This week is the ‘APEC Holiday’ in NCR. Students and Public Sector employees get to relax on November 17-20, and Private Sector employees on November 18-19. A holiday like this could mean people will be flying out for a vacation but because flights are also suspended, just as the classes and offices are, it’s time to go on a road trip!
Wondering where to go? How about a 4-hour drive to Zambales? With an additional 1-hour boat ride, you can take photos at the lighthouse in Capones Island, relive the Twilight feels walking through the woods at Anawangin Cove and go camping, hiking, swimming at Nagsasa Cove. That’s worth the road trip, right?
What’s even better is that a trip like this could easily be found at MetroDeal. I am not associated with that site in any way but I really have to say they make travelling affordable! I’ve seen some sites say that a boat ride to the coves would cost around 1000 pesos. I bought my MetroDeal coupon for 888, which already includes boat transfers, tent rental for one night, and two meals. Downside is that you have to share the boat with strangers but it’s okay because you get to save money and make friends at the same time.
I hate road trips, I’ve said that again and again. I also hate boat rides. But seeing Nagsasa Cove, even just from the boat before actually arriving, I can’t help but smile. Such a view! If you’re like me, who’d rather be tired exploring a new place than sleep the entire morning, you’d know that the experience is as beautiful as the view.
I know after some research you already know about the lack of network signals in the area, the costs of transportation from Manila, and the things to bring, among other things. But here are a few more things you should know before you pack your bags.
1 Bring waterproof bags. On the boat, bags are randomly placed on the floor which means liquids other passengers brought may spill on your bag. Also, because of strong waves, water may get inside the boat. My bag got wet, don’t let that happen to you too.
2 Bring easy-to-eat food. MetroDeal vouchers usually just include overnight tours so don’t be a hardcore camper bringing cooking wares and stuff. They also provide you two meals for the first day – lunch and dinner – because you arrive around 2pm. You’d also be leaving around same time the next day so really, you just have to pack food for 2 meals. A loaf of bread, a few sachets of sandwich spread, a pack of maybe pork and beans or corned beef, and a few bags of chips could already make you survive. Drinks? A store in the cove sells drinks. You could even buy ice from them.
3 I’ve read a lot of articles saying there’s no electricity in Nagsasa Cove. But there is! You can’t use it to charge your gadgets though, but there’s light during the night so leave the flashlights at home. Use the space to pack extra batteries for your gadgets instead.
4 What to do? You would want to go swimming during sunset, and in the morning, when the waves are crazy. Also, wake up early and hike Kamp Rira Rika because seeing the sun rays peeking through the trees is just immaculate. Just don’t use the actual entrance because you’d have to pay. There’s another trail just a little farther and it’s for free!
5 Know that there’s a waterfall about an hour hike away. My friends and I knew this information from a boat guy around 11am that’s why we haven’t gone there. In case you don’t like hiking so much, you can rent a boat and follow the river up to the waterfall. You can instead, like us, enjoy the lake and its freshwater goodness. You would want to, after all the salt.
6 There is another island after the lake separated by a narrow stream of water that you should NOT underestimate. If you want to go that island, come when the tide is low because that little stream gets crazy during high tide. It’s becomes so deep and the water current gets so strong. My friends and I amazingly survived it while keeping my phone dry. I warn you it’s not easy. A group of friends and a couple also tried but failed. We were just super determined.
7 Bring sunscreen and apply as needed. Don’t let the fun let you forget that. I had sunscreen when we were there but because of excitement, we forgot to use it. My friend went back to Manila with intense sunburn and blisters on his shoulders we had to consult a doctor and found out they were 2nd degree burns. So don’t EVER forget your sunscreen! Ever.
That’s all I can tell you, in addition to other information you already knew. This post is already lengthy so I’d stop here and let the photos convince you to visit Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves in Zambales.
|you’d be in a boat like this for an hour|
|and see views like this|
|It’s a good morning…|
|…for a little hike.|
|This is what you get when you wake up early!|
|enjoying the lake|
|our camp site|
|My first bonfire by the beach|
|This is me, selfie-ing..|