Thursday, October 27, 2011

Naga To Sabang

6:30AM I was already checked-out, up and about, then started to walk my way to the van terminal for Sabang. With a groggy head! Ah, I must have gulped more than enough last night. No thanks to my Naga friends who kept me enjoying the night as if I was not leaving early. But I did not tell them I was going to Caramoan, right?! That’s why! But I was not complaining hehe. That pair of biogesic and alaxan does the trick. Whoever told me about that years ago, it actually works! The hangover goes away in a flash hehe! Hopping and skipping along the railroad tracks, I arrived at the van terminal to learn that the 3rd departure for Sabang has just left a few seconds ago. Argh!

Drivers and dispatchers told me 3 vans departed earlier due to the number of passengers who came early. Anyway, the 4th van was waiting though front seat was already occupied. Double argh! Hey, if I considered most vans from Legazpi to Naga as filthy, this van in front of me should be in the ranks of junk that can still run! I asked if there were other vans after this. The reply was “if there were more passengers”. Awk! I got in and took that leftmost seat behind the driver. Passengers were arriving in trickles and few were destined for Sabang! Ah, I placed the backpack on my seat and popped into that Dunkin Donut stall for a hot-choc and a bottle of water to follow it with. Nice enough breakfast hehe.

Dispatchers were still calling out for passengers and they were saying my van was leaving at 7AM. Duh, it was already 7:11AM! And when I came, they were shouting that this same van was leaving at 6:30AM! Good that a group came, and I could hear that their companions were the ones who took the earlier van. Until a time came when the dispatchers were shouting for just one more vacant seat – the very space beside me. I almost got tempted to tell them I’ll pay for the seat and let’s go. Not only I but other passengers were getting impatient as well. Some were talking about the 9AM boat at Sabang going Caramoan that they must catch while some just felt it was hot inside the non-airconditioned van even with all windows that can be opened already wide open. Finally, some dude with nothing to bring but a laptop (at least that was a laptop case I saw) finally came to fill the empty seat beside me. And off we went at exactly 7:28AM. And when I glanced, the next van was already half-full. Gosh!

I tried to doze this supposedly 2-hour 100-peso ride, as if I could hehe. I thought our driver must have come from being a Ceres bus driver prior to this assignment hehe. He was flying on the road as if we were really going to take off! And many times he had near-misses with other vans he was overtaking, tricycles, a bus and even children walking by the roadsides. Beautiful countryside btw, but I could not prep myself to take photos as we were really going very fast that the van kept tilting left and right, aside from the abrupt braking during near-misses and the sudden acceleration as if we were riding a cross-country offroad rally! Whoa!

Good that the dude beside me tried to get me into conversation. That kept me away from boredom and cursing at every pitch and turn of the van! His ‘opening remarks’ was a hushed… “makakarating naman siguro tayo nito sa Sabang ng buhay” (we’ll probably reach Sabang alive) referring to the crazy way the driver seemed to be stitching the road with his van hehe. It was a hushed comment since we were seated just behind the driver. And I answered with “sana” (I hope so)! Until we came to the ‘getting to know you’ portion and until I came to know that the dude was/is an ATM technician or something like that, and he was on the way to Caramoan to repair the lone ATM in town that sits inside a pawnshop beside a pharmacy hehe! Nice realizations!

We finally arrived at 9:08AM and passengers were unanimous that we were actually not that fast, the driver was just crazy he seemed to be mowing everything in the van's path!

Oh well, let’s do the boat thing next?!

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these 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


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