Friday, October 9, 2015

A (Side)Trip to the Queen City of the South [Island Hopping Part 3]

As stated in my last post, after touring Bohol, we went back to the port of Ubay to start our traverse back to Bicol. Unfortunately, due to typhoon Seniang, no ship was allowed to travel. Bongskie and I decided to settle in Ubay and wait for the storm to pass.

There was a hotel within the vicinity of the port area (I forgot the name). They had their own restaurant and had air-conditioned rooms with two beds for just 500 pesos a day(250 apiece for us). A good deal. It was still sunny that time, and we were still shaking our heads in disbelief.

Later that afternoon, the rain started to pour. Hard. We just put it in our mindset that maybe Big Bro up there wants us to rest up before travelling back. Fast forward to two days later.

The sun was finally out, and we were more than anxious (and overly rested) to go back home. We already knew that time that the first RoRo trip back to Samar was at 1pm, so we went to the port after lunch. But to our dismay, the ONLY TWO FERRIES that travel from Ubay to Bato, Leyte, were damaged by the storm. They crashed into each other while docked, causing a nasty dent on one, and the other to lose control of its main door (the one that vehicles use as bridge to get on board).

We asked the coast guard for any other port in the island that provides the same route. He told us there were none, but he said that if we REALLY wanted to go back to Luzon, we could go via Cebu in Tubigon Port, then from Cebu, there are a lot of other options to get to the island of Leyte, or even Batangas if we were really THAT desparate. To us, it was better than waiting for the repair of the two ferries which will take a couple more days at the least. The officer did not know the exact schedule of departure for that port, but it was better to stake it out there rather than in Ubay.

We travelled to Tubigon, and arrived there at around 2pm. It was a short distance but our travel was slow due to debris still spilled on the road. As we approached the counter, there was a sign that says the daily trip schedule for Cebu was at 10:30 AM. The next trip would not be 'til later tonight at 10PM. We were already muttering curses, but, there was nothing we could do about it. We passed the time until 10PM, which included a quick change-oil and tune-up in Tabilaran City.

The vessel was a fast craft, not a RoRo, but upon explaining our situation to the owner, he agreed to bring us and our bikes to Cebu, but we were made to sign an "owner's risk" waiver for the bikes. We just requested one of the crew to securely tie our bikes on the outer passenger area.

Fare (Lite Shipping)
Fare for Passenger - Regular - PHP220.00
Fare for Bike (Bill of Lading) - PHP600.00
Total: PHP820.00

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we were already leaving Bohol for Cebu. We arrived at the Queen City of the South around midnight. We were ecstatic riding the streets of Cebu. Finally, we were one step closer to home. We stayed for the night in Cebu City, and agreed to rise up early in the morning.

The next morning, after a quick breakfast, we immediately started looking schedules bound for anywhere in Leyte or Samar. Fortunately, amid the long queues due to the Holidays, we were able to book for tickets to Ormoc City.

The trip was at 11AM, We still have three hours to roam the city. And roam we did.

Here are some of our pics during that short stroll:

 Cebu City Capitol Building

  Magellan's Cross, just within the capitol grounds

The Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Mactan

Of course, I tried to pay a visit to our Regional Office here.

We wanted to visit the Taoist Temple, but wasn't able to due to time constraints. We both agreed to return sometime in the future, to fully tour this wonderful city. We made our way back to Mabolo Port, and boarded the RoRo. It was a six-and-a-half-hour trip to Ormoc City. Good thing we purchased the "regular" ticket which assigned us to bunk beds. The seat only tickets are most probably cheaper. 

Fare (Lite Shipping)
Fare for Passenger (Bunk Bed) - PHP420.00
Fare for Bike (Bill of Lading) - PHP1,230.00 (whew, quite pricey)
Terminal Fee - PHP90.00
Total: PHP1,740.00

We were nearing the port of Ormoc at around 5:50 PM as I took a shot of the picture below. This was the last sunset of 2014 after all.

Finally, we are almost done with our journey. All that is left is to travel to Allen from Ormoc, where in Allen, there is a scheduled departure to Matnog every couple of hours or so. This was taken at the port of Ormoc:

Almost Home!

We had an early dinner at around 6:30 PM and then started to travel to Allen. We were on the road at the very first second of 2015 - we celebrated the New Year on the road, somewhere after Catbalogan City.

We reached Allen Port at around 5:00 AM. Check out part 1 of this series (if you haven't already) to see the fare, as it is the same. I took this photo while waiting to board the RoRo. It was the first sunrise of 2015. 

Back then, I was contemplating that because I've spent my New Year on the road, I'd probably be on the road as much as I can in the year to come (which I already did, as of the time of this writing). Finally, we arrived in Matnog a couple of hours later.

 Like I always used to say, if your bike is too clean, you haven't been out riding enough.

This was the aftermath of our Visayas Road Trip-slash-island hopping. I just noticed this when we were coming out of Matnog. We slowly headed for Legazpi City, fortunately my tire didn't give out just yet.

This concludes the three-part Island Hopping in Visayas. 2014 was a blast, and this year is an even bigger one. Watch out for my next ride reports.

Here's a video of our road trip made by Bongskie. Watch in HD!

Thanks for the read. 'Til the next one.

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