Thursday, 24 October 2013

CYCLING THE PHILIPPINES - PANAY



PANAY

22 October - San Carlos – Bacolot – Dumangas – Iloilo, Panay - 30 km
I took a ride back to Bacolod where I could get a ferry to Panay. The ferry was cheap but went to Dumangas instead of Iloilo City. It was not a disaster as it was only a 25 kilometre ride into the city. Along the way I met Roger Gonzales Aristoki, who was planning to cycle to Ajuy the following day. We cycled into the city together and he was kind enough to point a cheap place for me to stay. There is nothing like local knowledge and he saved me a good few Pesos.

23 October - Iloilo – Altavas - 120 km
I, for once, managed to get up early and was on the road earlier than normal. It was a great day for cycling as I had a slight cloud cover, making things much easier. I felt good and the kilometres ticked by without me noticing. I zooted across large rivers and past small villages, past basketball playing kids, rice paddies and grazing water buffalo, never even wanting to stop.

By the time I reached Altavas, I reckoned I had enough for the day and looked for a room. There was only one place but the owner was out of town, and there was no one to let me in. Normally, people think that cycling to the next town is too far to reach by bicycle. Today, however, I was told that the next town (which was 40 kilometres away) could be reached within an hour!!  The man was quite convinced that cyclists travel at 45km/h!!  There I was, thinking I did well for the day, but was quickly put in my place….. LOL.

I was pointed in the direction of the hardware store, which had some rooms above. Although basic, it was cheap and had a fan!  People here always call it an electric fan…. I wonder if one can get any other type of fan??

I had a quick wash and then, to the delight of the villagers, went on a walkabout around town. I had quite a following and felt something like the Pied Piper!!

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