discovering Ilocos continues.. [Day Two]

My phone's alarm clock began to ring loudly, fighting the urge to press the snooze button, I slowly sat up and did some stretching. It's 4:30AM and in thirty minutes I have to get dressed, prepare my day bag and meet the group downstairs. Today, we start early. Our goal is to catch the sunrise at the Bagui Windmills.

I admit I was very excited for Day Two. Despite the early schedule, I can't wait to finally see a windmill up close! At exactly 5AM, we boarded the bus that will bring us to Bagui. I can't remember how the drive went as I fell asleep the moment I sat down. It wasn't until I felt Paul tapping my arm that I woke up and saw shadows of giant electric fans outside the window of the bus.

I quickly got my camera, tightened my cap, zipped up my jacket, made sure I had my Globo Surf hiking sunglasses and followed Paul and the group as we got off the bus. It was still dark and the wind was very strong. Just imagine having fifteen 70 meter high electric fans blowing in one direction creating the strongest wind possible. At this point, I wished I had a tripod to shoot in night mode. The strong wind just makes it impossible to keep my hands steady!

Finally, the sun is starting to rise. We walked further down to the sea and with some tips from our photographer companions, I was able to take a couple of decent shots. Now I know about ISOs and shutter speed (nax!).

I'm really amazed just looking at the 15 windmills lined up by the shore. It's a very beautiful sight and I can't help but go trigger happy once again as I wanted to capture this moment forever.

After a couple more shots, we went back to the bus for breakfast. It was a yummy meal that consists of hotdogs (my favorite!), overflowing garlic rice and scrambled egg. I got to hand it to Polaris Beach Resort , who took care of all our meals for the trip, that they didn't scrimp on the food that were served to us. In other words, we were definitely fed well Ü

After breakfast, our companions continued to take more photos while I went back to dreamland. I must have slept quite soundly that I didn't realized that we have left Bagui and have reached our next destination.

After walking for an hour, crossing 4 streams and doing a bit of balancing act at the side of a hill, we came face to face with a magnificent wonder called the Kabigan Falls. Who would have thought that crystal clear water still exists in our overly polluted land? Kabigan Falls was our second destination. We were extra cautious not to move so much for fear that our cameras might suddenly decide to take a dip and go swimming. Nonetheless, no time was wasted as we once again captured a rare moment.

In this stop, I was able to conquer a number of fears. First off was my fear of birds. Ok, before anyone decides to include me into their birdwatching list, it was just a basic initiation of me crossing a tiny bridge with ducks, chickens and other feathered animals pecking and paddling nearby. Normally, I would have probably just froze and back out. Thus, for me this was an achievement. Next was my fear of heights. Making sure I won't slide down the hill and die a gory death was another first. Thanks to my Crocs which made hiking possible and accident free, I was able to join the group as they went up and down and up and down again to take the best shots possible. Everything was worth the physical exhaustion and if ever I have to do the hike once again, I'd probably do it just to see Kabigan Falls one more time.

After our hike, it began to rain on and off thus ruining a bit of the experience in the remaining stops. We continued on to the Blue Lagoon for lunch and for a brief photo op despite the bad windy weather that makes it very hard for us to walk around. Lunch was once again c/o Polaris and their grilled chicken was delish!

Afterwards, we breezed through Bantay Abot Cave, a tall mountain with a hole in the middle (like Polo hehe), Agua Grande and the Patapat Viaduct. Since it was drizzling, Paul and I opted to stay at the bus to keep ourselves dry.

We found ourselves heading back to Pagudpud earlier than expected. Thank God that the rain has stopped and the sun came out just in time.

Pagudpud is perfect. With its powdery sand, clear blue water, no signs of trash or lumot anywhere; it is the perfect summer getaway for those who just wants to escape from it all. I can just imagine myself lying in the sand, an mp3 player playing nearby and a tall glass of fruit shake. ahh..

Luckily, we were able to capture the sunset at Pagudpud. Thanks to Alice, who took this romantic photo, Paul and I will always remember this wonderful moment forever.

Related posts:
discovering Ilocos [Day One]
Not Goodbye but Till We Meet Again, Ilocos [Day Three]

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