Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Batanes Adventure Day 2: Sabtang Island Tour

After surviving the death defying cross from the port of Ivana, we were so glad to set foot on the Island of Sabtang.

We were told to be back by 2PM for our ride back, so we made the most of our stay.

As our other tour companions register at their tourism office, I was busy taking photos of the house across.  The bright green doors and windows against the grey walls was a perfect selfie backdrop.


Tourist are asked to pay 200 pesos to explore the many attractions of the Island.  Afterwards, we made a stop at a small eatery beside the port.  The ever curious me can't wait to see the sights, and went out to admire the Lighthouse at the distance and the houses that lined the street while waiting for our coffee.  Apparently, that's the only item they serve since most of the residents are attending mass that morning.

Lighthouse at Sabtang

Houses Near the Port of Sabtang

The house just a few steps from the eatery where we had coffee.
Before we rode the rented van for our tour, the Town Mayor returned our tourism fee being guests of the former Mayor of Ivana.

The ride to our first stop was so breathtaking.  We were passing through hills that doesn't seem to end.    Its difficult to get a bad shot even from a moving van.


Tinyan Viewpoint



The entrance to the path to the hills and the view of the cove is surrounded by stores selling souvenir items and delicacies.  Having missed breakfast, we got ourselves cones of Sweet Potato Fries coated in Sugar.



From the shops along the road, a trail leads tourist to the cove.  The wind was blowing hard that morning that we can hardly keep our eyes open.  I was only able to reach halfway, and was rewarded with a beautiful view of the cove below.


After the Viewdeck, we boarded the van again to reach the town of Chavayan.  Armed with my smart phone, I took the opportunity get shots of the beach along the road.



Sabtang Weavers Association


The Ivatans are known for their Vakul.  The traditional headress to combat sun and rain made from abaca fiber.  Keeping the tradition alive are the Sabtang Weavers Association.  The elderly ladies can be found right at the entrance of Chavayan, demonstrating how these pieces are made.  You can bring home finished products from their hut.





Chavayan


Chavayan is a Baranggay that showcases the stone houses Batanes is known for.  The main street and side streets showcases how these meter thick walls and cogon roof protected residents against the unpredictable and sometimes unforgiving weather of the island.





My throne is actually the steps to the main door.







Chavayan Chapel at the end of the street.


The interiors of Chavayan Chapel




The rows of houses ends to a narrow road leading to the beach.

This circular hut shaded my new found friends!
The children of Chavayan granting my request for a Groupie!

Sleeping Beauty


Enroute to our lunch destination, our van driver stopped to show us the Sleeping Beauty.  The peaks created a profile of a face with the foreground mountain responsible for giving the gender as a lady.

Sleeping Beuty! Can you make out the body parts?


Morong Beach


Among the Iconic shots of Batanes would have to be the Limestone Arch at Morong Beach.  This is the photo that greeted us at the airport, and were very much grateful of having seen it for ourselves.

The famous Limestone Arch!

I was tempted to take a dip, but the water was just too cold.

Panoramic view of Morong Beach

The beach is ideal for swimming on summer months, but the waves were really strong and water cold during our visit.  A beach hut restaurant served our lunch for the day that included lobsters.  That was actually my first time to try one.  As much as would like to have more, I'm worried of my allergic reaction to shellfish.

Our Lunch!

Unfortunately, the coconut cabs were not available, but who's complaining when we have lobsters!

Tipolo Leaf, widely used in Batanes that functions much like the banana leaf.

After the filling lunch, we drove back to Sabtang Port.  Almost all of the touring passengers who came with us that morning are all waiting for the ride back.  This time, the Coast Guard ha become more protective of not allowing us to cross.

As the Mayor once again negotiated our departure, I took the opportunity to take photos of the  sites I've missed within the vicinity.

Sabtang has their version of the Honesty Cafe named Conscience Cafe.

Concience Cafe, Sabtangs version of the Honesty cafe.  Photo grabbed from Ar. Marc Valencia

Right beside it is Sabtang Church.  From my previous post, I mentioned the irony of locating churches from port to port.  We are once again close to offering prayers for divine intervention granting us the ride back.  It was the Mayor who once again negotiated our return.


Coming out of the breakwater in Sabtang was even more challenging than Ivana.  We are going against the waves this time and our Faluwa was being rocked vigorously from side to side.  I think, God is granting my other wish of making this trip memorable.  The first half of the ride was the worst, but the waves became a bit calmer as we approach Ivana.  As soon we stepped on land, we were once again thankful of the opportunity to visit Sabtang and ofcourse our safety.  It was a huge risk to cross, but the experience was well worth it.

Morong Beach
Our Batanes Adventure Day 2:  The Faluwa Ride to Sabtang
Our Batanes Adventure Day 1 (Batan Island)
Our Batanes Adventure: The Preparation
Our Batanes Adventure: Helpful Tips

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