Not a good start really, but we just tried to make do with the time we had, and we did have 2 marvelous days on Sabtang Island. For our third day, our goal was to cycle around Batan, so we hired a guide to make sure we wouldn't get lost around the island. We met our guide, Mang Roger, at our resort where he helped us rent 6 bikes and agreed to cycle with us.
He had no problems getting us girls our bikes (vintage-looking bikes from China with only one speed), but he said Simon needed a mountain bike because he's such a big guy. After getting a bike without brakes, then a mountain bike that was so small it looked like a bmx, Mang Roger finally found a bike for the big guy, but by then it was already 10 o'clock when we finally started.
I thought Batan could not compete with Sabtang's beauty but I soon found out how wrong I was. Batan was lovely, we passed by coastal towns made up of thatched stonehouses and old white stone churches. We stopped several times to take photos of very green rolling hills next to the shore with grazing horses, goats and cows. Simon told us that Batanes looked a lot like the moors in England - the grasslands and even the thatched houses.
It was a 37 km bike ride from Basco through, Mahatao – Ivana – Uyugan – Song song – Itbud – Imnajbu and all the way back to Mahatao - Basco, it took us 9 hours to cycle all way round.
Stunning view in Mahatao
Our bike trail hehe
Inside a church in Mahatao. The unique roof was made up of reeds(?) according to Mang Roger
Thatched stonehouses in Ivana
The famous Honesty Coffee Shop. Simon got himself a miniature stonehouse for 125 pesos. He just wrote down on a notebook what he bought, and dropped the money on a box.
Anet, Jao, Sym, Simon and grazing horses in Uyugan
Ruins of Song-song. The village was hit by a tsunami a few decades ago, and the locals did not return to live here again
The "gate" after Itbud town
It was almost dark when we arrived in Marlboro country. It was breathtakingly beautiful and we wished we could have had more time to explore it
The next day, our flight was delayed for a few hours and from the airport we walked(for maybe 15 minutes) to see the Basco lighthouse
It rained for a few minutes and a rainbow appeared to say goodbye to us. What a way to end our trip :)
Van rental from San Vicente pier to Batanes Seaside Lodge - P200
Bike rental - P250 per day
Guide fee - P600
A room in Batanes Seaside Lodge - P1300 for an airconditioned room with attached bathroom. we had Tapsilog(P100) for breakfast and we liked it.
Lunch in Ivana - P35 per order. The best meal we had in Batanes, they served us Nilagang Baka(Beef soup with vegetables) and Lechon baboy(roasted suckling pig).
DENR fee for taking with us Arius plants(provincial plant of Batanes). Thanks to Mang Roger for giving us these plants. - P65
More Batan Island photos here