The lonely country road

Country road Mindoro Travel Blog

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Preparing the fields

Up until this point I have been on sort of the tourist trail. But no more. The town of San Jose is not full of European tourist which got an unfortunate effect on the selection for breakfast at the joint we find to have breakfast at. Up to this point I have been able to avoid rice as part of my breakfast diet. But no more - there is no way around it today - if I want breakfast I need to have rice as well. And come on rice is ok to go along with your dinner and even your lunch. But breakfast!! There is no way that a rice as part of the breakfast meal can be a part of a healthy diet - I want some bread, cereal or maybe even yogurt. But no rice.

 

The breakfast place does not comply with my wishes. I have to go with rice an egg and some pork of some sort. Jordan will skip the port being vegetarian.

Changing tyres
VEGETARIAN. What is wrong with those stupid Americans why won't they just grow up and eat proper food like the rest of us? You need meat to survive. Well we get the rice and the eggs. My pork does not arrive. After a few minutes I realize it is not likely to arrive and instead of complaining I go vegetarian as well.

 

Before heading to the bus terminal we need to stock up on cash. It is really annoying travelling in Palawan nobody takes credit card without a huge commission and there are no banks where you can get cash. In many places the only place you can change money is at the pawnshop and the exchange rate they offer at the pawnshops make there 1 percent per week interest on loans seem like pure charity. But San Jose is the big town in this part of the world and it got a bank so we can take full advantage of the ATM.

 

We still manage to be at the bus terminal way before the scheduled departure time of 8. And hey everybody knows the buses in this part of the world will not depart at time. We get in the bus and await the 8.30-8.45 departure time. At 8 sharp the bus leaves the terminal. Third time in a row I am on a bus leaving at the scheduled departure time. Is there a pattern to this? Nha it gotta be a strange coincidence no pattern here. Just after the bus has left the terminal and gone like 20 meters down the road we stop to pick up the first extra passenger. I mean why would you go all the long long way to the terminal when you can just stand 20 meters from the entrance to the terminal and flag down the bus when it leaves? A few more stops as we go another 30 meters down the road and then we start making progress to get out of town.

North Pandan Island - home sweat home

 

As we go we can see all the different rice paddies along the road and the preparation to plant the next crop of rice for the year. I spend the time hanging out the window trying to take a decent picture of the many kolabaws we pass along the road. Considering the number we see it should be an easy task. But it is not it is really hard to get the timing right and get a close-up shot of one of them. I make a countless number of failed attempts.

 

The drives go on only interrupted by a single comfort stop. Until we puncture. I am not too bothered by this - after all on my previous two trips in buses in the Philippines they managed to get three punctures. But Jordan is at first a bit concerned given it is his first time in a local bus.

But of course they just change the very old punctured tyre with a tyre which seems to be even older.

 

We get to a town. It seems like a big town. The conductor has not mentioned anything about this being our stop so we assume we are supposed to continue. And Jordan says the bus goes straight to the pier. This is actually correct. The bus does go straight to the pier - unfortunately it is the pier with the boats to Batangas and not the pier in Sablayan where we need to get of. Just to double check we ask one of the passengers where we are. Sablayan. Ok we better ask the conductor as well. And sure this is our stop. We get our backs quickly and get out of the boat to go to the pier in Sablayan.

Strings around the rotor.

 

We are finally at the last leg of the journey to get to North Pandan Island the main hopping of point to go to Apo Reef. We have been travelling for a day and a half to get here and yeah we are a bit excited about the prospects. We get on a tiny boat which got some severe engine problems and the engine manage to die there times on the ½ hour trip. But no worries our boat man got it all covered and no just which strings to pull to let in a bit more air or gas or whatever it is he need to let into the engine. And the rotor of the boat is a piece of work as well. It is just another string going round a block of wood connected to the steering wheel which appears to be taken from an old beat-up car. Fortunately the inspection of ships in Sablayan is not too strict because there is no way this boat could pass any kind of seaworthiness test. But we do make it safely across the water to North Pandan Island where we may have got a reservation - or maybe we don't have a reservation - it is not entirely clear but it is low season so we will be ok.

jennethm says:
Oh, now that I am in Europe.. It would a party for me if I can get rice for breakfast. :D
Posted on: Aug 05, 2008
lauro says:
ok dont judge me :P i need rice as breakfast as well! hahahahah
Posted on: Jul 31, 2008
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Preparing the fields
Preparing the fields
Changing tyres
Changing tyres
North Pandan Island - home sweat h…
North Pandan Island - home sweat …
Strings around the rotor.
Strings around the rotor.
Preparing the fields
Preparing the fields
Can I get a ride?
Can I get a ride?
Country road Mindoro
photo by: tj1777