If you’re reading it for the first time, you might want to check out the first two parts of our Philippine Bike tour (https://pedalpowerphilippines.com/2017/04/09/biketouring-the-philippines-leg-2-samar-leyte/)
Moving on to our third leg, we took the 9am ferry from Port of Bato, Leyte to Ubay, Bohol (ticket costs Php270 and Php50 for the bike)
The trip runs around 3-4 hours and I recall the sea was calm though there were light showers of rain during our trip.
We arrived before lunch at Ubay, Bohol and good thing there were several restaurants near the port.
From there, were pedaled our way to Carmen, Bohol and since it was already getting late, we decided to stay at Marbezen Inn (https://www.facebook.com/marbezen/) around 50 km away from the port
The ride to Carmen, Bohol had been a good one as roads are well paved and spacious, very light vehicular traffic is observed and climbs are well spaced out and are very manageable.
I recall, the day wasn’t really a good one as it was raining and we took off early afternoon to head to the popular Chocolate hills. Though the climb to the top of one hill to give you a view of whole landscape was short, the walk up the viewpoint was really challenging! (I just hate walking!)
As weather became unpredictable, our ride to our hosts for the day wasn’t pleasant but we managed to get to our friends late night in Dauis, Bohol (we rode about 65km).
For some weird reason, weather was good again and after late breakfast we had decided to go around Panglao since it was popular of its beaches. That part of Bohol is about 30km and we were able to do stay in one of the beaches to hangout for photo ops. A few hours later, we headed to Tagbilaran port to head to Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao.
After 9 hours at sea, we arrived at Cagayan de Oro Port early morning and headed to the Good News Travelers Inn for rest (. Since we had to change our itinerary for the Mindanao leg, we decided to have a change in activity. Mark who joined us again in this part of our trip (he had to drop out in Tacloban due to work concerns) helped us get reservations for River Rafting which was a popular activity in the province. While others had different activities, I went out around the city and saw two bikeshops and a popular university in the area.
Early morning, we were picked up by the company running the River Rafting activity (Check out Kagay for this service http://www.kagaycagayandeororafting.com/) and after travelling by jeep for less than 2 hours, we were at the river rafting area.
The experience is just extremely different as the four hour rafting tour was very much different from our usual cycling adventures (take a look at the photos and video! all courtesy of Kagay rafting company)
Check this short clip!
Later in the day (and after a long rest), we pedaled our way to the port again to head to our next destination.
Rider notes and reflections:
- Personally, I felt that among the different islands in our itinerary, Bohol ranks number 1 in my list due to the excellent roads/infrastructure and view/sites. Moreover, costs for accommodation and meals are cheap and at the same time (our stay at the inn costs 200 per person and meals around 70-100 per person), there seems to be a balance of nature and development as there are several sites that remain untouched by industrialization.
- I wouldn’t recommend TranAsia Shipping as your transport as it isn’t bike friendly at all as you’d need to scale a couple of stairs to get your bike up! Fare costs 690 to Cagayan de Oro and extra fees for the bike. What’s funny as two sets of officers charge different rates for the bikes so it pays to ask and haggle (which makes this part of the tour an annoying exercise as there doesn’t seem to be a set rate!)
- One missed opportunity was our Mindanao Leg which he had to drop due to security and safety issues (The original plan was to cycle from Surigao to Cagayan de Oro). Perhaps, an extensive tour of Mindanao is something we’d consider in the future.
- Among the different lodges/inns/hotel we stayed, the Good News Travelers Inn is not only bike friendly (they let you park your bikes at the lobby with round the clock security) but you get value for your money. We stayed two days and a meal per day and paid 1750 for 5 people. Service has been prompt, the rooms are very spacious and facilities adequate.
Cover Photo courtesy of Kagay