Sunday, May 15, 2016

Independence Day Ride (2015)

It was the eighth of June, 2015. A long weekend was looming (June 12, friday, was a holiday). What better way to spend the long weekend? Stay in the house, sleeping all day. Taking out your motorcycle and going places, of course. I decided to cool off in Tagaytay, the summer heat was still on. My riding buddies this time were Kriz and his pillion Venus. 

Pics before take-off:

We started our journey at around 7:00 PM of June 11, had dinner in Naga at around 9:00 PM and pushed on. First stopover was at the Atimonan Zigzag Park (also known as Quezon National Park, or Eme)

After a quick nap, we pushed on.
 Going up to Tagaytay.

We arrived at Tagaytay City around 6:00 AM the next day, decided to rest for half the day, and continue our exploring in the afternoon.

After five or so hours of much needed rest, we took lunch and proceeded to tour the city. Our first stop point was the city's view deck.
We took our lunch here, a McDonald's branch opposite Taal Vista Hotel.

 Pics from the city's view deck. Been here a couple of times before, but the view never gets old.

Next destination on our list was, of course, the People's Park in the Sky. Since vehicles are not permitted beyond the gate, we took a jeepney ride up to the park. Mahirap nang maglakad in riding boots, lalo na pag paakyat pa. The fare was only 5 pesos per person anyway. Entrance fee is 50 pesos (if memory serves).
Such a breath-taking view.

Panoramic shot. Just absolutely marvelous.

Next up: The Picnic Grove. Probably the best place to view Taal Volcano. Entrance fee for motorcycles: 50 pesos.
Seen at the background: There's already a zipline at the Picnic Grove. It wasn't there during my last visit on December 2014.

Taal Volcano and lake in all its splendor. Some clouds were bringing down rain on one side.

We skipped going into Skyranch. Amenities here are kinda expensive.
We headed back to the inn to rest for the night. We have more places to go the following day.

We started to go back down from Tagaytay and headed into Rizal, where we were to meet with club members of XRCP NCR.
Just some random pics we took going down from Tagaytay

Rendezvous point was at Marquez Bulalohan (the less popular food house next to Jariel's Peak). We got a little lost when the GPS went haywire, but after half an hour of traversing unpaved roads, we were back on track.
Met up with idol Jon Jaldo and Fred Victore of XRCP NCR, and with my college buddy Jeff Camposano with some of his clubmates from UBP Rizal Chapter. For 120 pesos, you can savor the popular Marquez bulalo, which is actually good for 2 persons. We were so full after the meal.
The altitude of the place was already among low-lying clouds. One passed by, bringing rain with it.

We let the rain clouds pass by, then it was back to picture-taking sessions.
The Yamaha R15 belongs to my college classmate and buddy Jeff Camposano.

A visit to Jariel's Peak would not be complete without buying one of the souvenir items as proof of your visit. And, as far as I know, proceeds from buying items here are given to the community. I bought a sticker set.
The group then decided to pass through Manila East road and into Pilillia. There are windmills here akin to the ones in Bangui in Ilocos Norte. It has recently become a tourist attraction.
 Group pics taken before leaving Marquez Bulalohan.
 Some parts of the "Marilaque" twisties are still unpaved. Riders beware.

We enjoyed the twisties of Manila East Road before reaching the Pililla windmills site. There was no entrance fee during our visit, but a man in a barangay tanod uniform went around to collect "environmental fees" of 20 pesos per person.
 From left to right: Kriz ArmeƱa, yours truly, Rael Vitan, Jeff Camposano and Alvin Ondangan

It was 3pm. Other members of the group decided to start going back to Manila. We, on the other hand, had to go further down back to Quezon.We continued down the Manila East route. Here are some interesting points along the way:
The group decided to part ways at this junction, where I took my photo with Jeff as another souvenir:
It was around 3:45 PM, it was still early. I checked the GPS if there are any other points of interest along the way. Lo and behold, Daranak Falls was actually just a few kilometers away. We decided to pay a visit.
We only stayed less than an hour in Daranak Falls, we just needed to cool down a bit. After which, it was time to move on. We wanted to be in Lucban, Quezon before 10PM, so we pushed on. We stayed the night there. Fortunately, there was a cheap transient house near the Lucban arc, complete with an indoor pool.

The next morning, June 14, it was time to head back home. We started to ride early around 6AM. There was still one more place we would like to visit before really heading back to Bicol. Lucky for us it was just along our way: Kamay ni Hesus.
 We dared not climb the steps to the huge statue atop the hill. As I said, walking on riding boots is already a pain.
After attending the sunday mass and asking for guidance and protection, we headed on our way back to Bicol. Here are some pics I took from Eme on the way back:
This concludes my Independence Day Ride report. Thank you for reading. Until the next time.

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