Saturday, July 26, 2008

Roaming Ilocos: Bangui Wind Mills

When it was time to move, the kind owner of Yzza’s Eatery left her cashiering table and went out to the roadside to personally pick a trike who could take me to the windmills and back. Hmm, that was sweet of her. The trike ride from the highway to the beach (yes, those windmills are on the beach) was rather bumpy. The road we took was just a narrow pathway which driver says was a shortcut. And it is not easy for a passenger of an Ilocos trike to be in such a situation. Its too cramped inside that your head touches the roof so that at every movement of the tricycle you risk bumping your head on either the roof or the metal posts of the cab. Ah, I transferred to ‘back of the driver’. Splendid with a views!

So we arrived at the beach, click click click and that’s it, time to go. Really?! Nah, I stayed for more. Although it would have been nice to talk to someone in the know about those gigantic ‘electric fans’, but there was no one around. Workers and their engineers were out somewhere still having their lunch. So all I could do was click click click with my camera as the trike driver waited in the shades. He did ask if I wanted us to cruise the entire length of the beach where the windmills are. I said no need, they’re all the same anyway. We were at windmill #13 and the first one is too far away it already looks small. Hmm, I think that first windmill may probably be already standing on Burgos instead of Bangui. Its real far! Well, to my right were the last two - windmills #14 and #15. And around us were a scattering of windmill parts laid on the sand ready to probably rise soon as #16, 17, 18 whatever. They’re mighty big!

How big are these windmills anyway? Ah eh… probably as tall as a 15 to 20 storey building. The “blades” or whatever those are called, would each be a little more than half that length/height. The base of each tower have a diameter of maybe 4 to 5 meters. Real big things really. And each windmill is probably a hundred meters or more from each other. During this visit, some ‘fans’ were not turning and some were. Luckily, windmill #13 was churning and we could hear some whirr as those blades rotated. Probably the wind cutting through them. Interesting experience! And hey, am not sure how fast they could be, but while I was there, they were turning rather slower than I expected. Nah, not your number 3 or number 2 setting on the pesky desk fan hehe. Not even number 1. It WAS slower than that. But then again, maybe because I was too near them? Whatever! At least we are sure they wouldn’t have erected those up if they’re not gonna be of use. I heard it now powers almost all of the province.

Done with the windmills, trike driver drove towards the main highway passing via another short-cut. This time we exited just off windmill #15 amidst farm fields. And the road was much better than that we used going to the beach. There was even a windmill parts delivery truck that came following and eventually overtook us. Gosh truck drivers and empty trucks. Daredevil drivers! Well yes, there were other vehicles on the way to the beach too, and they slowly negotiated the dirt roads.

Ah, while negotiating the fields, driver asked where I was going (I think he had an inkling as to my obvious route). So I said Pagudpud. And just as I thought, he proposed to drive me all the there instead of just the highway where I would have to wait for another ride then transfer to another trike going to the beach resorts. Well, I agreed… and that’s the next entry.

C ya in Pagudpud!

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