Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mini Bike Tour of Legazpi, Albay

On my first day in Legazpi I was just able to go to the mall to have breakfast.  Had my photo taken with the bellboys of Hotel Venezia, who were very helpful in giving me directions going around town.

I proceeded to Pacific Mall.  It was drizzling. 

What I like about the roads of Legazpi is that they have a dedicated lane for parked vehicles, passenger loading, and bikes.  It means I don’t need to compete for space with cars and other vehicles on their lane.

Pacific Mall is about 3 kilometers away from the airport and Hotel Venezia. It’s a pretty decent mall with a department store, some shops and restaurants. I remember seeing Max’s, Mcdonalds, Jollibee and Shakeys.  

I had breakfast in Bigg’s Diner.


Afterwards, I strolled around the mall with my folded bike in tow. I went to Metro Gaisano to buy some rags.  A security guard stopped me from entering and required me to leave the helmet first (and there was a sign!), for whatever reason.  So I did, but I got to bring my bike in the department store.  Go figure.

I biked back to the hotel to dress up for a wedding I was to attend in Misibis Bay.  Too bad, I couldn’t bring the bike with me.

The next morning, I was pleased to see the sun shine outside my window. The sky was not completely blue because there were still some clouds lurking, but I’d take that kind of weather over heavy rain.  At last, I thought, I could push through with my planned mini-bike tour of Legazpi. 

Since time was of the essence, I took the advice of Neil the doorman to take a cab going to Cagsawa Ruins.  P75 for the fare and P50 for the pick-up fee.  When I got to Cagsawa I was not happy to see the peak of Mayon Volcano still covered by clouds.  Aaarrggggghh!!!

Pero andun na ako eh.  Ano pa gagawin ko, di ba?

While taking in the view, a teenager approached me and offered pictures of Mayon.  I politely declined whatever he was selling, but I commissioned him to be my photographer. 

Brompton Skywalker at the Cagsawa Ruins 

I swear, that's Mayon Volcano behind the clouds! 

 Insert Mayon Volcano in the background.

 There used to be a cemetery here.

He made me do some funny and cheesy poses.  I was reluctant to do them, but he was so persistent.  So, here they are.  Forgive me.

 Look at me, I'm a giant... and so is my Brompton.

I'll just make this belltower my personal wall to rest after a tiring day of mayhem, causing panic and destruction in the city.

Anyway, I was informed that if you visit Legazpi this time of year, the best time to view Mount Mayon in Cagsawa is from 5 to 6 in the morning.  Dahil wala pa daw clouds pag ganung oras.

After having my fill of the ruins, the cross and the cloud-covered volcano, I unfolded my Brompton and biked back to town.  The road was mostly down hill, so biking was a breeze.

On my way, I passed by another Legazpi landmark: Lignon Hill.  I thought the climb up to the top wouldn’t be that bad since it was just a hill.  I was wrong.  Half-way up, I got down my bike and just walked it.  Di ko kinaya.

Lignon Hill is a good place to visit when in Legazpi because you can take great photos of Mayon Volcano from another vantage point.  Unfortunately, at that time, the clouds were still resting over Mayon.  Sigh.  Anyway, they have a zip-line there.  P250 sit-down, and P350 for superman pose.  Some guy, Darwin Mayor, tried to sell to me an ATV package for P1,800 per ATV which could carry 2 people.

Lignon Hill

Halfway through the climb, I gave up biking.   

 Again, that is supposed to be Mayon Volcano in the background.

Overlooking downtown Legazpi City.

From Lignon Hill, I proceeded to Legazpi City Proper (about 5 kms).  I went to Embarcadero, a mall facing the Legazpi waterfront.  It’s a fairly new development.  They have Mercury Drug Store, Gerry’s Grill, Bigg's Diner, La Mia Tazza, Kitaro, Harbor Wok, Cinderella, Plains & Prints, Fila and some other stores.

Legaspi Waterfront

Embarcadero de Legazpi

It's a mall!

View of the Legazpi City Port

Of all places in the country, Embarcadero had Segways!  And they were renting them out!  In Misibis Bay, the rent was P2,000 per hour!  But here, the rent was a lot less.  I just wanted to see how it rode, so I rented a Segway for 5 minutes for P75—not a bad deal.

Riding a Segway PT

Had to leave the mall to catch my flight.  Passed by the Battle of Legazpi monument on my way back to the hotel.

Biked back to Hotel Venezia (around 4 kms).  Cleaned and packed my bike for my return trip to Manila.

Over-all, I believe it was a successful first out-of-town trip for my bike, Brommie Skywalker.  Except for some minor paint chipping on the frame, the bike came back okay.

I plan on taking it on another mini-bike tour this summer.  This time in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB).