My Filipino Tour: Pagupud

The middle seats in the last row on a bus is not a comfortable place for sleeping.

P and myself drifted in and out of sleep waiting for different seats to become vacant. Towards the final hours of the trip two seats finally became available. We snagged the seats and slept until the we arrived in Pagupud.

The rain was coming down hard in the early hours of the morning. Luckily we found trike drivers at the bus stop. Trikes are small motorcycles with a side car for the passenger or two. A few miles down the dark and wet roads we pulled up to Tartaruga's Hotel & Yacht Club.

Tartaruga's Hotel
I emailed the owners the before to inform them of our early arrival. They said it wasn't a problem and our room would be ready. And much to my surprise they were awake and waiting. Just the first of many examples of the owner's great hospitality.

As the sun rose in the morning the rain kept falling from the sky. Laid around all day and relaxed due to rain pouring down. We went to get some breakfast as the hotel has an outdoor eating area where they cook the meals. Fresh and home grown ingredients, including the rice, are the theme. Plus, the ladies know how to cook. Their garlic rice is the best I have ever eaten. We ate often here over the next three days due to the rain and was never disappointed.

The resort is a family ran business. There are eight rooms in the main building and a couple of detached rooms as well. A back porch area, a small eating area inside, and as previously mentioned the larger outdoor eating area. The rooms are adequate in size, very clean, and extremely affordable. The entire staff is very friendly and eager to help.

The rain never let up on the first day. Constant through the night. We made the most of it by eating, relaxing, having drinks, and chatting a lot with the staff.

Day two came and there was still light rain falling. We decided to brave it and go look around Pagupud. We flagged down a trike and took the short ride. There is not much in the town of Pagupud. One can find a good size market and a few shops for clothing, meat and vegetable, and other items needed (lots of flip flips and sunglasses). There is a small bus depot, a community center, some houses, a government building, a couple bars, and that is about it.

The site of freshly butchered animals left out in the open while as a person waves flies away is an image which will stick in my brain a long time.
After a few hours of walking around and a bit of shopping, we headed back to Tartaruga's for lunch. The sun started to come out in the afternoon. We took the opportunity to walk down to Saud Beach, which was the reason we came here. After a small fee to enter we walked the long, wet, beach.

Saud Beach

Saud Beach
Gorgeous white sands and blue ocean and blue ocean (actually the China Sea) can be found. The beach is uncrowded. On this day we only saw a handful of other people. It's not busy at all and you can carve a chunk of sand all you own. Or one of the many cabanas under the coconut trees if shelter from the sun is what one desires. There is even a look out building for a scenic picnic. Loads of seashells are everywhere, and make for inexpensive souvenirs, and tiny crabs scampering about the sand. Also a long line of vendors selling souvenirs.

We waded through the water. It was cold at first but quickly got used to it after I submerged. The waves were crashing and fast and the undertow was strong. I did not go out far as it could have easily swept me out to see on this day. There is beautiful coastline as far as the eye could see.

Saud Beach

Saud Beach
 After a couple of hours the sun disappeared and the rains came once again. We headed back to the hotel and relaxed the rest of the evening.

We woke up optimistic on day three. We wanted to go to the other side of the bay to walk the famous Bangui Windmills. Unfortunately the rain had other ideas. So once again we missed out on site seeing in the area, with the exception of another quick beach trip, and hung out at the hotel relaxing, chatting with the staff, eating, watching television, and drinking. There is not much else to do around here when the rain is falling hard. We found out from the staff that it is always rainy late November in Pagupud.

Today was Thanksgiving and I celebrated with a delicious Filipono meal.

pancit canton

We had one more day scheduled here but when we awoke, the rain was still falling. After breakfast we decided to call it good and get on a bus to Vigan. So we said our goodbye to the staff and thanked them. We grabbed a trike and headed to the bus terminal. We jumped on a bus to Ilagos where we could make a connection to Vigan. This was a long, slow, and at scary ride. Because it's a bus route there were constant stops. Not to mention the narrow roads full of walkers, scooters, trikes, cars, and oncoming traffic.

Three hours later we arrived and got on a connecting bus. This was a little faster since there wasn't as many stops. Another four hours and we arrived in historic Vigan with plenty of light left in the afternoon to explore.

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