Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Philippines, traveling to Baguio and seeing the Rice Fields

We are on the way up to Ilocos Norte for a beach holiday. Ilocos Norte is, as it says, all the way to the north, so we have quite a way to drive, but we said that we take it easy and not the direct route. We will drive to Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines and then through the mountain province and the rice fields.

Starting very early in the morning we drove off just before 6 AM to get through Manila before the traffic starts and we got wonderfully though this usually totally congested city. Then we went straight on the Luzon North Highway towards Bagio. Of course we needed to have a quick coffee stop in one of the great petrol stations along the highway. One finds everything there, from restaurants to shops, anything one needs.

As soon as the highway is finished one needs to be patient. The road, even so a very good one, is going through one town after the other, so the drive is slowing down very much, but is is still a lovely drive. One needs to know that the road goes on like this all the way up to the very north. But we turned off at the sign up to Baguio.

The road is getting smaller and very windy and of course, only uphill. If one enjoys driving in the mountains, this is a great way to drive, just be aware, it will continue like this for hours. So we drove up to Baguio, a lovely town in the mountains. It is a big town and the houses are glued to the steep slopes, all the valleys are full of houses.

Of course we stopped and had a look around. The temperature is a couple of degrees colder than on the coast so it is really very nice up here and I think we are definitely coming back here.

And now the big drive started, we went into the mountain province towards Benguet in search of the famous Rice Fields of Benguet. Now, the drive is scenic and beautiful, but you need to know that the road is windy and there is literally one curve after the other, up and down, nonstop. I love driving in the mountains and so does Poala, my Girl friend, so it was no problem, but I am just saying that for the next 5 to 6 hours at least, there is no straight stretch. But we found the rice fields, it is not exactly the right season, but we still saw quite a few of them nice and green, others were full of water and some dry and getting prepared for the next crop.

We went up to the highest point of the Philippine road system at 7700 feet, not knowing before of course, but yes I must say that we had an incredible drive. We actually drove that day from before the sun rose till after the sun set, I know we are mad, but that is us. Mountain Province is lovely and again here we will be back one day to explore more, we will spend more time in Benguet, the center of the Rice Fields were the terraces date back over 1000 years, incredible isn’t it? There are more roads and different ways one can go, so Mountain Province, we will be back.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tocino, Quatar Airways and going back to the Philippines

Again I am flying, this time so I am happy as I am going back to Philippines to see my girl friend and we will spend three wonderful weeks together. So there will be more nice recipes and some photos from the stunning nature here in Philippines

As usual when I have to pay for my flights, I fly Qatar Airways, not because they are my preferred airline, but as I am on a tight budget I have to shop around and get the cheapest way from A to B. But I have to say that one gets really good value for money. Plenty of movies in a easy to use system, the service is extremely friendly and of course the part that is very important; the food is generally very good and tasty. There is plenty of leg space which is important for me, not that I am overly tall or big, but I am not the smallest person, so the space is highly appreciated.

I got fetched from the airport in Manila and we went first quick to Pampangas Region, north of Manila, to visit some family before going home which is close to Tagaytay and the Taal Volcano. From here we planned our little trip to Ilocos Norte, but more about that in the next Blog.

Now I have to give you another of my favorite Philippine Recipes, it is actually mostly eaten for breakfast, but I think one can eat it all day long. It is called Tocino, it is really something I can not stop eating1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Honey
3 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients with about 4 lbs finely sliced Pork (2 kg and marinate it for one day.

Then fry in in a very hot skillet with a bit of the marinade, till the meat browns and is dry

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holiday in Langebaan, South African West Coast

I have spent the first 10 days of my holiday in the Western Cape, up in Langebaan. Langebaan is a lovely small town directly at the beach, great for kite surfing as there is plenty of wind. We stayed in self catering accommodation on the golf course. that I play golf, but the accommodation is really great, it is called Ellefsen Golf Suites  Not that I play golf, but the accomodation is fantastic and good value for money. We had two bedrooms, a nice lounge and kitchenette, ensuite bath room for the main bedroom and then another big bathroom, there is a BBQ (or Braai in South Africa) on the terrace, parking, swimming pool, children facilities with play room and jumping castle and loads more. It is safe and secure, new and clean and spacious one could not wish for more. I got the website on my sidebar, so have a look for photos and more information, it is very nice here and I feel the price is really value for money.

So you can imagine, every afternoon we went to the swimming pool as the weather was hot and sunny and had a great time. The drive to the beach is less than 10 minutes and there are a couple of nice restaurants there too.

Another thing one can do is to go to the National Park, especially during flower season (August and September) it is absolutely amazing with all the wild flowers and there is as well the West Coast Fossil Park, a lovely outing not too far from Langebaan with a really amazing found of bones. The photos are all from the Fossil Park. If the weather turns bad one can take it then even further and drive to Cape Town where one can find a great Museum with Dinosaurs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...