So this is the final chapter of my own trilogy. The second and third day of my solo travel in Legazpi Philippines. Read along for my ATV adventure which still tops my list of Erik the Hungry Traveller adventures and the restaurants i visited that can only be found in Legazpi.
Day 2 Solo Travel in Legazpi : The ATV Experience (amazing.com.ph!)
When I told a friend that I was to do a solo travel in Legazpi she immediately suggested to make sure that I try the ATV ride to Mayon. I was able to ride an ATV through the islands of Boracay. I liked it but I did not love it. Thus for this trip i placed ATV ride in my itinerary but the excitement and the interest of doing such activity was at an average level.
And consistent to my trip in Legazpi, I was dead wrong about the ATV experience. The experience was just terrific.
Riding the ATV from Cagsawa Church to Mayon Volcano was definitely my best travel adventure experience. One for the books and the highlight of my Day 2 in Legazpi.
My sunburn skin as I rode the trail at 1 PM – 3 PM. Moreover, my wet clothes and shoes that had particles of lava pebbles and sand on them were just small trade offs for signing up for the ATV trail heading to Mt Mayon. Despite the trade offs the trail ride was worth it.
There are lot of trails to choose from which of course also varies in price ranging from 700 Php to 6000 Php. In addition, they present to you laminated rates along with the maximum hours and the trail destination.
I chose the Black Lava trail which was at a rate of 2000 Php but because of my charm/ friendliness (wink) they gave the Black lava trail to me for just 1600 Php. Furthermore, haggling for the price is not difficult as they will give you a discount if you ask of course.
It also helped that I chose a good souvenir shop to buy my pasalubongs (Filipino word for souvenirs/gifts) as I bought it at the store managed by the wife of the one managing the ATV trail ride.
Day 2 Solo Travel in Legazpi: The Black Lava Trail
So the Black Lava ATV trail starts at Cagsawa Ruins and culminates with a 5-10 minute (max) hike to the Black Lava pit. Its a 2.5-3 hours river, sand and rock adventure challenge (thus my sunburn skin, wet clothes and shoes).
For those who think that driving an ATV is difficult, it is not. The gears were automatic. Its like riding an automatic car or a go kart (for those driving on stick cars). Moreover, the instructions on how to swerve and navigate the ATV were pretty simple and anybody could drive it.
But do not worry if you still have doubts that its easy as before going on the actual trail you have to undergo a 10 minute orientation and a test drive just to give you a feel of the terrain.
Now all through out the journey you will have a guide accompany you. And no he will not be your passenger (duh) but he will ride a separate ATV and will lead the way heading to the Black Lava area where you can have a closer look at Mayon Volcano.
From time to time your guide will ask you to stop as he would take pictures of you which makes the trip convenient as you can put some focus on driving the ATV and gazing at the scenery.
The guides are experts in taking the perfect shots with the perfect background. It is after all their livelihood. For my ATV adventure we made a number of stops as Mayon Volcano did not shy away from my presence so there were many opportunities to have a selfie with Mt. Mayon.
Aside from taking your pictures your guide will from time to time check on you if you are fine (or if your still breathing. kidding). I appreciate how they always prioritize the safety of their tourists.
The route of my trail stops at a natural park whose name escapes me (sorry) where you can also buy some refreshments before going on a short trek to witness Mayon up close and personal. And yes you need to buy those cold drinks as ATV riding is fun yet exhausting.
There you are to pay 50 Php for another guide (this is not the same as the ATV guide) who will take you to the Black Lave pit. Another highlight of this place is you can actually zip line from the park to the black lava pit with Mayon Volcano as your background which only cost 300 Php . I am not much of a zip line guy so I decided not to do it.
During the start of this blog I wrote that the ATV ride is a highlight of my day 2 solo trip in Legazpi. Another highlight was my black lava pit sop over which was actually a helicopter landing pad.
I thought that the closest I would see Mayon volcano was at Cagsawa and through my ATV ride. Well I was wrong. This was the closest i got to Mayon Volcano! and man he was a site to marvel at!
They say that when you get to witness Mayon Volcano in its full scale you lucky and blessed. As he only chooses the people whom he shows his full perfection. I believed this as I was able to witness this amazing natural wonder all throughout my second day in Legazpi.
As you can see in all my shots Mayon Volcano never shied away from my lens and it showed its magnificence whichever angle i took picture of it.
This was the end of my ATV trail to Mayon volcano, after a few minutes of just living in that actual moment (worthwhile and worth it) I decided to head down and proceeded with driving the ATV back to base camp.
Day 2 Solo Travel in Legazpi : Retrospecting my Day
I finished my Day 2 at around 3 pm and arrived at my hotel 20 minutes after. I paid my trike driver 150 Php to just bring me back to my hotel as my shoes was wet from the trail. Thus i advice to better wear sandals and bring extra shirt for your ATV ride.
Upon arriving at my hotel I felt accomplished and satisfied that I got to experience the thrill of riding an ATV. The goal for the night and the 3rd and last day in Legazpi was to try and experience their culture through their food.
Solo Travel in Legazpi Night of Day 2 and Day 3: A Rainy and Cloudy Day- Perfect for some Food Trip!
I dedicated my remaining days in Legazpi going on a food trip. My food trip goal was to tick as many as possible from the list of restaurants recommended to me by friends and based on the recommendation by the locals.
1st Colonial Grill
Based on the crowd that I witnessed dining in the restaurant , the place was a staple for friends and family. They offered an array of meals which were perfect for 2 or 3 people. Price was pretty much affordable , value for money as they say. The servers were courteous and nice as with my previous experience the only down side for me was that they did not take credit card ergo I had to pay in cash.
I ordered their signature Bicolano dishes which were as follows:
(please no judging as i splurged and ate a ton throughout my trip which will make me exercise and go on a diet rest of my life)
Balai Cena Una
My last solo travel in Legazpi meal was lunch which I had at Balai Cena Una. The restaurant in English means House of the Olden Days.
Balai Cena Una offering was similar to 1st Colonial restaurant. The only difference (and a major one at that) was its ambiance. The place was a Spanish colonial house now converted to a restaurant.
What made the restaurant a treasure find for me were the trinkets displayed all over the two floor restaurant. Food was just fine in fact I preferred the 1st Colonial meal I had for dinner. However being an artsy person I appreciated and marveled at the trinkets and Spanish era collectibles of the owners. I felt taken back through the Spanish colonial era of the Philippines.
For my meal I had Bicol staples given a Spanish gourmet flair:
Pasta Cena Una Especial
2.) Balay Cena Una Bicol Express Level 2
Solo Travel in Legazpi: It is a wrap!
So there you have it folks ! My 3 day stay in Legazpi was definitely one for the books.
I made most of my stay by squeezing all the worthwhile activities and food trips in 3 days. The goal is a 5000 Php budget for my meals, ATV, fare and souvenirs. I however went overboard by 1000 Php.
Like i said in my previous posts, my adventures are not for the budget conscious. I had fun and made unforgettable memories that I can keep in my memory treasure chest for years to come!
And oh before heading to the airport I grabbed a Pili latte drink at La Mia Tazza Coffee shop! Cheers to my next adventures (wink)
About the blogger:
erik the hungry traveller is a lover of arts, travel, photography and of course food. Visit his instagram pages for more adventures: IG: erikjamesart, ejrequina, erikthehungrytraveller or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org