Ilocos 2015: 2 of 3

Waking up early was surprisingly easy for a nocturnal like me when I’m on a vacation. Our second day in Ilocos yet again required a lot of walking. It was around 8 in the morning when we arrived at our first destination, Cape Bojeador Light House in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. I never expected the influx of people during this time of the day. Taking photos and going up to the light house became a real struggle.

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Unfortunately, going up to the light house itself is prohibited. A beautiful view of the sea is seen from the entrance of the light house.

After a warm up walk up the light house, we headed straight to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Since prior to the trip, the only things I knew about Ilocos was Calle Crisologo and the Baluarte, I had no idea what to expect in Kapurpurawan.

We arrived around 10am at the jump off point and were welcomed by the Burgos Wind Farm. This is the second wind farm built in the province of Ilocos Norte. These windmills are visible all throughout the Kapurpurawan experience.

To fully unravel the beauty of the rock formations, you will have to walk for more or less 20 minutes under the scorching sun before reaching the creamy white limestone formations. Be sure to bring an umbrella or any gear you may use to protect yourself from the heat. Sunscreens are highly recommended as the the heat would surely give you the tan of your dreams. Drinking water is also a must.

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Good news though, if long walks under the sun is not your thing, you can always travel in style by hiring a horse to bring you to the perfect instagram-worthy spot.

Another Instagrammable (I saw that made-up word in one of the articles I’ve read) place to be is the Bangui Wind Farm / Wind Mills. This was our third destination for the day. Aside from being the first Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte, one great thing about the Bangui Windmills is its location. The wind mills stand tall along the shoreline of Bangui Bay.

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Nine-kilometer stretch

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A friendly reminder though, swimming is prohibited. It is also advised that visitors should not go anywhere near the waters as the tides could be unpredictable.

Patapat Viaduct was our fourth stop of the day. Being the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines, the Patapat Viaduct is a concrete bridge which runs 1.3 km in length connecting the Maharlika Highway in Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It rises along the town’s coastal mountains, which is the starting point of the Cordillera Mountain Range that snakes through Northern Luzon. (source: Wikipedia)

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As the day comes to a close, our tour guides brought us to our fifth destination, the Bantay Abot Cave, which is another rock formation located along the shore of the little town of Baloi in Ilocos Norte. According to one of the articles I’ve read, Bantay Abot is not really a cave but rather a rocky hill that resulted from an earthquake that happened many years ago.

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Bantay Abot Cave means “a mountain with a hole”.

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Since we were already running out of time, we were given two options for our last destination. Most of us opted to go to Blue Lagoon Beach in Pagudpud. The other option was to visit a cave that would require around 45 minutes of trekking.

We headed to Hannah’s Beach Resort in Pagudpud where the Blue Lagoon Beach is located. Being a beach bum person, I hated the fact that a LOT of people were there. Amidst all of the fun things we experienced in Ilocos, Hannah’s Beach Resort just had to be the bitch of the day. I would not elaborate on the exact event, but our perfect day out almost got ruined because of the lack of coordination and system of the resort’s staff. If you’re up for activities though like Banana Boat, Zip line and others, you may avail of it here.

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The beach was beautiful but I was not able to take a good photo as the “cleaner” side (the part where there are no seaweeds) were filled with hundreds of tourists. I opted to go to the far right side of the beach where I can just sit down and relax.

After a long day of traveling, we had to cap off the day with a delectable dinner. Upon research, one of the top restaurants in Laoag was La Preciosa. We ordered most of my favorite Ilokano dishes (since my dad is Ilokano) such as, Inihaw na Hito (Grilled Catfish), Dinengdeng (vegetable dish), Crispy Dinuguan (Crispy Pork Blood Stew) and also went for the ‘must-try’ dish Poqui-poqui (another vegetable dish with tomatoes, egg, grilled eggplant, onions and garlic). 5 out of 5 stars for this resto!

It was my first time to try Poqui-poqui and I really liked it. For my readers outside the Philippines, don’t judge me with the pork blood stew, it’s REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLYYYYY good. But when you decide to visit the Philippines, especially the northern part of Luzon, ensure that you’ve made your research on the best restaurants / places to get the best pork blood stew.

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Curious on how the first and third day of our tour went? Read all about it here and here.

Here’s the complete list of the Day 2 Ilocos Tour:

Cape Bojeador
Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
Bangui Windmills
Patapat Viaduct/Bridge
Bantay-Abot Cave
Blue Lagoon, Pagudpud

Follow my misadventures on Instagram for daily updates: @lahainaandtheflipflops

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