Monday, September 28, 2009

Fun CamSur

     It’s not on my plan but, suddenly I find myself getting an airplane ticket to Camarines Sur to join some of my friends.  We booked our flight thru Zest Air for the first time because at that time Zest has the cheapest airfare.

    We were supposed to board our flight to Naga City, when Zest Air announced a delay on our flight.  The departure schedule was moved many times and in the end the flight was cancelled for some reasons.  All of the passengers were so furious and Zest could do nothing about it.  Instead of wasting our time complaining, we just asked for refund and took a Philtranco bus for an 8-hour ride to Naga City just to continue our trip.

     We’ve been on the road for several hours and we slept on the bus. We stopped at Naga City and from there we boarded a bus bound to Lagonoy.  After an hour, the conductor of the bus dropped us at Goa and we took off a jeepney bound to Sabang Pier.

     From Sabang Pier, we looked for a motorized boat bound for Guijalo Pier, Caramoan.  The pier is just a gray sand beach, so before we boarded a boat, we were greeted by some locals and they offered us their service to carry us and our baggage on the way to the boat for a minimal fee.

Survivor Caramoan

     We arrived in Guijalo Port at 9:30AM after a 2-hour boat ride from Sabang Pier.  From there, we saw the Rex Tourist Inn service waiting for us.  Because Caramoan town is isolated, there are only few resorts to choose from, so we opted for Rex Tourist Inn’s overnight package.  That package includes land transportation, overnight accommodation, meals, and island hopping to Caramoan Islands for only Php 2,000 per pax.  Great deal! Isn’t it?

     On that day, we headed out to the ocean to start our island hopping.  We boarded a boat at Paniman beach, the jump off point to the Caramoan Islands.  The nearest was Gota Beach, at that time Survivor Serbia was there shooting their reality TV show, so the beach was closed for public.  We also passed this charming beach with Asian inspired bungalows, for tribal council tapings of Survivor Serbia.

     Another island worth visiting is the Lajos Island, a white sand beach with big rock formations on both sides.  They called it Lajos because during stormy weather the waves from the front and back of the beach meet in the middle.

     Next stop was the Tinago Beach which means hidden.  This hidden cove is so serene, aqua green and amazingly beautiful.  It reminded me of the Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan.

     Then we went to Matukad Island, with sharp and layered rock formations, similar to those in Lajos.  The sand is white and powdery fine.  I also tried here vertical climbing with utmost care because one mistake could bring me to accident.  When I reached the top, I saw a small lake on the other side of the island and a breathtaking view.  Though it was difficult, the climb was worth it for an adventurous woman like me.

     Last stop was at Hunongan Cove, near to Gota Village.  Large rock formations surrounded the island and the sand is creamy fine.

     Before the sun goes down, we headed back to Paniman Beach for another bumpy ride back to Rex Inn because most parts are rough roads.

     With lesser crowd, we enjoyed the islands most of the time by our group.  The whole Caramoan Islands has a bit similarity with the Coron Islands.  It is indeed beautiful, unexplored and picturesque.  The islands itself are home to different lizards, endangered birds and some species.  You can also enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving.  There are many more islands to see but one day is not enough.

     At night, we were served by Rex Inn a sumptuous supper, just like what they prepared for our packed lunch. 

     For those looking for a night life, this town doesn’t have one because most establishments close before 8PM.

     The next morning, after our delicious breakfast, we went to the Parish Church of Caramoan dedicated to St. Michael Archangel.  I guess the church was built on the 1900’s because the bell at the tower has engravings dated back to year 1927.  On our way to the top of the bell tower are small passages that look mysterious and antique.  The church was made of red brick which the Spanish sometimes used in building a church, aside from the usual adobe brick.

     Then we had a quick stop at souvenir shops to buy presents.  After that, we quickly packed our things to catch the second trip of motorized boat back to Sabang Pier.

CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)

     Camarines Sur recently became popular because of the watersports complex known for its best cable in the world for wakeboarding.  Now, it is one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

     We don’t want to miss this opportunity, so we tried our best to get an accommodation at Eco Village on the far side of CWC because most of the cottages at CWC area were fully booked.

     Although Eco Village is far from the center of CWC where wakeboarding is a highlight, we still managed the transportation because a CWC van is provided to pick you up whenever you want to. We just packed the things we need for the whole afternoon and evening and we rented a locker at CWC where we could leave our things.

     The complex offers two star accommodations to tourist.  It is equipped with club house, swimming pool, wi-fi, lockers, and free shuttle service around the complex.  Shower rooms and comfort rooms are clean, and tissues are provided.

     At Aqua Park, there are many kinds of inflatable toys for aquasports.  I saw this part featured at Sports Unlimited many times.  A life vest is provided and must be worn at all times because the man made lake is deep.  We enjoyed climbing, jumping and sliding the inflatables, big and small.  I also tried the paddle boat and it is harder to paddle than the kayak.

     We also had a great dinner at the club house.  The foods are served with style and the waiters are accommodating.  I rate them 5 as the highest for their service.

     The next day, we tried wakeboarding.  The fee is reasonably price for only Php 165 per hour, which includes a basic lesson and instructor to guide you.  At first, it was difficult to stand but once you got the technique of proper way of handling the cable, body positioning and the balancing on the board, you will keep on doing it again and again.  It can be addictive like in surfing.

     In the afternoon, we quickly packed our things to catch our flight back to Manila.  As usual, Zest Air flight was delayed again.  It looks like it always happen because the airport personnel were so used to it.

    Once again, we had fun and hopefully we will be back soon for another wakeboarding.


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