Madrid-Europe (TET)-Asia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Pcq, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    The next day I took off to Baler. On the way I had planned two stops.
    First and by recommendation of Marc, the museum of Philippines political history.
    Secondly I had spotted an ultralight flying club close to Angeles City and on the way. I’d never flown in one for a trial flight so I put it into the plan for the next day.
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    Getting out of Manila metro was hell... I got to Malalos where the museum was and had a very interesting guided tour there.

    It’s shocking to see what the Philippine people have endured in the last centuries, since Spanish colonisation, the revolution, US rule, devastation and then an untimely Japanese occupation. And then the modern period with its ups and downs. But a very rich and cross culture for sure and full of warm kind hearted people.

    A mural representing indigenous rulers and mythological figures of different regions / eras
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    The guide
    987C062F-6CED-486F-8E06-1013AB6DD312.jpeg Testing the luggage rack
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  2. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    My first ultralight experience turned out to be amazing.
    There’s a small but very cool and tidy airstrip and sports aviation club in the outskirts of Angeles City.
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    Captain Max was my instructor pilot. A class act with full on sense of aviation humour. Also many hours behind the controls and you could feel that which is always reassuring.
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    Here is a video of our landing he let fly the aircraft for a bit showed me the basics and let me ghost the controls when landing. Very cool and I could definitely develop a hobby of flying light aircraft!
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  3. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    I arrived into Baler in the afternoon, I made it a point not to travel after sunset. I’ve had just too many bad experiences with drunk drivers and unpredictable last minute stuff popping out onto the road.
    Baler is a beautiful place, an amazing stretch of beach made famous by Coppola’s Apocalypse.
    I had contacted a Philippine surfer/photographer Tiara, and she was in the area so we met up. She kindly took me around the hidden surf spots and we shared a great few days there. I promised not to disclose the locations...
    She is an amazing person super talented and funny. Her dog Gordy is already a star both with the locals and in her photo shoots.
    I’m sharing her instagram because her photos are so cool
    https://instagram.com/seapixels.ph?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=pkvdrksktica
    She also knows everyone in Baler and in the surf scene in the Philippines, so she gave me great tips on where to go and who to contact on my sur safari.
    Baler beach
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    Tiara and the amazing Gordy
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    Great dinner at a local place
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    Spectacular views from the southern point above Baler
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  4. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22,546
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    been following your trip and congrats on the xr200.

    thinking of getting a used xr200 next year when i visit manila. i still have families there.

    enjoy your stay.
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  5. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    Thanks ! Yes I think it’s a good choice for moving around here. If you find a good one they’re bullet proof, super easy to maintain everywhere they have parts.
  6. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    Here are a few more pics of the stay in Baler

    At the Saturday farmers market with Tiara and Gordy
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    View from the south
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    Great post surf session poke bowl at Saranglayap
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    Lambanog a very tasty and interesting local alcoholic drink made from fermented coconut based on a pre colonial Philippine tradition.
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  7. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    After a fantastic stay in Baler I rode back to Manila to get the bike back to Alfredo’s workshop so he could manufacture and fit the surf rack.
    I always try to avoid doing the same route twice when travelling if I can avoid it.
    I really wanted to ride through this coastal way but I looks like there are areas where there are not even tracks connecting so i don’t know if you can’t go through. A local also told me that it might be unsafe (people wise), but really I doubt that anyway I’ll try next time...
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    With more time I would have explored the possibility because I really did not want to go back to Manila the same way.
    But I ended up having to take a similar route back with minor changes.
    I got the bike to Alfredo’s and within 24h the rack was ready. And he did an amazing job. Not only did he make it a lightweight, sturdy and quickly detachable, he also reinforced and painted the luggage rack, which was not sturdy enough. And as the bike was running rough his assistant took the carb apart and cleaned it completely and it now ran perfect.
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    Quick releases as those used on bycicles
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    Alfredo of Wild Custom Workshop
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  8. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    The following evening i joined the gang for a big custom bike event. Organised by Motobuilds at Motora Azul café. Huge turnout with corresponding bikes. What I love about the biking scene here is that since it’s relatively new there is a mix up of every kind of style and class you can imagine but no one feels out of place. And there are some cool classics around also.
    This is the base for this year’s customisation
    Challenge. A scooter hahaha
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    Some cool classic dirt bikes
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    The MXT is a particularly interesting and rare 2 stroke
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    This bike with the board got me excited !
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  9. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    Some more pics of the event
    Buck, Alfredo and a pal
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    The line up of Bristol’s
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    I met some cool and interesting people the journalist/vlogger presenting the event, Zach Makina.
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    What was interesting is that he’d just come back from the desert in Morocco at the press release of the 790 adventure and we chatted about the bike. I’ve been following the presentation of the model closely. He only had great things to say as most everybody does.
    This is his review

    I also met Mike Eijisantos a moto and surf enthusiast who also is a well known professional surf photographer. He gave me great tips on where to go on my island hop adventure.
    This is his Instagram
    https://instagram.com/mike_eijansantos?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=hn3tfn0oo4yy
    It was very cool hanging with the full gang and I’m glad I did not ride there as we had a few beers ! Took a grab back and dozed in the back.
    Jolly riding off on his airhead
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  10. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    So by now I had most everything I needed. I was just missing a board... I had a contact of a shaper I’d pulled from google that I arranged to meet at his “secret” workshop somewhere south of Manila.
    Obviously there are no pics of the place but he’s totally legit and super nice dude that goes by the name of Jay Love. His brand of boards is Electric Century.
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    I met him and we had a great chat. He didn’t have the type of board I was looking for in stock but set me up with a buddy of his who happened to have a few used boards that might fit my needs.
    In return he opened up and I listened to his business concerns as a young entrepreneur and craftsman. It was really cool to exchange some life experience and help each other out. The most significant thing he told me that he got from my advice was to think about what lifestyle he wanted and to build his activity so that he could lead that life. Since he is the know how and owner of the business he gets to decide how he does it... it’s actually very fortunate to be have a passion become a craftsman and be able to develop it. Plus in a market that is rapidly growing in the world and very much so in the Philippines.
    So after the chat I headed to his buddy Toks. Another real down to earth local guy who had a number of used boards and equipment for sale.

    It just so happens that he had a board that really fit what I was looking for as an allround travel board. 6’1” short funboard wide and floaty enough but fun that it will perform enough (for my level!) and easy to haul around. Used and repaired but in good condition for the money. I didn’t want an expensive, valuable board when I was going to ride around on this adventure. I also figure that whenever the conditions are longboard or I just get the urge I can easily rent one at most spots or just haul it from the shop to the spot.
    Toks threw in the fins, leash, wax, sock for a very good price.
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    Now I was set!
    I just had to now pick my route and spots from the map...
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  11. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    This is the intended route, when I say intended there could be changes along the way. It will depend on the condition of the waves, how much time I spend in different islands or spots, people I meet etc... the beauty of not having too many fixed items on the calendar and just going with the flow.
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    The biggest enemy of the Pacific swells at this time are still the NE trade winds which will slowly start to shift to Westerly winds, but in March and April you can still get some strong onshore winds on the east coastline that will blow out the breaks.
    In any case there will be bound to be some good spots which will be surfable. And it’s “summer” season here now which means little or no rain which is welcome for the riding part. We got a hell of a lot of rain in Siargao in Jan-Feb.

    The first thing was to get out of Manila. I’ve met amazing people there and my current setup and itinerary wouldn’t have been what it is without the generosity of all the new friends Ive made. But I need to get out back into the nature and surfing I’m longing to surf more spots along the hundreds of kms of Pacific coastline. After Siargao I can only expect amazing waves ...

    First leg was Manila - Antimonan. To leave the city start making my way south east, and spend the first night at a beach town.

    Getting out of Manila was, as expected, hell.
    The rack does a great job of keeping the board stable, especially since I’m never doing speeds of over 60-70kph. The idea has always been to ride small roads, tracks and not speed anywhere, and in any case as much as I love this little bike, it won’t do anything above 80kph with all the load. So it naturally limits the pace to what’s reasonable and safe enough.
    This is what I think is a contrasting view of the skyline just outside.
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    And this is the route from BGC Manila Metro to Antimonan.
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    Stopping for coffee at 7 eleven my new travel go to place!
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    The second part of the ride, once far out enough from the capital was actually enjoyable. I finally arrived at the small seaside town of Antimonan still before sunset and found a place to stay for the night.. more on that interesting place in the next post...
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  12. 5N-ADV

    5N-ADV n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Minna
    Great ride report. Keep safe!
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  13. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    So I found a place to stay the only hotel that I could find in Antimonan... let’s leave the name of the place out. It had a secure parking, shower and A/C so met my needs !
    I went to get a bite to ear opposite the hotel at a cantina. As I passed theough the indoor patio of the hotel I saw booths, SanMig beer crates and a sound system.
    As I was having dinner a group of local guys all looking well seasoned were sitting beside me. We chatted, nice guys, I asked for some tips regarding travelling through some of the islands. Then one of the guys told me that the hotel I was staying at doubled as a karaoke / girl meeting and was actually run by the mayor hahaha
    Soon enough without any consultation they had found a friendly English speaking girl for me to “practice her English” with. Hahaha what a bunch of rascals ! Anyway very wary about all kinds of scams, and contrary to my morals, as much as I needed the company, I declined further advances than to actually just have a chat with her. Apparently these karaoke are in nearly every town and serve exactly the purpose I mention as well as somewhere where the kids can actually sing along...
    She eventually even rang my room to see if I was up for more. Not so many foreigners come by that way apparently ... anyway good to know the ins and outs of a place !
    Btw this truck had taken out a tricycle fortunately they told me no one was hurt because the carnage was terrifying...
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    The charming view from my room
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    Beautiful views on the way
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    From Antimonan I rode on to Daet which is a known for surf at the vast beach breaks of Bagasbas.
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    A very beautiful stretch of beach..However it was blown out by the wind, accommodation was expensive and I really wanted a decent bed and shower. So after exploring I rode on to the town of Naga where I had seen a promising hotel with secure parking. That way I also figured I would advance and could make the ferry to Catanduanes the next day.
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  14. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    After a great night’s rest in Naga I headed to Tabaco to catch the 1pm ferry to San Andres, Catanduanes. I was very excited about Catanduanes since I’d heard amazing things regarding the great surf and just how natural and little tourism there was...
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    This route takes you past 4 volcanoes, no less, and the very last stretch you ride a beautiful sweeping road between two of them.

    Truly spectacular...
    I then learnt that to board a ferry with a motorbike in the Philippines isn’t expensive but you better factor in some additional time as you have to pass through 4 different offices to pay and have little pieces of paper stamped. In addition to the actual ticket, port authorities, police, coast guard... anyway finally with very little time to spare I boarded the Ro-ro!

    Catanduanes turned out to be absolutely amazing ... I’m not allowed through surfer ethics, to reveal some of the spots I surfed at. It’s the kind of place that is still blessed with magic, the scale, pace and lack of touristic development... a few families that all know each other and try to keep things from getting out of hand. So come here by all means, just respect the way it is... and I hope no bus loads of tourists come because it is a luxury to enjoy it as it is now.
    I met the local surfer gang that just rip the amazing breaks here... hospitality was amazing, it’s like you get adopted for your stay. No WiFi, hot water... but amazing home cooked food and a beautiful hut with hammock included. Some of the best surfing I have ever experienced. Even though I kissed the reef on my first venture into the break, no major consequences, just a reminder that this ain’t no beginner spot and you have to earn your place in the line up...
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  15. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    After a week in Catanduanes I took the ferry back to mainland Tabaco. From there I rode down to Gubat. Instead of taking the google suggested route (blue) I saw that there was a coastal road (red) that seemed to turn to smaller track, so of course I decided on that!
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    The route turned out to be amazing...
    Before that I passed Mayon volcano, I saw there was a track that headed up the lava tracks. There was an adventure company renting quads. However with my bags and board I didn’t venture up...but I wanted to!!
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    When the road ended and the track/road construction started this is what I got to enjoy...some of it was actually a bit challenging considering I was hauling a board, and also I had no riding boots just my trekking shoes. The water crossing and a couple of other big rocky sections had me a bit nervous for the ankles, but nothing proved too much for the little XR. I am amazed how well this bike does...it actually feels more like a 400 and that might be because even though it’s an old technology build it’s so simple, feels really sturdy, and keeps its weight / bulk down.

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    Unfortunately not enough swell and too much onshore wind the breaks to work there. I stayed the night at a run down beach hotel and made my way down to Matnog to catch the ferry over to Allen, Samar.
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  16. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    I’m now in Allen, Samar.
    This was my ferry and arrival yesterday. I’m not the only one who’s aging haha.. she got us there though: ) I’m going to explore the area, try to find some waves and will report back ; )
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  17. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    In Allen I met a sweet local girl. I stayed for a couple of days in the hope that the swell would let me surf some spots close by, but it didn’t happen. Nevertheless I was entertained and the surrounding area is also very beautiful ; )
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    The front brake was feeling grabby and made me uneasy. Since the bike had been sitting unused for a couple of years I decided to have it flushed and changed at the local Honda dealer. Not that you need the brand specialist for this, but the great thing about Honda is that throughout Asia you have a dealer in any larger town in Asia. And all have seen XRs at some point.
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    I rode the local small roads that connect Allen with Lavezares and enjoyed some down and gwapita time before setting off southward on the island to find more spots.
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    This guy can carry up to 8 people on his superstretch
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  18. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    Some more pics of the Allen area
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    Attached Files:

  19. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    Well rested from Allen I rode now looking for some surf to Borongan. There are two ways to go but I took the southern route as you avoid a couple of ferry rides.
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    Riding South of Borongan I saw a surfer looking guy with rastas. I ended up surfing a cool spot with a group of locals who have a shack there.
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    The hotel in Borongan was really sweet, staff was amazing.I stayed there for a couple of nights and enjoyed it. Check out the security “boss” on the left who guarded my bike killer looks !
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  20. Pcq

    Pcq Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    169
    From Borongan I rode further southeast to the very end, Calicoan island. That place is amazing...
    I stayed at the goat house there which is, as you can infer, a goat farm, surf camp, with surfers, various animals, locals... for a few days we surfed, cooked, drank too much... I met a really cool group from Borongan, and I’ll probably go back there and surf and hang out with them.
    Calicoan is simply a stunning place with world class surf if you go in the right season. Right now it’s still at the tail end of the onshore windy season and the swell is tame (but surfable).
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