After much asking along the busy old streets of Boac, I finally found a jeep to Cawit Port. I was originally headed for the harbor of Balanakan, but was unable to locate the jeepneys that head to that pier due to the rerouting made for the Moriones Festival.
The streets of Marinduque are actually quite beautiful with old ancestral houses lining its sidewalks. It looks a bit like Vigan City, only busier, no doubt due to the ongoing festivities. I managed to snag the mandatory ref magnet before boarding a jeep.
Thirty minutes of cramped jeepney ride later and I was finally at the docks. I was seated at the farthest end of the overcrowded jeep (they even have makeshift seat at the rear entrance) and I cannot recall how I managed to get out of the vehicle with my backpack, snorkel vest, tripod and beltbag on.
I managed to have a quick lunch while waiting for the ferry to arrive at a carinderia (again). I’m telling you I’m almost living up to the Team Manila Carinderia Connoisseur t-shirt I bought years ago.
It took a while before the ferry showed up at the port and I saw immediately why. It was filled to the rafters with vacationers hoping to catch the Moriones Festival. Good thing everyone seemed to be going to Marinduque and only a few were going back off to Lucena.
The three-hour return trip to Lucena was uneventful and I just wrote in my journal ‘til my hands hurt.
En route, my cousin asked me if I would be able to make it to Lucena by 1:30pm so I can rendezvous with their van. Unfortunately, I was still halfway across the Bay of Tayabas and it was still an hour and a half before we touch port. So I was on my own to Naga.
It was drizzling when I finally arrived at Dalahican Port in Lucena. After a couple of jeepney transfers, I’m back at the Lucena Grand Terminal, which where I was at some days ago, looking for a bus heading to Bicol.
There was an aircon bus (where I can comfortably sleep) arriving at 6pm with an available seat and I immediately asked for a reservation. My ride was still three hours away and the drizzle was still non-stop. I decided to have a quick chow, hot mami noodles and chicharon, perfect.
After relaying my travel info to my cousin, I got some bad news. I need to be at Naga by 3am, as we would be leaving for Caramoan by four in the morning. My reserved trip would not cut it.
I asked around if there were other buses heading to Naga, and it turned out there was! Unfortunately these were non-airconditioned ones and these only make stopovers at the Grand Station. In short, they most probably are full, and if I would like to hitch a ride, it would probably be at the aisle, standing.
The first bus arrived. And it was indeed full; the aisle was already filled by people standing and sitting on makeshift chairs (huge cookie cans). I had no choice but to join them.
Two to three hours into the ride, I was finally able to take a seat, cookie cans are definitely better than standing up. It was one of the hardest journey I had ever endured. It was hot, cramped (I can’t even move my feet), and superlatively tiring. The only thing keeping me up was my constant companion on long road trips, Jack Johnson on my iPod.
I arrived at Naga dead tired at one in the morning. Two hours of sweet sleep, and the house was up. It was time to prep up for Caramoan.
We were at Sabang Port in CamSur at quarter before six. The sun was about to rise as we boarded the 60-seater boat to Caramoan.
The ride was rough but picturesque. It took us two hours of rough waters before reaching the aqua marine waters of Guijalo Port.
I was surprised, I thought Caramoan was all white-sand islands and we were gonna dock directly into one of them. It turns out it was sort of like Coron where you lodge at the town and hire a boat to tour the nearby isles.
The said town was a good twenty minutes away from the pier. Visitors can hire tricycles for the trip but since we were a big group, we hired a whole jeepney.
After almost 20 hours of travel time from Marinduque (minus 2 hours at Naga where I was able to take a nap), I actually made it in one piece to Caramoan (I can only wish for a ferry straight from Romblon to Bicol). Now let’s see them beaches!