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Hot jeepney ride to hot springs

PHILIPPINES | Tuesday, 3 March 2009 | Views [590]

No air con in jeepneys...

No air con in jeepneys...

We had a bit of a late start today due to late night dancing at a Filipino nightclub .... never thought I would do that, but there you go. This trip has been full of surprises.

We decided to try to find the hot springs by ourselves and not take the tour. This involved taking a jeepney to a place called panicuasant (pronounced bizarrely “pan y croissant”). This was easier said than done and on our first attempt we ended up at an out of town shopping centre. Readjust your schema.... by “shopping centre” I mean a supermarket a cafe and a sort of Filipino Woolworths. On the second attempt we found the correct jeepney station down by the river. A kid of about 12 was rounding up passengers onto a jeepney. It later turned out that he was our driver.

There were already a few ladies and a little girl on the truck with about six giant bags between them and a precariously balanced tray of eggs. More passengers got on in dribs and drabs, a lady with a giant bouquet of roses in a wicker basket, a couple of old timers and so on. Once all the benches were filled, I expected the driver to start the engine, but we waited a bit longer and crammed more and more people on. An old lady sat half on David's lap and wriggled her way onto the seat. Latecomers sat on the roof or hung on to the outside bar. I wonder if they were charged more for the view.... Once we were as full as we physically could be, we set off at full speed into the lovely countryside towards Isarog national park. Out of the window I could see the flipflop-cladded feed of the guy sitting on the roof. It must be quite a talent to keep the flipflops on while travelling as such speed.

We'd been going for ages when the old man opposite shouted “pan y croissant.” I didn't react at first -oh! He was telling us that we had passed our stop. "Parra!"

We said goodbye to everyone, paid the driver and walked off down the lane while the jeepney load was readjusted, flourbags on the roof tidied up and they set off again.

We got directions from a group of school girls sharing a sun umbrella. They look bewildered to see us to say the least. We paid our entrance fee and started the 30 minute walk to the hot springs. After about 15 minutes we were overtaken by a 4X4 which stopped. We were offered a lift. The occupants turned out to be a local couple Ferdinand, a composer and film maker and his girlfriend Carol, a dentist. We ended up hanging out with them all afternoon at the pools and had a great time! They gave us a lift back to the hotel later so we were spared a jeepney squeeze for the return journey. We are going to meet up with them again when we pass through Naga again. Anyway, the pools were extensive and lovely. What a relaxing afternoon.

Tags: hot springs, naga

 

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