It all started in Pagudpud

Ilocos Norte Travel Blog

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it was raining, oh no...
It has been exactly one year since my wanderlust began, and I owe it all to one place, Pagudpud.

Pagudpud is a town in Ilocos Norte, which is very far from Manila. Going there from Manila takes 15 hours, more or less. So buses bound for Pagudpud usually leave around 7 PM and arrive at around 10 AM the next day. Those who have more budget to spare may opt to travel by air to Laoag airport, and from there take a two-hour bus ride to Pagudpud.

Since I was traveling on a tight budget and enjoy long bus rides anyway, I opted to travel by land.
Saud Beach
I meant to go with some friends but one or two backed out the week we were supposed to leave so I decided to go on my own. It turned out to be a good thing because Pagudpud is a serene place, ideal for some soul searching which I badly needed that time, too.

It was raining as we were approaching Ilocos Norte, so I really prayed hard for the rain to stop and let me enjoy the beaches of Pagudpud. Thank God, it did by the time we arrived at the bus station. I had a quick lunch at a carideria near the station and waited for my tour guide cum driver, Kuya Ed, to pick me up there.

Pagudpud is often called the Boracay of the North because of the two white-sand beaches that can be found there: Saud and Blue Lagoon (also called Maira-ira Beach). I was lucky to have visited both. I stayed in a hotel on the shore of Saud, but I must admit that Blue Lagoon is much much better, it has whiter and finer sand and the water is shallower.
Saud Beach
The water in Saud is cleaner, though. Still, given the chance to return to Pagudpud, I'll stay in Blue Lagoon.

I spent my first afternoon in Pagudpud strolling the beach. Since it rained hard the previous days, Saud beach was not yet ideal for swimming. The waves were still huge and coarse rocks and shells littered the shoreline. There were some people swimming but I lacked the courage to join them because I still don't know how to swim back then. And I'm already enjoying myself while walking barefoot on the soft, orangey-white and cool sands of Saud.

I toured the northern part of Pagudpud the following day in Kuya Ed's tricycle de motor. We went to several destinations, but I appreciated Blue Lagoon and Kaibigan Falls the most. I had to walk for 30 minutes and pass streams to get to Kaibigan Falls. But it was all worth it.
Saud Beach
It was my first time to see an actual falls, and swim in one, too. I was the only visitor when I got there so I have the place all to myself. Our last stop for the day was the Blue Lagoon beach. It was still quite early when I got back to Polaris resort so I again strolled the entire stretch of Saud beach and waited for the sunset.

It was my last day the following morning so I woke up early to walk and swim. The earliest bus bound for Manila leaves at 7PM, so I scheduled my Southern Part tour on the day of my departure. I left my bags with Polaris' receptionist after checking out so I wouldn't have to carry it around with me.

The tourist attractions south of Pagudpud were worth a visit as well, especially the Cape Bojeador, the top of which I had to reach by climbing a very narrow winding stairs and a ladder.
Saud Beach
Another notable place that we visited was the Kapurpurawan White Rock formation, which required me to walk for 30 minutes under the direct heat of the sun, in a marsh-looking environment to boot, just to get near it. I wasn't able to climb on top of the rock formation because I was already too tired when I got near its foot that I thought I might just collapse if I exert any more effort. The huge rock formation was made of limestone, I guess, so it was really white.

After the half-day tour, Kuya Ed took me back to the resort to pickup my bag. I only waited a couple of hours more at the terminal. I was a bit sad then because my adventure was over, but I felt excited at the same time to tackle my mounting workload in the office, as though energized by the trip. From then on I promised myself that I would get away from all my cares every opportunity I get, since I discovered that traveling is an effective cure to a weary mind.
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it was raining, oh no...
it was raining, oh no...
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Bangui Windmill from Saud
Bangui Windmill from Saud
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
long walk going to Kaibigan Falls
long walk going to Kaibigan Falls
Kaibigan Falls
Kaibigan Falls
Patapat Viaduct (road to Cagayan)
Patapat Viaduct (road to Cagayan)
The ruins of Bantay Abot Cave
The ruins of Bantay Abot Cave
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Saud Beach
Sunset at Saud Beach
Sunset at Saud Beach
Ilocos Norte
photo by: docime30