Instead of taking the shorter and more straightforward route back to Naga City, we took the longer road and detoured to check the vista along the eastern coast of Sagñay (pronounced sangay), a sleepy municipality in Camarines Sur.
This was originally our destination instead of Caramoan, the plan being to beach at the rocky shores of Barangay Patitinan, then head out to the nearby Atulayan Island. My uncle decided against it at the last minute since we’ve already been here the last time we went to Bicol (I can still recall our picnic at the nearby cold spring covered by shady trees just a few meters beside the sea, and snorkeling the afternoon away at its starfish-laden waters).
We’d no longer check the beach this time though since it was still about half an hour of hiking away from the road. We contented ourselves in viewing the deep blue bay of Atulayan with its lone island from the comfort of our van.
After some minutes of cruising along the scenic bay, we stopped and alighted at a viewing deck.
The deck was perched atop a hill and overlooks the panorama of the Atulayan Bay. The only thing missing was Atulayan Island, the hat-like outcrop in the midst of the bay. It was unfortunately obscured from view by the vegetation around the deck.
The viewing deck seemed a popular stop-over for those plying the route as another group arrived just as we were leaving. Next year I hope we can revisit Atulayan, I was too dead-tired then (I got lost on the way up to the hi-way to retrieve my snorkel, and again got lost going back to the beach, hehe) to fully enjoy its beauty.