Thursday, February 7, 2013

lost in Batangas (yet again)

I should've just followed the sugarcane truck.

That was my thought as I drove along the highway in Batangas province one Saturday afternoon, opting to see where Google Maps' directions will lead me. See, it was a sunny day, the perfect opportunity to go on a road trip. My itinerary included pit stops in the heritage town of Taal, Batangas and in the coastal town of Nasugbu, Batangas; if there was enough time, probably an additional stop in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

And so I drove... and followed Google Maps.

Along the way, I got in line behind a truck laden with sugarcane stalks. It, presumably, was on its way to the sugar mills in Nasugbu. Perfect, I thought; I wouldn't get lost.

Alas, when I approached a fork on the road -- one route going to the left, the other going to the right -- Google Maps directed me to take the right turn. A few more kilometers and I'd be in the historic town of Taal. Sadly, as the app indicated that I had reached my destination, I was along the diversion road to Lemery, Batangas, right in front of a roadside restaurant.

I succeeded in getting lost in Batangas, again.

Blooper 1. Check. Good-bye cultural pit stop.

I had planned to make a pit stop at two churches in the town but since I was outside, I opted to aim for the beach town of Nasugbu; after all, the weather was sunny and windy... perfect beach weather, in my opinion. So on I drove through the town of Lemery (or might I say, the diversion road in Lemery).

A few kilometers passed and then I was forced to make a choice (again) at a roundabout. There was  a road to Tagaytay to the right and a road straight ahead. A traffic jam at the roundabout made me decide to take the right turn... and up the mountain road.

Blooper 2. Check. Good-bye beach.

Many kilometers of road were ahead of me as the car ascended to the Tagaytay ridge. Along the way, I noticed that a lot of coconut trees on the mountain sides had yellowing leaves. Aside from the trees, I started noticing the thick clouds approaching from inland... especially as I neared the hairpin turns to the tune of "Highway to the Danger Zone" (from the Top Gun soundtrack). 

If there was one good thing that came up because my road trip did not go as planned, it was that I was on one of my favorite scenic drives. In fact, I ended up driving on the very same route that I had taken on my first ever Batangas long drive (many years ago, with Daddy, Lola Bats, Anna, and Biboy). It's been years since I last passed by Fantasy World and seeing its castle pop up out of the foliage was, as always, a pleasant surprise. Plus, this scenic route provided a glimpse of Balayan Bay on the left and Taal Lake on the right (just before the clouds blocked it). Where else could I see two bodies of water at the same time, right?