We found a lovely hotel outside Santiago, we arrived fairly late, but that is as well because we had first dinner before we looked for a hotel. Yes we went to a fast food, Jolly Bee and I had a double portion of the Spaghetti. Spaghetti here is served a bit different than in most parts of the world. It comes with a sweet tomato sauce and Vienna sausage pieces in it, but I like it and will have it many more times.
We drove off around 9 AM with the intention to get all the way up to Pagudpud, the final destination of our trip. Even so the map shows that it is a main road, be aware that in Philippines the roads are usually not that good and go through one town after the other, so there is a lot of stop and go and driving slowly, to drive 400 km takes you easy a whole day.
But then we wanted to see some caves as well. There are plenty of cave systems in the north, so for cave enthusiasts this is a paradise. We stopped at Callao Caves, a nice system of 7 “halls” easily to reach, after one goes up 110 very steep steps in scorching heat. There is another, even bigger system, but one needs to book for that one as this is not open for the general public and one needs a professional guide, headsets and lamps, so that is real adventure!
On the way out we passed very closely a venomous snake.......I hate snakes and looking at this one, there is no way that I will just trek through the bush here.
So after this very welcome stop we put foot again and went all the way up to Ilocos Norte and arrived again after sunset in Pagudpud. We went to Saud Beach and stayed at Saud Beach Resort. A lovely place, but more about the stay up there in the next Blog.