After taking a break. I was determined to get my confidence back, so I rode last weekend. What was supposed to be just a breakfast ride ended up in a place wherein motor vehicles are not allowed anymore.
“I need my confidence back!” I told myself, after that I realised that I’m freaking hungry, so I decided to just ride to have my breakfast. Just like that I prepared my gear, first aid for the motorcycle and first aid for myself and lastly my riding armour which was fresh from the cleaners. I really had to mention that it’s “fresh”, my motorcycle jacket and pants don’t get washed often. I know it would be a big “ewww” for some people but really these things are not meant to be washed regularly and they don’t stink easily. It helps to wear these kind of clothing when you ride, as it dries quick, it protects your body in an accident and you also look cool, if your’e into the whole Batman look. I decided to take my camera as well to take a few snaps here and there, so on I go.
Since I left early I encountered only a few riders, even fewer at the place where I’m going to get my breakfast. There’s this one group that was headed there, since we were passing each other again and again I decided to just tag along til we get to the breakfast place. Upon arriving I asked them where they are heading, they told me that they were going to a fiesta somewhere in Real, Quezon. After a brief conversation we proceeded to eat our breakfast. At this point I haven’t really decided where to go after my breakfast, but I have two options at the back of my mind. One would be to visit the place called Daraitan, the other was to visit the place where I dropped my bike 4 times in less than 15 minutes, sorry I can’t recall the name.
After eating my breakfast and sipping on some hot choco, I decided that its time to go. The group that came with me were about to leave as well when one of them asked, “Do you want to come with us?”. I asked if they were going to stay there for the night, they said “Yes”. Since I wasn’t really prepared to stay overnight, I politely declined and just told them to take care of themselves and off they went. I just decided to visit Daraitan, since I haven’t been there before. I’m not sure what to expect.
After going through ten minutes of paved roads and 30 minutes of rough roads I was greeted by this.
You can immediately see that the river is full of activity, cars and jeepneys are being washed by the river, fishing boats crossing and hikers waiting for the boat (above) to take them across. Hikers? Yes there were a lot of them, apparently theres a mountain in Daraitan thats popular to hikers. I asked around if I can get the motorcycle across, they said yes for a fee of 40 php thats for both going to and going back.
It was a no brainer, I decided that I’m going to go across and explore whats on the other side. So I moved my motorcycle closer to the edge of the river, the hikers then asked me “Are you going to take that across?” I just said “Yes” and they were quite surprised. After all the hikers have been brought to the other side I was told that its my turn. The placed their boat by the edge of the river and took out a narrow plank. You would have to ride the narrow plank to get to the boat, so no turning off the throttle or else you will lose your balance if you do, you wont have anything to step on.
Thankfully I got across dry. Not knowing where I should go, I just asked the guy that collects the fare. He told me that no matter where I go I would still end up here since its just a small place. Off I go, I followed the tricycles hoping that where ever they are going theres going to be something interesting. They stopped at the baranggay hall where the hikers were dropped off. I have no plans to consult the baranggay about my plans, since I really don’t have any.
Riding with nowhere to go usually ends up in a dead end and an interesting conversations with locals. I was fortunate enough to talk to one local, it was brief but it was very insightful. He told me that living there was really simple, if they wanted something to eat the would just go to the river to get fish, they usually catch dalag, tilapia and carpa. He also told me that the there are no houses by the river because when it floods if the house is near the river, it will be swept away. He told me that his was swept away along with all his belongings. Because of this he now lives on higher ground near the calamansi farm that he manages. I didn’t want to take any more of the man’s time as he is holding some rice and some canned goods that he bought, most probably its for lunch. So I bid him farewell, he told me that if ever I was around again just tell the locals his surname and they know that I’m referring to him. But I forgot his name…
Roaming around I got to another dead end, I was told not to go further as there’s really not much to see. So I headed back, the last dead end that I went to made me say “Wow”.
Without thinking I parked my motorcycle took of my helmet, jacket and shirt it went to the water. Getting here was not an easy task as my tires didn’t grip well with the mud. But it was all worth it. Everything was just amazing, the rock formations, the river, the vegetation. Everywhere you see is something to marvel at.
I just had to soak everything up, so after taking some photos. I decided to just sit down and feel everything, its moments like this that you feel like your’e free.I wanted to stay there for a long time. But at some point I had to go back.
Going back I was met by a group of hikers, they were surprised to see a motorcycle that deep in the hiking trail. Apparently they were with a guide who quickly introduced himself to me and asked what I was doing there. I told him I just went there to take some photos, then he asked if I went to the baranggay to register, I told him I didn’t. He told me that motor vehicles are not allowed there anymore and that I should have registered first so that the local authorities would know what I was up to.
I felt like a jerk for not doing it. I just told him that I’m going to do it next time and that I didn’t know that it was the protocol. He was very courteous in letting me know. I felt bad for what I did, I really am, but I was also quite happy to know that there are people here that are concerned about these kinds of places. Getting over what happened the past few weeks wasn’t easy, just like this place which was not easy to get to. Sometimes you doubt and question yourself if it’s worth it and will the reward be greater or equal to the risks that your’e taking? To tell you the truth. I don’t know. What I do know is… I want to find out. Seeing this place made me say that it was worth it. Just like that I got my confidence back.