Sunday, March 27, 2011

[CARAMOAN] Going Back to Naga, Defeated

Did I enjoy my Caramoan trip? To give you an honest answer: NO, I did not. Do not worry though for it isn't because of the place itself but rather due to the weather. You book a flight to Bicol to enjoy some of its famous beaches and the sun sends some rainclouds as proxy to welcome you. That sucks, especially when it's summer! Would I have enjoyed it if it wasn't for the weather? Of course! Are you kidding? Although tourist arrivals are increasing year by year, the place is still not as crowded as Boracay. Perhaps given the existence of the Survivor franchise that regularly film there, the island gets to improve little by little to provide more tourist infrastructure while still maintaining some air of exclusivity depending on how you define the term. One can still roam the beaches freely without worrying that you might step on someone sunbathing or collecting shells. Or maybe it's just because of the rain that not a lot of people were there when I was. Another factor is its remote location more than three hours away from Naga. Still, it is a wonderful place and pretty much worth the visit.

The next day started early. It was still drizzling and I wanted to go straight to the port but the tourist guide insisted that we drop by the church where there was an ongoing mass. I asked him to just stop the tricycle in front of that centuries-old church so I could take a photo. I decided not to step inside anymore since I'd just get wet under the rain then burn once I get inside. So not cool.

I waved the tourist guide goodbye, paid the five-peso terminal fee, and immediately boarded the boat waiting at the dock. There was a boatload of visitors docking by the bay as we headed out to sea.

One tip I could give you is to get your cameras ready while on the boat, provided that it isn't raining. The vast blue ocean does not hold a monopoly of the awesome views you witness while you are on the boat’s hard seats waiting for the trip to end. The shoreline of Caramoan is verdant with a lot of trees accompanied by unique rock formations where waters change colors from dark blue to light turquoise. Halfway through the journey, you look at the side of the ocean and you'll see a small island where there seems to be an ongoing construction of Nipa huts, temporarily halted because of the heavy rains when I was there. Even San Jose’s Sabang Port offers a river/forest combo that resembles the Amazon to some extent. The place is, without a doubt, photogenic.

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