Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Summer Escapade at Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

In my childhood days, summer was not complete without a family outing to the beach. As a grown-up, work has been the focus of many of my activities. However, I still crave for the sand, sun and waves come summer time. It is hard to get away from the city to schedule some downtime but me and a friend were able to realise our plan for a summer escapade.

Picture-perfect beach, taken from the shade.

We have always wanted to explore hidden gems in our islands and what better opportunity to visit one of them than this summer? So off we went planning and finally exploring Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. Heads up! Another photo journal coming up.

They say "before it gets better, it gets worse" and the long travel time to our destination was just that. It took us 9 hours to travel, late at night, from Shaw, Mandaluyong to reach the boat terminal in Paracale.

We were also taking care of a group of friends during the trip, so at the port, we had breakfast at one of the carinderia's and while they were waiting for us in the van, we went to market for our food on the island. We we're cooking for all of us--13 people in all!

Once we were ready to go, we headed for the boats. We had to carry all our stuff above our waists because we had to wade through knee-deep water to get to the boats. Then it was a 2-hour ride to Calaguas Island.

It was a wet and bumpy ride to say the least but we had lots of things to see. There were other boats going in the opposite direction and other boats also going to the island. We passed by several islands as well and we had to guess which one we were going to as we saw them come into view on the horizon.

Our boat departing from Paracale.

One of the islands we passed by.

A boat and its passengers on their way back to Paracale.

Another island and another boat.

Another island with more boats.

Pretty soon, our eyes grew tired from all the sights and our hands grew tired from taking pictures and the motion of the boat and the sound of the waves lulled us to a short nap.

We woke up just as we were nearing the shore of Calaguas Island. We arrived at around 12noon, the hottest time of the day and while the shining, white sands were a welcome site, the temperature when our foot touched the sand surprised us. We jumped around for a bit as we waited for our stuff to be unloaded from the boat. Then we setup tent and prepared to cook for our late lunch.

Finally! The shores of Calaguas Island.

Our companions waiting for our bags to be unloaded.

Other passengers on several other boats who are also waiting for their bags.

An empty boat ready for its next passengers back to the port.

Our friends waiting for their bags.

After getting our bags, we looked for a spot near the beach but under the trees to provide us with shade. We pitched our tents and while our companions rested and enjoyed the view, we went to the huts for cooking where we busied ourselves cooking our late lunch.

After lunch, we found it still too hot to dip in the waters, so we took our sarongs and picked a shady spot under the trees so we could take a nap. While I was trying to sleep, I took photos of the beachfront and some of our fellow beach-goers who were already enjoying the water and playing under the sun.

Some people are not intimidated by the hot sun and scorching sand.

Our shady spot of sandy paradise on a hot afternoon.

Taking a peek at the beach-goers behind our shade.

The shrub that shielded us from all the heat--well most of it.

Our tents in front and then those behind us.

We took time to enjoy the waves after lazing under the shade. The crystal clear waters and the moderately big waves were quite enjoyable. We would have stayed longer but we had chores so we rinsed off in the shower facilities and changed to new clothes and got ready for our dinner.

The heat finally lets up at noon and more beach goers are able to enjoy playing on the sand.

Sunset is always a welcome view.

The sunset crowd is even larger than during the day.

We heard news before coming to the island that there was going to be a lantern festival but no activity of said event occurred during our stay. Instead, different sections of the beach had their own music blaring and some even had their own events.

Our companions opted to have their dinner on the sands as they gazed at the stars, enjoyed the cool breeze from the sea, listened to the music blaring all throughout the shore and drank their beverage of choice--liquor and lambanog.

The next morning, I thought I would already grow tired of taking pictures of the beach but the island also had beautiful mountains where you could do some trekking. We were too tired to do some trekking ourselves but some vacationers were up for it.

Early morning by the beach on the 2nd day at the island.

The swells are quite inviting.

The waves are big but not quite big enough for surfing.

Early morning risers soaking the sunshine.

Morning trekkers on their way to their starting point.

And this glorious view of the sun to welcome the day.

It was hot early in the morning and taking a photo of the sun isn't the best way to wake myself up but I pointed my celfone camera and snapped away while looking at the blinding sight and hoping that I took a decent enough picture, and I guess I did.

Soon it was time for us to finish our breakfast and pack-up to head back to Paracale port.

View of the hill as we leave for Paracale.

I tried to take a straighter picture of the scene but the movement of the boat made it difficult.

Finally, we lost view of the island and were sailing along on the open sea.

It was another 2 hours of waiting time for our companions to take their baths and then we were off to our long journey back to Manila.

We had aching butts and really groggy moods when we got off our van but the memories of Calaguas Island keep us dreaming and looking forward to more adventures.


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