Mindoro Bikepackers Day Three: San Jose - Roxas

December 29, 2010

First Stop is the San Jose City Marker before we crossover to Roxas
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.

12 kilometers from San Jose City is the town of Magsaysay
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.

The Suffering begins: the rough, loose and steep climb 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.

The Suffering begins: the rough, loose and steep climb to Bulalacao
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.

Resting first before we continue pushing again.
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.

Trying to ride the loose terrain
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.

Mr. Savior: The Ice Drop vendor
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!

Posing first: Goodbye Occidental!
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.

And we push again.
After the photoshoot, it's back to pushing again. Goodbye, Magsaysay!

Me pushing my bike.
This is near the end of the suffering. After this is a nice downhill on cemented road. Then it's back to climbing again.

The Mangyan Village at the top
Having a warm bottle of Coke in the Mangyan Village
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.

Goodbye Occidental! Hello Oriental!
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.

Having late lunch at Bulalacao
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.

A typical Mindoro "jeep"
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.

Resting at the foot of the climb. The road to Roxas isn't flat at all.
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.

Getting some supplies in the town of Mansalay.
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.

In our hotel room at LYF Hotel and Restaurant in Roxas
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?

Rice with sinigang, kinilaw, sizzling pork, sizzling shrimps and chopsuey. Dig in!
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


Anonymous said…
nice pics of your bike trip. you stayed in mindoro plaza hotel. i wonder how do you find that place as accomodation?
Jovan Puyo said…
The accommodations at the Mindoro Plaza Hotel were OK. At least there was an aircon and beds. There was no separation between the shower area and the toilet and so the whole bathroom floor gets wet when one takes a shower.
Anonymous said…
Balik kayo sa Mindoro. I heard better na raw road conditions.
Jovan Puyo said…
Really? I think part of Occidental Mindoro's appeal to me are the roads. If they've already cemented the route, I'm happy for the people living there as it would hopefully be faster to bring their goods to market. As for the biking adventure, I can say I'm a bit selfish and wish that it remains the same.
Anonymous said…
i agree w/ jovan. last month we motorcycled the island and occidental mindoro was more liked. partly because the roads are not sealed and maybe also because its just more picturesque and rustic.

no offence, but, oriental mindoro feels like batangas province and we were expecting some type of difference. chimmy
Jovan Puyo said…
Hi Chimmy! Thanks for leaving a comment! So how are the roads of Occidental Mindoro now? That part was such an adventure!
Jovan Puyo said…
It was just OK. Pretty decent compared to the other places that we stayed.
Unknown said…
nice adventure sir, hope I can do this in the near future. I'm quite new to mountain biking (I'm into mountaineering since college).
Jovan Puyo said…
Alam mo, kayang kaya 'yan. Wala naman kaming super special training to do the ride. :)