So after a month hiatus, I’m back blogging! I am really excited to share the vacation trip I had with my family this weekend but I actually don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with telling where we went… Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur! There were eleven of us (plus a one-year old baby) during the trip so we used two cars. Our first stop was Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte which is 10 to 14 hours away from Manila, depending on the traffic. We left our NLEX stopover last Thursday at around 10PM and we were already in Candon, Ilocos Sur by 3AM. How fast, eh? By 9AM, we reached Burgos, Ilocos Norte (and our first stop which was Cape Bojeador Lighthouse).
The view was breathtaking and we were really thankful for the sunny weather. I guess the charms I had (sun nail arts, typing lots of sun in my notes) worked. 😉 However, apart from the great view, there is not much to do here since the lighthouse is closed to the public. Also, the whole structure could use a bit of restoration. It’s quite disappointing that this cultural heritage is not given much attention and care.
Our next stop in the town of Burgos was the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. My sister and I figured out that we would be walking under the blazing heat of the sun so we put sunblock all over our body.
Upon reaching the place, a lot of guides offered us horseback riding. They said that we still had to walk a loooong way before reaching the rock formation. Of course that meant additional expenses so we declined and decided to walk instead. If not for the heat of the sun and lack of umbrellas, we would have walked farther (towards the area shown in the pictures below). 😦
After a few pictures and sightseeing, we left the place and traveled to Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The place is famous for the Bangui Windmills which help generate electricity for the town. The sight of the windmills and the sea just took our breath away. “Panoramic” and “tranquil” are the two words I could think of to describe the place. Of course we could not pass the opportunity to have our pictures taken with the windmills but I had to use my Instax Mini since my DSLR battery ran out already.
We went straight to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte after the windmills so that we could check-in at the place we were going to stay. We had our reservations at Britanya Lodge which was just a hundred meters away from the beautiful Saud Beach. The owner of the lodge was very accommodating and kind enough to help us with any requests we had. However, my cousin and her family had to complain about the room they were assigned — clogged drainage in the bathroom which caused a nasty odor to spread in their room. 😯 They were transferred to another room right away but the toilet flush was not working. Good thing my uncle was able to fix it right away. The staff was very commendable but we think that maintenance of the facilities should also be prioritized.
We had lunch at a nearby restaurant. The food was just so-so. We slept afterwards since everyone was exhausted from the travel, especially my tatay and cousin who drove for us. At around 3PM, some of us decided to explore a few more spots in Pagudpud. We went to Patapat Viaduct, which is a concrete bridge elevated above sea level. Anton Diaz of OurAwesomePlanet.com further describes the viaduct as “[being] constructed to solve the problem of landslides in the area which have caused so many vehicular accidents in the past.”
After a few pictures, we went to Blue Lagoon Cove a.k.a. Maira-ira Beach. (By the way, Patapat Viaduct is farther than Blue Lagoon.) The place is as beautiful as Saud Beach. Blue Lagoon’s edge, however, lies on its sand which is whiter and finer. An entrance fee of PhP20/adult must be paid before entering the premises. Oh and before I forget, the famous Hannah’s Beach Resort is actually found along the shores of Blue Lagoon. There is also the Timmangtang Rock where you could get your picture taken. Aside from the interesting fact that it was once a hill, there is nothing interesting there.
Since travel time from Saud to Blue Lagoon is approximately 30 minutes and it was already 4:30PM, we went back to Britanya Lodge so that we could swim before the sun sets.
My uncle and tatay bought fish and shrimps and they had the staff from the lodge cooked it (of course, for a certain fee). Strolling the beach at night time is one of the things I love doing. You also get to see lots of stars as compared to when you’re in the city. I slept early that night, perhaps because of the vodka mix my cousin made for me… or I was just too tired. Our first day in Ilocos was really great and I could not help but feel excited for our next two days in the region. 🙂
Britanya Lodge: Saud Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte (http://www.britanyalodge.com/contact-us.html)
*One room for four pax is P2,500