The bright Lakbay Norte bus lights went out and night lights turned on. We slept the ride from Pantabangan to Tuguegarao with Victory Liner’s aircon chilling everyone to the bone. Our bus rode rolled through the asphalted roads of Northern Luzon for seven long hours.
I awoke at five in the morning, it looks like we stopped and I don’t have the slightest idea where. The sky was still dark as I alighted from the bus; shaking sleepiness off, trying to wake my legs and bringing back some warmth into my rigid body.
It turned out we’re in Tuguegarao already and we’re gonna be staying at the Las Palmas Hotel ‘til tomorrow. That doesn’t mean we got to rest on their soft beds though. After moving our bags, a quick shower and a quicker breakfast, and we’re on the road again; this time on a jeepney bound for Kalinga. We’re gonna rough out raging waters of the mighty Chico River.
The mood was light, with E of SoloflightEd taking the lead on the chitchat department. A quick mechanical break had us photographing the sunrise creeping across a verdant field along the highways of nowhere.
Everyone was excited to ride topload, and as soon as we reached the town of Tabuk, everyone got on the roof! Well, almost everyone. The roofdeck was limited to six persons, so a few was not able to make the cut. Lucky, I was able to climb up; this was gonna be my first time to ride topload-style!
We soon rumbled down the road, passing swishing tree branches and carved highway rocks. The ride was very scenic, with the grounds dropping off on our left revealing the river that we’re soon gonna push through.
The roller coaster ride lasted for almost an hour but felt like only twenty minutes. We were at Malaking Bato, the starting point of our whitewater adventure, much too soon.
LAKBAY NORTE IS AN ANNUAL MEDIA FAMILIARIZATION TOUR AROUND NORTH LUZON
ORGANIZED BY NORTH PHILIPPINES VISITORS BUREAU