Friday, April 13, 2012

The land of Lost (part 2)

After lunch at the hotel, we proceeded to the Basco Basilica. the only problem was, it was undergoing renovation so we did not have any great opportunity to take photos of the inside of the church since it was full of scaffoldings and the altar was covered. Mandy took this opportunity to teach us about portrait taking using light coming from a window. (of course having one of us as the "model")

The white and blue theme of the church reminded me of Greece. In the following days, I would see this color in most of the doors, churches and houses. (blue is a favorite door color in Batanes)

After, we proceeded to  house of artist Pacita Abad called Fundacion Pacita. (which has now been converted to a pricey hotel) I really wished we could have had the opportunity to enter the house, but at the time we went, it was fully booked and we were not allowed in. So I had to content myself to a wide shot of the house. I could really imagine the views... since it was situated on top of a cliff with views of the sea and hills on the back.

The house was made of stones and the surrounding landscaping was what I would really like what my garden would look like.

It had an "office" on the side of the road with a quaint blue swing bench. (love it!)... notice the color BLUE again

Kuya Roger, our guide, hurriedly gestured that we needed to go and I hurriedly rode the jeep to the lighthouse.. trying to catch the last rays of the sun (sunset shot hopefully)

ALAS... as with everything that day.. the sky was overcast so much there was no chance of a blazing glory of a sunset. However, the light house itself was fantastic.  We had to leave our ride at the bottom of the hill and hike up to the top where the light house was.

By the time we reaches the top, most of the light was fading and we had to scramble to get some shots of the light house ( was really really wanting a lighthouse shot with a bit of sun on the side.. *disappointment)

I like that the front of it was covered with ivy.

I decided to go on a bike ride the next day in the hope of getting a sunrise shot (bec I missed the sunset). I inquired at the hotel for bike rentals and was informed it was available at a rock bottom rate of 50 pesos ($1.5). WOW. since our schedule for the next day was not really very early, Me and my husband (me on a bike.. him, doing his training run) decided to go out early the next day at 6am (after being informed that sunrise would be 6:30am)

The weather the next day had not improved. The clothes I brought with me was for sunny weather and was greeted with cold and wet conditions. I bought a souvenier sweater at the hotel a size too big (limited choices....)
colorful boat at the dock

one of my favorite shots of the boats

little red rickety bike

the hotel itself was near a wharf where fishermen moor their boats. The ride down was scary since my bike was old and the brakes were not very good. I had to put my feet out in case I couldn't stop my momentum down the hill (whoooo.............)

I had some nice shots of the boats-- which were very interesting and colorful.

We went to the middle of the town some more, noticing the quaint houses and colorful daycare centers. Before we got very far, it started drizzling hard.I was concerned for my health, husband and camera... This is no place to get it wet nor catch a cold. I pedalled hard to get back to the hotel. My husband , the runner, was even running faster than I was peddaling (the bike was really old!)

 huff huff puff puff pedal pedal........WHEW!

Our Day 2 would take us to the island of Sabtang. a 45 min boat ride. I was told the island had a lot of interesting architecture and villages good for picture taking. The sun shone a bit when we boarded the boat and I opted to sit in front (I really like sitting in front of boats... as in my other boating adventures (see HERE). The waters were quite choppy. (which we were told was NORMAL).. some of group got really seasick and dizzy.

Coming into the view of the island, I could see the lighthouse on the top of the cliff. I whipped out my camera and started clicking like crazy while at the same time trying to keep myself INSIDE the boat (choppy choppy choppy!!!)

This is what I got....
love this shot!!!

Sabtang Island was one of the best scenic spots we went to. We went to an IVATAN village where the houses reminded me of the COTSWOLD'S in England. They were made of stone and had thatched roofs. One of the houses we visited was the oldest house in Batanes. I got to ride on top of a jeepney-- the unique filipino vehicle... (which was kinda scary since there was a chance of you falling off)

 I also need to mention that the food was great. They had specialties that even I hadn't tried before. I am sorry to say that I did not get any pictures of the food since I was too dang tired by the end of the day.

oldest house in Batanes

We had the local escargot (snails) and some Pako salad ( which was a local fern salad)-- they even served fried flying fish, which they said was a local delicacy. Believe me, the food was GREAT.

The next few days found us hiking up 45 degree hills to get to another lighthouse, the"Marlboro" country-- as they call it since it was a lot of rolling hills where you get fantastic views of the surrounding countryside and a sputtering of cows-- (I tell you, going up that hill was killer... since we were battling really strong winds-- this time, it reminded me of Scotland... with gloomy , windy, hilly conditions... but never the less, beautiful...!!!

the long - windy walk.. a bit scary really when you factor the wind
the third day, we went to a spelunking (thats rock climbing to you) adventure on the beach... going through rocks and having a time walking through low tide with waves crashing into the surf...

surf's up!!!

I loved the trip and I would really want to go back, but it would be awhile since I still have other trips planned. If you plan to go, it's really worth the trip. You won't go home disappointed.

Oh, if you want another version of this trip, click at my friend's blog HERE... I am still jetlagged from my trip to the US but I will try to find the contact numbers of Roger (the tour guide)- He was quite helpful in airline and tour rates


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...