December 29, 2010
This is it - the big day where we crossed the mountains to Oriental Mindoro. After having breakfast and checking out from the Mindoro Plaza Hotel, we started the ride. Here we are at the city marker.
Around 12 kilometers from the city of San Jose is the town of Magsaysay. This is the last town of Occidental Mindoro before we hit the dreaded climbs to Bulalacao.
And so the suffering began. It starts as a steep cemented road similar to that of Maarat's Shotgun and the Wall, then the road disappears and becomes very rough and loose.
Although you will need to push your bike in some parts, I honestly think that without the weight of the bags and with proper tires and a good riding technique, one can ride parts of this.
This is us resting. It's so steep and loose that even pushing your bike to the top is a very daunting task. The picture doesn't do justice to show the incline.
That's Ed Velasques. He was able to ride his bike, but only for a very short portion. Pretty soon he was pushing it like the rest of us.
This is our savior - the ice drop vendor. His motorcycle bogged down on the rocky stretch and so we were able to buy from him. Truly heaven sent!
This is not yet the top. Actually, it's quite far from it. But we stopped, rested and had our pictures taken with the plains of Magsaysay as the background.
After the photoshoot, it's back to pushing again. Goodbye, Magsaysay!
This is near the end of the suffering. After this is a nice downhill on cemented road. Then it's back to climbing again.
We stopped by at the Mangyan village on top. They didn't have refrigerators but they do sell soda. So we bought a couple of bottles and rested while enjoying the view.
This is one of my favorite markers - the crossover to Oriental Mindoro. So is the ride finished? Not at all. Roxas is still quite far - 72 kilometers, to be exact.
Ed's face says it all. Here we are having late lunch in the small town of Bulalacao. This is around one o' clock in the afternoon. The people at the back are amazed at how light Ed's bike is.
One of the many wonders we saw in our trip is this Mindoro-style jeepney. It can haul around 50 people and their cargo over the same rough terrain where we biked and walked.
We thought it was all flat and downhill from here, but we were mistaken. The road from Bulalacao to Mansalay isn't flat at all. Here we are resting at the foot of the climb right after the bridge.
It's late afternoon when we arrived in Mansalay. I also had a big scare because I thought someone pickpocketed me and stole my wallet. I just misplaced it. Whew! We installed the lights and the blinkers just in case we need to ride in the dark.
We arrived in Roxas a little past 5:30. That was a fast ride. It was raining when we got there and so we were all drenched. We checked in at the LYF Hotel and Restaurant. This is a photo of our room. Don't you just love Ed's facial expression or lack of it?
This is the best meal we've ever had for the whole trip. We had sinigang na isda, kinilaw, sizzling pork, sizzling shrimps, and chopsuey over hot, steaming rice.
Here's our route for day three:
Read about the whole four-day adventure! Here are the links to the entries:
Day One: Batangas City - Abra de Ilog - Sablayan
Day Two: Sablayan - San Jose
Day Three: San Jose - Roxas
Day Four: Roxas - Calapan - Batangas City