained.
In Legazpi, all cheap accommodation was occupied. There were only expensive options, unfortunately I had no choice and I had to stay in an air-conditioned hotel with hot water – for the first time since I arrived to the Philippines, I had it. Just then it was not needed – outside it was more than 30 ° C, so I set the air conditioning at 27 ° C. A few days earlier I was surprised by Monica living in Siqujor that she sleeps in such temperature, but I quickly got used to these temperatures and below 26 ° C was just cold for me.
Nobody will tell me that traveling on their own is not pleasant :).
Daily expenses in pesos:
- 2065 room, a massive dinner, a lot of beer and breakfast
- 100 Biri – Lavezares trip
- 25 three-wheeler Lavezare – Allen
- 120 ferry Allen – Matnog
- 25 port fee
- 75 water + sprite on the ferry
- 30 3 boiled eggs 30 water
- 250 bus Matnog – Legazpi (actually I got out in Daraga)
- 50 food while being on the way
- 1.170 room in Hotel Liatoris – breakfast included
- 53 Halo halo
- 90 – 6 liters of water