By 6:45AM, we have reached Tiaong, Quezon and from there we can see the familiar Malarayat mountain range which we climbed almost 4 weeks ago where we have trekked and created the Manabu-Malipunyo trail. An hour later, I was too tired from driving probably due to not sleeping for 2 nights so I took a nap at a gasoline station along Lucena City.
|Reached Quezon after an almost 2 hour drive from Cavite|
|Malarayat Mountain Range which includes Malipunyo, Manabu and Susung Dalaga|
We proceeded back on our trip at around 9:30 AM and reached the Zigzag Road along Atimonan, Quezon at 10:18 AM.
The Zigzag Road is actually a road that pierces through the Sierra Madre Mountain Range that separates Western Quezon province to Eastern Quezon. This mountain range extends from Bondoc Peninsula of Quezon Province all the way up to Cagayan Valley which serves as protection for the whole Luzon Island from incoming typhoons from the Pacific Ocean.
There are actually two ways to pierce through the Sierra Madre Range. One is via this Zigzag road that passes through the Quezon Natural Rain Forest and is very steep yet shorter (5.7km) versus the newly created road that goes around one of the mountains and is not so steep (10km). If you are up to it and your vehicle can handle it, then go ahead with the Zigzag road and enjoy the scenic view and the shorter road.
|The Zigzag Road that pierces through the Quezon Natural Rainforest|
By 11:12AM, we have reached Gumaca, Quezon which is well known for its vast fishing area and from here you will find Lita's Carinderia which is home to great tasting Filipino fish dish like Sinigang na Bangus (en. Sour soup Milkfish). However, I was tricked to go to another different carinderia along the area which is named as Lita's Eatery. I only discovered this later on but was happy to know that the food at Lita's eatery is tastier and cheaper (P60 vs. P100) than Lita's Carinderia as I tried the latter when I went back to Manila.
|Sinigang na Salmon (Soursoup Salmon) for P60. The best I've tasted.|
|Gumaca, Quezon Marker|
|Quezon - Camarines Norte Border|
|You can see 2 kids blocking the road with strings and is asking for coins.|
|The original Cheese-top Halo-Halo from DJC Halo Halo in Naga City|
|The Naga Garden Restaurant where we are supposed to check out the toasted Siopao|
|Toasted siopao is not available so we opt with Pansit Bicol and Spicy Bopis instead which really tastes good.|
|Quince Martires Plaza|
|The Historic 17th Century San Francisco Church|
|Quince Martires Monument at Naga City Plaza|
It was raining hard when we passed by Legazpi City, Albay and it was already late night so we decided to head on to our trip and look for a place to stay to our supposed destination, which is Donsol, Sorsogon, the whaleshark capital of the world.
The road from Maharlika highway to Donsol is narrow and winding. There also also no light posts so it is suggested that you have extreme caution when driving along the Donsol road at night time.
By 2:00AM the next day (28th) we were short 9 kilometers away from Donsol as the Poi-C River has overflown due to rains from Albay. Only buses can pass through the flood and so we stayed for a while and had my most awaited sleep. We woke up at 7:00 AM and the flood receded ankle-deep and we can now proceed.
We reached the Donsol Butanding (Whaleshark) Visitor center at 7:33AM and registered for a boat ride for P638/pax for a group of 6, to check out the bus-sized whale sharks along the Donsol Sea.
|Donsol Butanding Visitor Center|
The backpacker promo is comprised of a big room with 3 queen-sized beds and a bathroom. It is one bed per person. However when we stayed there, there was no one else as it is a non-peak season at Donsol so we only paid P1000 total for such a big room!
|Pool at Woodlands Resort. The 2nd floor of the house is the backpacker room|
|The Backpacker room at Woodlands Resort|
|The bus-size Whaleshark that went under while we snorkel!|
|Captivating Sunset at Donsol Beach by Woodlands Resort|
We stayed for a night and left by 6AM back to Daraga and Legazpi City, Albay to check out the perfect cone of Mayon Volcano.
We reached Daraga, Albay at Cagsawa Ruins by 7:35 AM of the 29th and enjoyed taking pictures of scenes I only see in text books during my Elementary school days.
|Cagsawa Church Ruins|
|Mayon Volcano view from Cagsawa ruins in Daraga, Albay|
After a few hours of photographs, we then headed to Legazpi City to check out one of its finest restaurant, the First Colonial Grill and have a taste of authentic Bicolano cuisine and the odd yet great tasting Sili Ice Cream (Ice Cream made from Siling labuyo!)
|Authentic Bicolano Dishes at Legazpi City|
|Presenting: The Sili Ice Cream!|
The ATV adventure ride is along an 11-km 4x4 trail which allows you to run along streams of water, rough and rocky trails, and lava flows towards the foot of Mayon Volcano. The ride is about 2-3 hours long.
|ATV ride to Mayon Volcano.|
|The lava flow from Mayon Volcano|
By Sundown, we then headed to Oas, Albay to visit a relative and had this first picture of a clear Mayon Volcano and a sunrise. These scene is the usual sunrise sketch I do when I was young and just now, was able to see it in my own eyes for the first time.
|Sunrise by Mayon Volcano at Oas, Albay|
|Mayon ATV and Zipline||3000*|
*can be shared by up to 4 people.
The Bicol road trip is my special road trip for 2012 for which waypoints and new tracks were contributed to the +OpenStreetMap Philippines for future use of travelers and drivers who would like to check out the Bicol region.
For more detailed information regarding the itinerary of this Bicol Road trip, check on the links below:
- Swimming with the Whale Sharks at Donsol
- Lignon Hill and ATV Adventure at Mayon
- Visiting Cagsawa Ruins
- Authentic Bicolano Cuisine at 1st Colonial Grill
Openstreetmap Philippines Map (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)
How to use for your Navigation System (link)
View Bicol Road Trip in a larger map
ATV Ride Legazpi: Gency Derla - 09055536299
Mayon Adventure Land Guide Legazpi: Geri - 09197070801
Vitton Resort Donsol: Annie - 09279136313