The day before the trip, we actually planned to buy a new Corsa Tubeless Tire, but we decided to push through using our already vulcanized rear tire, and the aftermath of our poor decision - we were stranded for nearly two hours, waiting for the nearest vulcanizing or motorcycle shop to open.
We went to a vulcanizing shop but we decided to just buy a new one, we found this store nearby and had our tire replaced while we ate our breakfast.
DAY 1: Per Aspera Ad Astra
The store didn't have Corsa tires available to we settled for a cheaper, non-tubeless brand. Jun was not so happy about it but we don't have a choice and that's the best we could do at that moment.
We left Cainta at around 8:00 am. It was our first time to pass through the roads of MARILAQUE and it was on this part where we started to feel that freedom, of having escaped the city once more.
It was our first time to explore the South and we didn't know what to expect.
It drizzled as we approached Mabitac Laguna so we decided to stop and eat merienda on a carinderia then went on with the trip.
This is the Caliraya Hydroelectric Power Plant in Lumban Laguna.The view was just amazing from this point so we stopped to take some pictures. It was like a giant slide!
This picture was taken during one of our many stops. We took a short break to stretch our tired muscles.
There were locals stationed at certain points to guide and ensure the safety of motorists like us. Each of them was holding either a red or a green flag on one hand and the other hand? It was positioned in such a way like they were asking for money. At first, I did not believe when Jun told me about this but as we went further, I observed that all were doing the same thing. Some were old, some were very young, and some were mothers carrying babies on their arms.
What I witnessed saddened me and made me silently hope that they were getting some payment for what they do and were not just depending on the coins that were being thrown to them.
Luckily, we stopped in front of a Barangay Hall and tricycle drivers were resting under a waiting shed on the other side of the road. The oldest of them noticed that we were in need of assistance so he called one of his fellow and asked him to see how they could help us. After checking, he concluded that our tire's interior should be vulcanised and because it was brownout at that time, he used his own motorcycle and brought the interior somewhere. After about 20 minutes, he came back and fixed our tire. We thanked them and gave them a little amount for their "merienda" then went on with our journey.
It was already 3:00pm and we were sure it was impossible to follow our itenerary. So many misfortunes indeed but we didn't let them ruin this very special day. We saw this famous eatery and these delicious foods lightened up our moods.
Soon enough, upon approaching Gumaca town proper, it did happen again. So we pushed Mr. Skydrive until we found a motorcycle shop, bought a brand new interior and had a skilled mechanic install it for us.
It was just 5:00 in the afternoon but as agreed upon, we looked for a decent place and checked in to stay for the night. It was Jun's birthday so we had ourselves some treat.
Rospan Lodge and Restaurant in Lopez Quezon is a great place to stay when your budget is tight and if you're after sumptuous foods.
It was not a bad day after all. We slept soundly...ready for the next day's unpredictable journey.
Birthdays are like farting, sometimes they stink, but you still want to enjoy it, your way.
DAY 2: The Bicolandia - Uragon and Magayon's Home
Leaving the memory of yesterday's misfortunes, we left Rospan at around 4:00 in the morning and started our journey to Camarines Sur.
I took this opportunity to get a glimpse of my mom's hometown, Camarines Norte. We passed through the muddy and bumpy roads of Tagkawayan Quezon and we gave up putting on our rain gears because of the very unpredictable weather.
It was around 12:00 pm when we reached Naga CIty. It was freakin' hot riding under the heat of the sun at this time of the day so we decided to go some place where we could relax and cool down a bit, and this was were we ended up...An awesome place called PANICUASON HOT SPRING RESORT.
Therapeutic, relaxing...wow! This place was just heaven for me. The warm water soothed our tired muscles and took away all the stress of the past day.
There were pools of different temperatures to choose from. We did dare try the cold spring and it was, well, freezing cold.
Imagine yourself immersed in relaxing warm water, mountains surrounding you...complete with the colorful flowers and leaves falling from the nearby tress, so serene it would make you wanna close your eyes and savour every moment. The feeling was just wonderful.
Take this advice seriously when you plan to visit this place. When we saw this, we thought "nok-nok" was just their term for mosquitos but we were wrong. These were actually sand flies and could get really annoying when they bug you especially when you are out of the water.
Everywhere you go, make sure to follow the rules. Respect the locals, their beliefs and culture. Travelling is fun because you discover new places and meet different kinds of people. Riding is something we love to do, and something that we'll never get tired of until we get old.
We left Panicuason at around 2:00 PM and yes! We were about to visit His Highness, The majestic Mayon Volcano in Albay.
To be continued...