After a much needed rest day in Samal Island, we were ready to continue with the adventure. We were resigned to the fact that we wouldn’t be able to ride out of the resort to the ferry we asked the staff to arrange a special trip of their ferry for us, 3 passengers and 3 scooters. It cost a pretty penny but I guess the sight of 3 scoots on the water was worth every centavo.
Around an hour later we had reached the dock on the mainland. The scooters were manually carried from the boat down to the dock. Good thing there were enough able bodied people on the dock to do it. After making sure all our things were in place we were off again. We were to take the Buda (Bukidnon-Davao) Highway on our way to Cagayan de Oro. As we passed through Davao City, which closely resembled any Metro Manila street during rush hour, the cityscape slowly melted away and the welcome green of mountain scenery again returned. The Buda Highway was a bittersweet experience. There were beautiful areas of both winding and sharp turns as well as the unbelievable beauty of the mountain scenery. Hot weather turned into cool into cold and back again. But there were also the infamous road cuts and constructions. Kilometers of it. Personally, this was the lowest point of the trip for me. My patience was tested as the long line of cars, buses and trucks became an all too common sight. Dust from the road construction was everywhere, my grey jacket had turned brown and my brown pants had become…..well….browner haha.
Eventually the ordeal ended and we finally had the chance to stop and have lunch along a roadside eatery at Manolo Fortich. After the quick meal and rechecking of equipment we went for our final push towards Cagayan de Oro. We reached the end of the Sayre Highway at around 3:30 in the afternoon. Of course we weren’t going to make it easy on ourselves so we decided to change our plans and go straight to the island of Camiguin instead. According to the people in the gas station, the last ferry from Balingoan to Camiguin left at 5 PM so we had an hour and a half to get there. With the estimated distance being roughly 70 kilometers to the terminal, we were confident we had enough time, if we picked up the pace just a bit, to get there. So off we went.
The pace was better since the roads were a lot better. This was until we hit the halfway point. At this point we were met with construction site after construction site. The road, like Buda, was under repair. This slowed down our progress immensely and we were quickly behind schedule. After a short meeting in one of the stops, we found out we were in danger of missing the ferry altogether. Without a backup plan, there was no other way to do it but to crank it up another notch. Speeding through construction sites and road cuts, slowing down occasionally to avoid being hood ornaments, we made it to the terminal, just in time. Just how close did we cut it? As we entered the compound of the terminal, the ferry had begun raising it’s ramp to prepare for departure. The sentries at the gate had spotted us and had begun shouting at the ferry to hold up. After a whirlwind of activity which included paying the toll fees, tipping whoever he was and almost crashing the scoot on the ramp, we were safely on our way to Camiguin island. The crazy trio had done it. Island to island, sea to sea, all in little machines with 10 inch wheels and virtually no suspension. It was a hard ride and we felt it.
After reaching the resort we checked into our room and again treated ourselves to a sumptuous feast to celebrate what we had done and to relive the day, mostly through boisterous laughter. We had again earned an extra day of rest on the beautiful island of Camiguin. The following day was filled with tourist stuff. Visiting the sites and enjoying the water of this magical and truly stunning island. In a few days we would begin the final push of this whole trip.