Saturday, June 14, 2014

Buenos Aires Beach, Victoria

This was my real destination in Victoria. I’ve heard from some friends that this place has a fine white beach, not as long as Boracay’s though wonderful enough they say!

I even already knew where to go from Victoria town center: ride a jeep, tricycle or habal-habal going Allen, and get off at Spice Of Life Beach Resort! Oh ha, prepared!
How easy? Well, I was not even at that intersection yet, as I walked from the Victoria Park, and I already saw a tricycle that stopped to wait for me. I ran so as not to keep his other passengers waiting and I immediately took the seat behind Manong Driver. When he asked where I was going, I just said “Spice Of Life”. He nodded, off we went!

This is a picturesque run. The highway traces the northwestern Samar shoreline...
San Antonio can be seen along the way. That haze of an island at the back is Capul!

And hey, I even knew if "I was there yet"! As the trike made its final right turn from the main barrio of Buenos Aires, I held my camera up to get ready for what I expected – a series of resorts beside each other until Spice Of Life! Got these…

Suddenly – yes suddenly because I did not expect it yet (I was still enjoying the views as we breezed through this row of resorts along the Maharlika Highway), Manong Driver stopped and told me “Spice Of Life na”! Awrk?! I paid P12 and faced that white wall…
I had to check where would entrance be to this a la Santorini wall and gate :)
What a “big” signage hehe. But nifty I guess. Or maybe “classy”? Whatever hahaha. So I entered the open wooden gate where two hairy dogs promptly snarled ready to bark at My Royal Highness. But the two Manangs (one seated on the floor by the door, the other on a chair also by the door) restrained them with a loud reprimanding “NO”!

Okay, the dogs 'subsided', though I could still hear some muffed "grrrrr" on the side. But it was time for me to bark, aw speak, so I asked the Manangs “open kayo?” to which the one seated on the floor answered with a witty “nakapasok ka na nga sa gate, so open kami” and they made a high-five as they giggled. I just thought “ka mga pikat hin nga kalagsan” and I instantly knew I was going to like it here!

I asked “where is your restaurant”? That made them quiet for a moment, until one recovered to say “ah we don’t have, its weekday” (hmm, English ha?!). Mind started racing, plan destroyed! I envisioned myself sitting at a breezy restaurant, feet up another chair, as I waited for my van to pick me up. Argh! I still asked where I can have lunch in this place. And the other lola told me there’s a “batsoyan” by the road!

Now that complicated things… My Royal Highness eating at a “batsoyan” somewhere along the highway when the Grand Tours van (pre-arranged via the friend/guide yesterday) would be passing by this gate to pick me up still at 1PM? No can do! Had to think for the best option that won’t undermine my objective – to see the beach. Looked at the time, it was only 10:21AM, still too far away from 1:00 o’clock! Thus..,

I asked them if I may instead just go down to see the beach without renting any day-use cottage. One said “aw okay” while the other said “of course, but bring your bag” (in English again!). That as the two dogs still continued their audible “grrr” and one even already sniffing my legs! I was short of dropping my backpack on its head.

But, I was gone to the beach in no time!

This is THE Beach! Looking left from Spice of Life’s stairs:

The right side view…

Walked down to the water's edge and took another left-and-right pair of shots:
What can I say, definitely better than anywhere in San Antonio that I have seen!

What happened next? Well, I walked and sat anywhere I wanted. I was literally the only human being on this beach! I did not even have to pay for a day-use cottage as that would have been impractical - BUT - I could sit, slump or even slumber just about anywhere! The two manangs at Spice of Life even informed me that I could ask the women in those little houses behind the cottages to cook lunch for me, and they’d surely let me use one of their cottages to eat my meal at.

But I had a better idea… stay doing nothing in this place as long as I can possibly do, go to have lunch anywhere in Allen, then just surprise the Grand Tours people by telling them “I am here, so no need to pick me up at Spice Of Life”! Ganun!

This was The Life! Just sitting around, talking to a dog, looking far at the horizon...
See that lonely little hut in the middle of the sand? Well, I had a good idea... placed my back pack there, and I darted to the cool waters for a swim! Hindi talaga mapigilan!

Let’s describe this beach more:

  • It is not a very long stretch of white sandy beach, just about half a kilometer long. But, fantastic enough for as many busloads as one can imagine! Because...
  • There are no fences anywhere to divide the shore, unlike at San Antonio. So, one can walk the whole stretch, as I did.
  • The resorts lining the road do have fences - concrete even - but only on their property lines. Not on the beach which is a public area.
  • Day-use cottages down at the shore are also side by side with each other, you just have to check who owns them so you can settle your payments.
  • There is a structure at the northern end of the sand but it does not look like a resort. At least you'll know there is nothing more to see beyond that.
  • I saw dark patches on the water in front of this beach's southern end. That probably means its a good snorkeling area, just like over at EWP.
  • The base of the beach sand is the finest I have seen in Samar so far - esp at its northern half. Almost, but not really as fine as Boracay. The southern end is topped with natural coraline gravel, but just the same also fine at the bottom.
  • There are residential houses in between some of the resorts. You can pass there going to the beach if you don't want to go inside a resort first before the beach.
  • It's not really "Spice of Life Beach". It is Buenos Aires (bwe-nos ai-res), the name of the barangay where this beach is located. Well, Spice of Life is one of the more prominent resorts in the whole stretch.
Something that San Antonio should emulate!

In fact, if you were looking for a wonderful beach, why go through all the hassle of crossing to the island when you have Buenos Aires, right here on mainland? Just a few steps from the Maharlika Highway! I am even now thinking of holding my next team event here, instead of the island! Logistically easier pa!

Alright, I stayed around sitting walking standing or clicking pictures for a happy though short-lived 40 minutes. At exactly 11:01AM, I hastened to go to Allen.

Quite obviously… MacArthur! (I Shall Return)! Promise!

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