Caramoan Lucky 13: 13 Hours, 13 People, 13 IslandsWednesday, December 05, 2012Ryan Mach
Upon getting the total headcount of the people who were sure to go to Caramoan, I slightly panicked and thought about making an alibi to excuse myself from pushing through with the trip. We were 13! In my book, that's a red flag. It didn't feel like a coincidence, not to me anyway. But I had to shake off the feeling of doubt and apprehension, it's childish and counterproductive. After all, I was tasked to do the travel logistics which included doing the itinerary, making bus reservations and looking for an accommodation. If I'd weasel my way out, I'm sure my friends would have a hard time forgiving me.
13 Hours: Manila to Caramoan
The trip to Caramoan from Manila via land travel takes approximately 13 long hours, without delays, that is. It includes a 9-hour bus ride (Manila-Naga), 2-hour van transfer (Naga-Sabang) and another 2-hour boat ride (Sabang-Guijalo). Taking this into consideration, it's unwise to spend a day in Caramoan because the travel part alone can take a considerable amount of time. 3Day and 2Nights is perhaps the most ideal time-frame to fully experience Caramoan.
We were the only passengers who were dropping off in Naga. The bus was bound for Legazpi so we told the crew who was wearing a nice chaleco to wake us once we've reached our destination. Wake us he did right after the bus halted on the side of the road in Naga. We scrambled and groggily hurried to get off the bus. A group of tricycle drivers greeted us as soon as we hopped out. A fellow passenger aboard Cagsawa advised me that the regular tricycle fare to the van terminal is Php7.00 so when the drivers told us they're charging 20 pesos per person, we told them pointblank that it's too expensive. They counter-argued that 7.00 is for regular hours. Fair enough, it's 2:30 in the morning and it's cold outside. We agreed at 15.00.
Our driver was a kind soul who didn't mind fetching some of our travel companions at CWC. He didn't mind either when we told him we needed to withdraw cash from any available ATM along the way.
It was close to 8AM when we finally docked at Guijalo Port, where an L300 was waiting for our arrival. The excitement and elation we felt brushed off any fatigue we might be feeling. It felt good to have arrived at our destination on time, safe and sound.
13 People: Great Company
|Side trip at CWC|
7 Out of 13 Islands
Three days and two nights isn't probably enough to visit and explore all islands that comprise the Caramoan Peninsula. There are about 13 islands, give or take, scattered around Paniman, a small village in Caramoan that serves as the drop-off point for the island hopping tour. During off-peak season (read: no Survivor filming), all of these islands are accessible to public as long as the weather's fine and sea is not too choppy. The waves in Caramoan sea can get extremely nasty on monsoon months and stormy days that sailing under a bad weather condition can be considered as an act of suicide.