Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Out Of Benoni

Good I did not make my way leaving the port of Benoni immediately. What have I planned to do on this island anyway, or this weekend anyway, right? I just said ‘okay, I will see that white island in Camiguin again. But it was just Sunday morning and my flight to Cebu was still Monday afternoon.

So, there I was, standing literally in the middle of the intersection of the provincial highway and the little road from the pier. The three pictures below will let you see my vantage. Yeah, no vehicles (of any type) were passing anymore. They have all gone to various destinations with the SeaCat load except me, myself and I!

At least I learned new things here. Like? Like from the port, if I head right, the town of Mambajao is 17kms away, while if I went left, the town of Catarman is 23kms away. And if I head back to the fastcraft, that’s 68 meters hehe!

Just how did I know all those numbers? Ah eh… clear signage in front of me!

Hmm, this had me a bit thinking… ‘where should I go now’? I knew anywhere I go there'd be hotels and resorts. Should I try Catarman this time? Ah, I decided instead to go for the provincial center, Mambajao. Even decided I should stay there and not the beaches again, so I would see and learn more about the locale.

Looking around, I said “now what, it looks like none of these transport modes are about ready to fly or even interested to take me anymore” hehe. And even if I decided to go back to the fascraft, it would have been too late. See this picture?
Yep, that was my Paras Sea Cat moving onwards to Bohol hehehe!

I walked to this trike...
He said he would take me to Mambajao for 300 pesos. Wheh?! I said no.

Then I walked to this one...
Driver (seated) said he was going home to Mahinog proper for lunch. But that guy standing was egging him to take me to Mambajao for 250 pesos. So I told him “ha? sino nagsabi kaya ko magbayand ng 250?"! Then I just walked back to the side of the highway, hoping to catch a passing trike or jeep going to center of town (Mahinog) or onwards to Mambajao, if any!

They were interested to take me. Some made their offers...
But I didn’t want to take a 17km habal-habal ride at high noon with my backpack on.

Know what? As that 2nd trike above (they're called "motorella" btw) turned right from the port area and passed where I stood, driver called on me telling me to just ride with him to Mahinog. I can't recall if he said “junction” or "boundary" or something else. He told me I can wait for a ride to Mambajao from there. I asked “magkano?” and he said “di bale na” as he was just on his way home for lunch (as earlier told me above). I jumped in of course!

Akalain mo yan, I left the Port of Benoni alone in a trike (ok, motorella) – for free! I did not really know up to where, how far or how long. But I thought, at least my ride from there wouldn’t be ridiculously priced. Plus the realization that there still are good-hearted people! Well, if its any indication, his trike (ok, motorella) banners 'Mother Of Perpetual Help' for a name. Would you ask for more?!

Alright alright, my views along the way, on this FREE RIDE…

Driver told me that’s Mantigue Island...
He told me of fantastic things to see/do there. Noted on my "to see" list, of course!

More views...

Oops, I did not see them coming, because that SUV blocked my view...
So I turned around inside the trike, just to catch a pic of them horses. To remind me that, yes Leonardo, they have well-bred horses in Camiguin!

And… that is the boundary dividing Mahinog and Mambajao. Any significance?
Well, my free ride was supposed to end here. My trike cannot and may not go beyond. But do you see that trike on the right side of the road? Yep, my next ride to Mambajao! That’s how they do it here! But...

Okay, before we proceed to my next ride… I asked the driver (who said “di bale na” on that free ride from Benoni to this point) how much normally would be the fare, and he said twelve pesos. I fished 3 five-peso coins and gave it to him but he declined saying “no” telling me it was a free ride. So I got off, but I instead left a 50-peso bill on my seat in his trike and ran for the next trike as I shouted “salamat kaayo nong ha”!

I just know good people when I encounter them.

But let's go on with this 'adventure'. I still haven't "arrived", right? That's next!

To read the chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52


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