Hiking in Northern Batan

One thing I took note of the last time I was in Batan was that there were a lot of spots I just breezed through, owing to the fact that I was aboard either a motorcycle or a bicycle.  This time, I intended to tour Batan at a much more “leisurely” and laid-back pace in order to soak in the scenery and to possibly discover picturesque spots that are normally just passed by the usual tourist route.  And so I plotted a roughly triangular path that would take me first from my starting point of Basco to the Valugan Boulder Beach, then to the highlands of Tukon, and finally to the Naidi Lighthouse to catch the sunset. Continue reading

Batanes Travel Tips

Since I promised not a few people that I would be sharing travel tips to Batanes, I’m finally making an entry just for that purpose after I’ve managed to finish my blogs.

GETTING THERE:

(I’m not even going to assume that any of you are interested in traveling to Batanes by ship, so I’ll just confine my discussion on air travel.)

Air travel going to Batanes is generally very expensive.  I had to shell out P13,650 for a round-trip ticket last December.  The thing is, I traveled to Batanes during a time in the year when tourists visit the least and there was only one airline (SEAir) servicing the Manila-Basco route.  I hear that in summer (during peak tourist season), the air fare gets slashed by as much as 50%, but you’d have to stay tuned to various airline promos around 2 months before summer in order to avail yourselves of any special discounted rate.  In the summer during peak tourist season, I hear that PAL and ZestAir also travel to Basco – that’s probably the reason why airfares aren’t as expensive.

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Batanes Day 4: Biking from Ivana to Mahatao to Basco – 12/11/09

the Ivana municipal complex

After “lunch” I continued southbound.  The municipal hall was nearby so I barely warmed by bicycle seat before I got off again to explore the area.  Ivana is another one of those Batanes towns that have a modern-looking center with the rest of the town looking traditional.  I’m beginning to think that it’s the rule and Basco is the only exception.  But I haven’t been to Itbayat, so I wouldn’t know.

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Batanes Day 4: Biking from Basco to Mahatao to Ivana – 12/11/09

For my last full day in Batanes, I planned to spend it on my own – without a tourguide – by renting a bicycle and testing the strength of my legs and my lungs all the way to the town of Ivana in the south of Batan island.  I got the idea from Ironwulf, who gave very precise instructions on where I could rent a bicycle in Basco, as well as an idea of what a tour of that magnitude would entail for somebody who hasn’t used a bicycle in a decade.

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Batanes Day 2: Arriving at Sabtang (part 1) – 12/09/09

I woke up at around 3:30 am on my second day in Batanes owing to the fact that the jeepney that would bring us to the port of San Vicente leaves Basco at around 5:30 am.  By 4:00am, I was already outside my inn and doing some stretching exercises while waiting for Joaquin.  Later on, he showed up and we made our way towards the jeepney stop. Continue reading

Batanes Day 1: Arrival and tour of the northern half of Batan Island – 12/08/09

[So after all the Batanes photos have been uploaded here in Multiply at an excruciatingly slow pace, I’m finally going to start blogging about my trip.  My apologies for the delay to those who might have been expecting this sooner.]

I left home early morning on December 8 to reach the old Manila domestic airport on time for checking into my flight to Batanes.  With the exception of a long delay due to a lot of heavy fishing equipment being lugged around by a group of “fisher dudes” who were in line before me, I found the checking-in procedure to be relatively efficient. Continue reading