Getting to Caramoan from Legazpi City Plus Tips on Avoiding GettingRiff-offed

Rainy days have started but pocketful of sunshine still invites beach bummers and city-escapers to go and explore hidden coves and beaches that worth your while. One of the country’s most beautiful destination as hailed in many articles online and offline is Caramoan. Prolly due to the shoot of Survivor series, this hard to reach destination has proven to be worth all the hassle in the getting there!

From Manila, there are lots of info you can get on how you can travel by bus, by plane or by private vehicle to reach Caramoan. But for the three of us based in Albay, particularly Legazpi City, the road to Caramoan is indeed long and wide. 
From Daraga: We started the day early, at 5:30 in the morning we took a van going to Naga and traveled for about 1.5 hours to Pili (Anayan), Camarines Sur.
From Pili: Buses going to Lagonoy from Naga as well as jeepneys going to Sabang Port, ply the diversion (Anayan) road in Pili, Camarines Sur. We took the jeepney which will take us straight to Sabang port over buses which will only drop us at San Jose and will require us to take jeepneys going to the port itself.
From Sabang Port: There are scheduled outrigger boats travelling from Sabang Port to Guijalo Port in Caramoan. Boat schedules are as follows:
  • 5:30 Am
  • 7:30 Am
  • 9:30 Am
  • 11:30 Am
  • 1:30 Am
These times vary depending on the return trip of boats and their availability. 
From Guijalo Port: Arriving in Guijalo Port – be warned, many boat men awaits the passenger outrigger boat arriving from Sabang and insist that they transfer you to the port via their boats. You will notice that they connive with the captain of those passengers boat so the latter would announce that he cannot take his passenger boat nearer to the side because of so many alibis and that we should just take the offers of the boatmen around us. 
From Guijalo Port: There are tricycles that can take you to Brgy Tawog or the centro where you can find an inn or you can go straight to Paniman Beach and stay in one of the beachfront accommodations there for the night. 
Fare matrix:
Daraga to Naga Van : P130 per pax (even if you alight in Pili)
Pili to Sabang Jeep: P80 per pax
Sabang to Guijalo Port Boat: P120 per pax/P60 for child
Guijalo Port to Tawog Tricycle: P25 per pax if full
Boat transfers: P20
Back ride service: P10
Tips: 
1. Be sure to have yourselves listed in the manifesto soon as you arrive at the makeshift port. We arrived early but decided to eat first so when we realized we needed to have our names listed, the arriving boat’s manifesto is already full so we have to wait for the much later one. 
2. Don’t listen to some of the guys telling you that you need to have a seat reserved and offer to take your belongings to the boat for a fee. You are listed in the manifesto and that guarantees a space or seat for you right?
Additional Tip:
I planned this Caramoan Trip as a surprise summer treat for my boys and got a lousy schedule because I did not seek Baba’s logical advise on some points.
When you visit Caramoan for a 3 days/2-nights stay, head straight to Paniman Beach from Guijalo port and stay there. Why? 
  • You can while away your aftie right there on the calm brown beach.
  • The sun rises on this beach, and
  • You can have your island hopping boat service pick you up from here. 
So that’s less expense on your travel from Centro if you want to beach bum in the afternoon after your arrival and the next day travel for your island hopping trip plus you get a rewarding sunrise (which we missed) from your resort too! 
After your island hopping, you can then go to the centro for cheaper accommodations options, easier exploration of other interesting spots around the area and easier trip to Guijalo port when you are leave Caramoan. 

7 Things I Prepare for When Backpacking

Following backpacking blogs by Filipino travel bloggers simply puts me into vagabonding mode. They’re all awe-inspiring, motivational and passion-driving. You can’t help but admire their guts and how they managed to attain their world-weary statuses. I’ve also longed for exploring countries other than my own. I enjoy exploring around the Ph and managed to see places, sights and scenes that not many are blessed to witness.

twosome travelers

Reading from different travel blogs seems to caution would-be traveler on the many unexpected things on the road. And of course, preparedness on these things is the key. So, when you travel do –

1.  Prepare to get lost.
One of the best challenges of backpacking is exploring unknown and unfamiliar places. Load up on info about your destinations and keep your wits handy at all times.

2. Prepare to get down and dirty.

Generally, backpacking conjure up images of muddy, dirty and smelly-looking travelers with full-packed backpacks(but that’s optional actually). Exploring the world this way may mean that you have to leave luxuries and comforts of your home to experience the sights, culture and people of some foreign land despite your lack of budget.

3. Prepare to be shocked/frustrated.

In most cases, what you hope for doesn’t really happen. There are things, events and people that will truly test your tolerance. Always look at the brighter side of things in such occasions.

wandered around Maharlika Market instead when Typhoon Mina stopped my ascent to Sagada, Mt. Province in Aug 2011.

4. Prepare to be unconventional.

Being in a place where everything seems soo unfamiliar will require you to make adjustments. Even if it means that you have to give up what you’re comfortable with and what you’re used to do and just make do with what’s available.

sleep here? yes, here.

5. Prepare to welcome strange new sights, smells, tastes and culture.

Part of traveling is try out local food and delicacies from places you visit. Some also join community immersion to learn more about the culture and beliefs of the people. And of course, you can help but drink in some of the loveliest sights nature has created for us. 

Balut

Igorot Women of North Luzon

shy Mt. Mayon
smelly Marang in Davao City

6. Prepare to be intoxicated.

Traveling can be a heady and intoxicating experience. And I’m not talking about alcoholic drinks here. (though night outs are also fun when you’re in a new place).

7. Prepare to fall in love – need I say more?

Traveling has a lot of risks, and depending how you prepare for the things on the road, you’d find yourself surprised countless times. Either way, don’t panic and simply enjoy these experience – good or bad – and adjust your preparedness level for the next leg of your journey.

Tsinelas Festival 2009, Liliw Laguna

I know sooner or later, I’d be able to realize my wish to explore other countries in Asia. Most specifically “the banana pancake trail” as claimed by many western backpackers. While still unsure when or where I’ll start with my greatest Asian Backpacking dream, I simply savor the moments and experiences I had while travelling the Philippines. I do not consider myself as a seasoned traveler, but I’m proud to have visited the places I’ve been to so far and I would always look forward to the places I’d go to in the future.

What Stops YOU from Backpacking?

Backpacking has been forever on my list of the things I want to do even once in my life. I envy other travel bloggers for being able to realize this dream and came out unscathed or forever changed. There are a lot of reasons why I couldn’t easily put everything down,  pack my bags and leave.

my soon to be travel buddy

I guess my number 1 issue is Finances/Money. Unlike other travelers or backpackers, I already have a son whom I support single-handedly. I would consider everything he needs first which takes a huge chunk off my salary and this leaves me with a meager savings to put into my travel fund. Thus, I consider my travels a luxury even if they’re just budget travels.

There are a lot of other reasons why people hesitate to travel and discover the world. I honestly think that if I can and I can afford it without feeling guilty and selfish, I would forego any other worries that might stop me from backpacking. Some of the most common reasons that probably stops a person from having their own adventure are:

  1. Money (still is)

2. Health Safety
3. Being Lost and All Alone
4. Losing your routine and facing the unfamiliar

Traveling, backpacking and exploring the world could be one of the most exhilarating experience you can have in your lifetime.

how high is this place up North?

natural water spa for your backaches

I still want to do this despite the changes I have and will have in my life. A growing son and a newly-found romance drives me to work even harder and plan for an adventure we can all have.

Soon I can cross out backpacking on my list, not alone maybe, but with people I’d love to travel with.