Posts Tagged 'travel'

Medellin, luv at first sight

slept like a baby during my entire flight from Miami to Medellin. cuz it’s been more than 25+ hrs of planes, airports, and terminal exchanges. lucky not to be flying on coach this time or i’d seriously turn to a top-class whiner biatch. it’s been almost 3hrs and pilot has just announced plane’s final descent. and voila!!! woke up to an incredibly gorgeous view of rolling hills and charming city perched on a valley. wooow! had no idea about Colombia’s 2nd biggest city – Medellin. obvi, i didn’t do my homework and read nothing for this trip. just packed my stuff and took off. if you’d mention to me Colombia – i can only come up with 4Cs in my head – coffee(!), Cali Salsa, captivating Colombianas, and coke (!!!). but never had i imagined it to be such a beautiful city. it’s a shame that my knowledge of this city i’m about to explore is obviously as good as nothing. hopefully, my buddy, J, whom i’m visiting here, can introduce me to this beautiful city! ohmygawd!!! i haven’t even explored it yet, and i’m already luvin’ it from above <3 even my (apparently) cute seatmate who’s seated by the window didn’t manage to contain to himself and said, “nice, yeah?”. i let it slide cuz he’s american and it’s understandable if the only adjective he can afford is “nice”. “stunning!”, i replied. he’s nice though after few small talks and exchange of name cards and whatsapp numbers, he offered his seat to me so i can have a better view of the city. i gladly accepted the offer, of course! woooohooo!!! lush green hills some even kissing hovering low clouds, streaks of sunlight casting to the greater part of the valley, and seamless mix of old and new buildings sprawling from the foot of the valley to top. it’s so beautiful…so poetic! <3 can’t wait to land and explore the city, ahora!!! splendid times ahead! yay!   (drafted aboard Spirit)

is it really 17 mile drive?

it’s the beginning of Fall, and here in NorCal, temperature could drop us low as 50°F (10°C), not considering yet the wind chill. brrrrr. and the tropical specie me finds it hard to move my arse off the bed. but it’s a beautiful day, and driving to Monterey all the way to Big Sur looks sweet! sun is out and temperature is mild at 70°F (21°C). double-clad with pullover and warmer, braved the drive along Highway 1 with D.

17-mile Drive is a very scenic drive along the coast of Monterey Peninsula from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. A rugged coastline of granite and white sand beach, dotted with weathered Giant Kelps, Cypress and Ghost trees that add charm to the beauty of the restless sea. the entire stretch allows you to commune with nature to give you that requisite respite from the city’s chaotic jungle.

norcal maptoday’s drive to Big Sur

DSC_0585art of cairn, yeah gotta show it off

DSC_0618seated next to a Western Gull overlooking the seal and sea lion-covered Bird Rock

cabbie, music and me

arrived 2hrs late of my ETA in MNL and had to take an airport cab back to makati. it’s been a looong day of airport stuff, connecting flights and yes delayed flights and long queue in PI’s immigration, with a trace of hangover from my day-long cocktail drinking with friends in BKK for a quick catch up, so i’m a li’l pesky, to say the least, when i hopped on the cab.

but to my amusement, the cabie had a good taste for music and his set-up is actually neat for an airport cab. it’s Up Dharma Down’s “OO” playing, and i suddenly realized how i missed listening to real good local music. lead guitar, bass, percussion and the vocals complete the magic of UDD’s music! do you remember the last time when you got actually transcended away from all your cares by music? 

Cabbie’s playlist also included “sana”, “taya”, “thinker”, “tadhana” (oh boy!!! do i luv it?) and so on and so forth jumping from “fragmented” to “bipolar” to “capacities” albums in random order. 

it’s a good 20min drive and all i can think of is how i wanna be alone in my room and play in my itunes more lovely music like that. i miss those days when i would start and end my day with my Sennheiser HD 598 headphones on (had to drop what it is as it’s real steal for its power btw!) and just get lost with the richness and beauty of music of whatever genre. was so deep in it, i came to understand soundstage when a song plays. have you had that? that feeling when you can actually visualize the music coming through your headphone? :-) soooo good you can see it. sooo good, you can taste it :-)

“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.” 
― Johnny Depp

back from oblivion

hello!!!!

the past three and a half years have been a journey. and i know how delinquent i got in visiting my crib. it’s not fair cuz in the past years, i had soooo many beautiful adventures i can only wish now i have blogged right away.

but then again, hey! not that i have more time now in my hands, but i wish not to visit this again without anything to remind me how my week, or my month or my year of chasing dreams was.

so, let’s sit a spell once more and take the ride! <3 

Exploring Bohol Differently

The french beau was speed freaking at 80 to 100km/h whilst at my best, I was only inching to reach 60 km/h and was mustering all my energy to brush-off my head my freaky motobike accident in Saigon some yrs ago. But after a couple of intersections, several towns passed, got chased by dogs, blindly drove on sharp curves and hairpin bends without lamp posts or well-lit signages and terribly burnt shoulders, I felt I’m slowly getting the mojo back. (And Oh! Yes Dad!!!) I drove a motobike again and on a national highway from one island to another, without me being brought to ER for a knee surgery =) (I’m sure I made you proud!). I’m not yet 100% but i know, I’m traumatized no more.

Tagbilaran City

Loay Interior RoadLoay Interior Road or “tina-i sa manok”

One of the remarkable part of the leg, is what locally known as “tina-i sa manok” or chicken intestine. There were several sharp curves and hairpin bends that have actually made me ask myself again, “how far would I go with my zest for adventure?”.  I don’t know how many times I heaved sighs of relief after each curve, knowing that a slight miscalculation on my turn, I’d fall on the dreaded ravine on the road side. On one of the stops we did, told P how $h#t scared and how ecstatic I was at the same time to brave it. Told him though that on our way back, which would definitely around night time, is a different story. He took my hand and reassured me, how I was doing well on the handlebars =)

manmade forest drive

BIlar Man-made ForestBilar Man-made Forest

Bilar Man-made Forest is a two-kilometer road beautifully dotted with mahogany trees, rendering shade from summer’s scorching heat to its revelers. Covering approximately 10 hectares stretching from Loboc to Bilar towns, it’s a local government reforestation project to address the growing ‘kaingin’ concern during the early ’50s. The colors here are so rich, that reminded me of the colors of Fall. The scent of the woods is so distinct I had to ask P to stop for a bit so we can appreciate it longer.

Definitely my favorite drive of the day =)

choc hills driveUphill to Chocolate Hills Observation Deck, we’re welcomed with spectacular view of hundreds of similarly shaped grass-covered hills, which to date remain a geological puzzle as to how they were formed. It’s so picturesque, we had to do sooo many stops before heading to the 214 steps at the Observation Deck.

photo(3)Chocolate Hills Observation Deck

photo 2

It’s already 5ish and we were running late already. Manong who rented his motobikes to us said we should be back by 6pm. But the sunset that served as our backdrop to Bohol’s No.1 tourist spot, was so gorgeous, it’s ridiculous not to marvel a little longer.

We started driving back and at the foot of the hill, P signaled to me to stop so we can discuss our route back. He showed me his intended route back to Panglao, which was actually shorter and less busy. He snagged my helmet again and requested me to accelerate a bit more, before letting me hop on my motobike and start another road adventure.

It was a little less than 2-hr drive back to Alona Beach, but it sure felt waaaay longer than that. And though I’ve somehow regained my confidence on the handlebars, since my knee surgery, the highway back to Panglao can be really challenging especially at night.

Motobike Route

Out biking for 10hrs including all the stops and breaks we did, covering approximately 160km and consuming about 6L of fuel, we were immensely happy bikers!!! ♥


*Map Legend:
A& F – Alona Beach area
B – Tarsier Sanctuary Corella
C – Loboc River Cruise / Loboc Church
D – Bilar Man-made Forest
E – Chocolate Hills Monumental Complex
*motobike / scooter rental rate: Php 300 for 8hrs with Mang George, +63906.451.3424, one of those locals who rent out their bikes to tourist whom we met by the street next to Alona Beach Tourist Police Station. He’d provide you helmets, after signing a Rental Agreement and providing your driver’s license number. We paid him though extra because we returned his bikes after 10hrs :-)
(I would have wanted to rent from Mike Bike Rental Shop, for its reputation in the island, however they have 3-days minimum for rental and were actually fully booked during the Easter)
*If you’re up for a new adventure and wanted to explore Bohol differently, motobiking is definitely the better option!
*Entrance Fee to Chocolate Hills Observation deck is P25/head (adult).

Dive Galapagos – check!!!

it’s been a little over a month since my buddy and i took our first backroll into the waters of the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

but i can still feel the thrill…the excitement…the butterflies are still there ♥

and if it isn’t enough, i’ll share some more sea luvin, which i co-wrote with wanderlass here:

 

baby steps again

lately i prefer doing my journal in my old school notebook. not because i hardly go online (which is the contrary) but because i have the autonomy of not sanitizing my thoughts in my little notebook. but i realize that hey! there’s a privacy option on this site and let that do the trick :-)

so now im back to my world wide web home and slowly trying to re-acquaint myself in doing the drill.

***

SPLENDID!!! a career slam for my Fed!  14 grand slam to tie with Pete. and wot’s sweeter about it? two in a row on a clay court  – Madrid & Paris! :-) wooohooo! i have to say the road to finals was tough, when most of your games were close matches, but after that match with Monfils, there was no way but up for you! :-) wimbledon, here we come! :-)

***

my mate J is now in europa. another mate J is flying there in a week or so. and it’s only now i realize how i sooo miss europa. whilst i was writing all the restos i tried in paris and versailles, and the plays i saw in LDN, and the train routes i had when i crossed 6 countries last summer (as they have requested to help them out with their iti), i felt this aching feeling how i enjoyed my european trip last year.

it didn’t help to receive updates from KLM how cheap their flights are now. a business class would cost one only for a return ticket to most of the key cities in Eu a friggin’  1200++ USD only!!! that’s a steal!!! (but ok, i’d get the coach tickets, nonetheless ;p )

worst, to sit inside the theater with my travel buddy / solemate ordinaire L, to see Angels & Demons, when i almost didn’t notice how the movie adaptation’s totally different from the book i read 3 yrs ago. why? because we’re not concentrating on the film but we’re both fantacising to be in italia that very moment to take 1001 photos of all the places mentioned in Brown’s story. that movie’s indeed an eye candy! dammit! that night i resolved to scoring a 10mm lens for my cam!

but i can’t let my luv for europa overcome my project: save for US tour ;p i can’t let my highschool buddy L down, when i have already declined being her maid-of-honour because of my initial concern with my visa. but now that i have it, i promised her that i’d cross oceans and continents to celebrate with her on her union with her soul mate. and a sidetrip for a month both in west and east coast will surely be part of the agenda.

and since i’m having a hard time totally cutting my expense now that i’m a freelancer, i really need to be creative now on coming up with sidejobs before september comes.

***

my comeback dive was a PG weekend dive! oh yes! a wicked dive at verde island passage! (this deserves a separate posting!). after months of not being able to dive due to my accident on a moped ride, i felt like a new diver again super eager beaver to dive every chance i can get :-)

***

for someone who publicly declares her aversion to treadmill, i even shocked myself swiping that plastic card in a sportshouse’ counter to have that no-frill-only-standard-features treadmill for myself.

why not, when it’s been raining incessantly in MNL and thus prevent me from training my knee?!

thanks to 0% interest rate at 6mos to pay promo of hsbc!!! hahahaah!

***

got a new adapted sibling. she just turned two, but i sometimes think she’s two years older. she drives the whole household crazy, but she is the current luv of my life!!!! :-)


tweeting here

categories

good ol’ brew

burst of colors

my luv affair to my islands


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