Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cycling Philippines Batanes Day 8 : Homeward Bound

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Cycling Philippines Batanes Day 8 : Homeward Bound
Batanes Islands - Day 8 : 21st March 2015
All good things must come to an end, after seven good days at Batanes we had to leave. The islands had left a very good impression on us, it's beauty and it's lovely people will be forever be in our memories; we will tell our friends about the place; and if they do come we do hope that they will enjoy the place as much as we did and leave it peacefully without imposing any foreign values upon the people; they are god-blessed people from whom we should learn the spirit of honesty and humble giving.

6:00am: We were up and ready to go to Basco Airport from where we will take a 8:10am flight to Manila. The flight will take about an hour and forty-five minutes, we will transit in Manila for a few hours before taking the 2:00pm flight to Kuala Lumpur.
From Marfel's it was only a short five minutes physical ride to the airport, for us it was long ride mentally. We were rather quiet, each of us deep in thoughts of leaving the place.
At the airport, we checked in our bicycles; except for Ong, the rest of us had carry on luggage only. We then dropped into the souvenir shop within the airport compound to get some last minutes souvenirs; unlike major airports, the pricing here is almost the same as in Basco town.

Mid-way, as we flew over the Luzon Strait, I looked out the window and eyed suspiciously at a cloud formation slowly swirling in a circular motion. I said a prayer and kept my finger crossed, hoping that it would not form into a cyclone.

Phew..... our Philippines Arilines turbo-prop plane landed safely at Manila's NAIA; and I said a thankful prayer. I guess I am not to familiar in flying through cloudy skies; except for the dark clouds, the trip actually was rather smooth.

With time to spare after checking in; we browsed through the foodie section located at the first floor of the airport terminal and settled for some Japanese food at Raku Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant.
For me - some nice Tonkotsu Ramen.

And for all of us, Halo-Halo dessert drinks. We just can't get enough of the cheery drink. This one was much better than the one we had at Batanes, but then it cost three times more (...see Halo-Halo blog).

Time to do a wee bit of last-minute shopping, friends had asked me to get some of the Philippines favourite dried mangoes. I shopped around and found that they were rather expensive here at the airport and got a couple of packs at PHP300 for 250gms; hopefully my friends won't be disappointed with the small pack.

One little but tense hiccup arising from my puffing habit.
Looking for a place to puff, I asked a guard at the security desk where I could do it. He advised that there's a place behind McD. So I went ahunting a saw a boarded vacant lot just behind McD and went in to do my business. Little did I know that this was not the place, and little did I know that my entry was captured on a security camera, and in a little while another security guard came over and escorted me to the security desk.
For note, there are no public smoking rooms at the airport. Smokers need to go to one of those outlets that allow smoking, buy a drink or something and go into a inner section.

Back to the security guard.
I posted the above photo just to show how I felt like. Although the security guard was polite, I felt like I was in the clutch of a barracuda that stubbornly refused to let go. There I was, calmly pleading with the guard to let me go as I had a flight to catch. He in turn wanted to take me to the police beat at the airport to pay a fine. I offered to pay the fine through him and only after about twenty minutes of pleading that almost reached a panic level, did he let me go. My friends were most relieved to see me as they thought I had gone lost.
We boarded our Cebu Pacific flight bound for Kuala Lumpur without further incident, my cold sweat slowly drying off. I have learnt my lesson though.

Back home safe and sound; I will leave the unpacking of my bike to another day.
In the meantime, I will just spend some quality time with my family. It had been a good trip yet -
 It's Good To Be Back Home Again.

We were lucky to have left the Batanes on that day. Our Brompton Club of the Philippines friends left the following day. As they were about to leave an earthquake rocked the region. It was a minor one, but the airport authorities played it safe and reduced the luggage loads of the plane before allowing it to take off; our friends had to leave their beloved bikes behind; the bikes were sent on a flight a couple of days later to Manila. It was a hassle for them, but if it had happened to us it would have been real troublesome as our flight back to Kuala Lumpur was not a booked connecting flight. That would have meant us staying back in Manila until the bikes were sent... Thank God!

This blog comes in a several parts. To go to other parts click on the following link to return to the summary page:

To see more photos for the day, Click here.

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Philippines Batanes / Day 8 : Homeward Bound     | Jump to Day 1 / 2-1 / 2-2 / 3-1 / 3-2 / 4 / 5-1 / 5-2 / 6 7-1.1 / 7-1.2 7.2
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