Am I a wanderer? I’m still not sure, I don’t define myself. When I’m asked as to what I do, I often just tell them that I’m just a guy on a motorcycle travelling to different places with no labels nor expectations. I just travel with an open mind hoping to find challenges that can help me become a better version of myself.
This is the last day of my 5 day journey and I’m going home. It wont be easy, I will be taking the mountain route this time. This route is shorter than the bayside but is a bit more challenging. The last time I was here the mud was thigh deep and I dropped my bike countless times. Taking this route takes a toll your mind and your body, you always have to find a good path or you will end up trying to push yourself through the mud.
I was so caught up preparing for the challenge ahead that I almost forgot to say thank you and good bye to the lady that made everything possible. She’s the owner of the lodge that I stayed in and it was her family who took me island hopping. What was supposed to be a good bye, ended up in a short conversation about preserving the islands and making it accessible to anyone who wish to visit it.
She shared to me that she used to be a part of a group that takes care of the islands and the she is saddened to know that some of them are now private and can only be visited by the wealthy. She told me that people from her island should still be allowed to visit, as if not for them those islands wont be well preserved.
Something that I would never forget was her telling me that the islands should be for anyone and everyone, not just for a privileged few who can afford going to a fancy resort and that it should be open for the future generations.
As much as I want to stay and talk to her some more, I have to go. Sometimes it’s annoying that you have to leave because you have to catch a boat, an appointment or just something else. But we all have to return to something and travels should have an end, this way it makes you appreciate it more.
Good thing the sun was out, people told me that the roads are good this time of the year as it’s not raining that much. The local government tries its best to flatten the muddy roads to make it easier for vehicles to travel. However if we are talking about standards, what the locals consider as “Ok” might be very far off from your expectations. As what is acceptable to the locals might be quite hard for the visitors.
This is what you should expect to encounter here. The mud caught me off guard when I was here the first time. Patience and focus are the key things that you have to remember when going on travels like this. There are no houses here and you rarely encounter a person walking by. A mistake that would lead to an injury, even a minor one could spell a disaster, as help is very far away.
A wall of ferns that reminds me of Jurassic Park, I felt like anytime a Velociraptor would come out and bite me in the rear. My jaw dropped when I first saw this, I have never seen ferns so big that it seemed to dwarf me. It was just amazing to look at, it feels like you are in different era.
I have been advised before to not follow the path where there are jeepney tire tracks are, as it’s very deep. Your pegs and shifter can get stuck and getting out of it is a pain in the arse. Some old men advised me this, but being my usual stupid self I decided to not follow it. My thinking was, jeepney tire tracks are already hard and compact making it the ideal path to take. Well I was wrong, I got stuck to the point that I had to literally lift my bike to get out of it.
If your’e the type of person who can’t bear the thought of dropping your bike or you getting filthy, then this kinds of things is really not for you. There is nothing glamorous in pushing your motorcycle through mud, you can’t conquer a terrain as its owned by nature and it is just letting you pass, there is no room for pride and vanity in these kinds of places. However there’s one that I would suggest that you bring and that is your grit as you can’t be here without it.
A couple of minutes after I passed this deep muddy road, 5 jeepneys with full load came and carved it so deep it already looked like a trench. Watching them tackle the terrain was just truly amazing.
Progress is slow. It’s like playing mind games with the mountain, you can’t just macho your way through a route as sometimes what you think is shallow at the start, will end up being very deep in the middle and the next thing you know your’e trying to figure out how to get out of it. I have to take a different path, from what I can see the middle part is pretty deep and there’s no one around to help, if I ever get stuck here.
Just getting pass those muddy roads is already a reason for me to celebrate. After the muddy ordeal, you will be greeted by light gravel roads with flowering plants growing on its sides, which for me is a welcome treat. The locals probably thought that I was kind of weird I took this shot. If there was such a thing as jumping with joy on a motorcycle, this would be it.
I got to the port early enough to have a decent lunch before boarding the boat on another 3 hour ride back to the port of Real. As I got to the port, I was greeted with smiles from the porters. “I know what they are thinking” I told myself. Seeing that I’m dirty again only means one thing, then one of them said “You went to Bordeos again?” then we all just laughed. They then prepared my bike to be alighted from the boat and I said to them “I think I’m getting the hang out it, I’m not as dirty as last time.” They all laughed at me and asked if I will be coming back. I told them “For sure hopefully when I do, I would have some good news for you guys”.
It feels good riding the concrete again, but it’s not over yet. I still have to travel more or less 2 and a half hours to get home. It will be cold, foggy and dark but it’s all worth it, it’s always worth it.
I do this every time I pass here. No matter what the conditions are, what time it is. I always, always make sure that I stop and take a photo of this place. I have shared to you my experiences for the past 5 days, the people, places and the small things that makes travelling always worth while and with that I leave a photo of my secret spot. Thank you very much for reading and keep on chasing the horizon.