Went with the family on a year-ender trip on the roads of Bicol. We left late at around 9:30AM to avoid meeting the typhoon head-on. The sky was already clearing through our route and it was already sunny by the time we arrived at Gumaca by around 1. We we’re looking for Lita’s Eatery but we missed it. We ended up having our lunch at Jollibee.

From Gumaca, everything was fined. Except, rhe roads between Sipocot and Libmanan which were terrible. It made me think that no matter what you think of the Marcoses, at least they know how to take care of their constituents. The roads in faraway Ilocos were much better maintained. The people in charge in this part of Bicol apparently doesn’t.

Going into Naga, we got caught up in a traffic jam. That’s when we noticed the extent of the destruction wrought by the typhoon. Toppled posts, torn roofs, and pigs out of their pens. It was around 8PM when we finally got through to Naga. We quickly checked in to Nagaland Hotel. The hotel and its restaurant was crowded so we went out for dinner. Most of the places were also crowded and we ended up at Crown Park which was still crowded but we were able to get a table.

The next day, we had breakfast at Graceland then went around Naga. We went to San Francisco Church and Quince Martires ParkPorta Mariae and the Metropolitan Cathedral. After the walk, we went and had ice cream at First Colonial. The chili and pili ice cream flavors are definitely must tries.

To avoid traffic, we decided to leave earlier than planned and just have lunch somewhere along the way. But we ended up in a traffic jam nonetheless. And it was bigger and slower than the previous day’s. It only got better after Baao. By then it was dark.

Then at San Miguel, the road onward was flooded so we had to take a detour to Iriga. But even the way towards the detour was flooded. It was nerve-wracking driving slowly through the almost-knee deep waters. But thankfully we got through. We went on to the detour through Iriga and finally reached Guinobatan around 8PM. We quickly checked in to Casa Basilisa just barely making it before their restaurant’s last call. Because we  lost half a day, we decided to extend our stay in Bicol for another day. Luckily, there were available rooms.

The next day, we went to Cagsawa Ruins and then Legazpi City to have lunch at Sibid-sibid. We also check out Lignon HillSleeping Lion/Kapuntukan Hill, and Embarcadero. We tried to have dinner at Bigg’s Diner but the food looked like regular fare. We tried to go to First Colonial but they were closing (so early). We ended up at Shakey’s. Regular fare. Yesh.

The next day, we went back to Cagsawa to ride the ATVs. Best decision! The ATV ride was a blast! And the view of Mayon was even better than the previous day. The sky was clearer and, with the ATVs, we were able to move closer and have a less-cluttered (with people) view. Pretty much satisfied with our adventure, we returned to Casa Basilisa and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and relaxing.

We left very early the next day to avoid traffic. We made good time and had our breakfast somewhere past Naga. However, traffic was congested heading into Quezon. Still, we made good time and were in Gumaca by around 1. We had lunch. At Jollibee. Again.

After lunch we headed on. I decided it may be a good idea to pass through Lucban. It was actually good going along the back country roads until somewhere between Lucena and Lucban, James’ car suffered a flat. The whole tire was totaled as he hadn’t immediately noticed it had gone flat. His spare was in good condition but needed additional air. Good thing I had an automatic inflator in my road kit. After a few minutes, we were back on the road.

Then every town we passed, Lucban, Liliw, Majayjay, Nagcarlan turned out not to have bypass roads. We had to pass right through the narrow (and busy) roads of each and every town. We finally reached Calauan and had late dinner at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. After that we proceeded home through Bay, Los Banos, then SLEX.

Another fun road trip with the family!