It was an easy enough drive up north from Tarlac to Pangasinan via TPLEX. The journey to La Union was likewise uneventful. It was, in fact, sunny! However, once we've set foot onto Ilocos Sur (specifically in Santa Maria), I started noticing that the rainclouds were following us wherever we were going. As if the clouds were not ominous enough, the rain had to fall as I was driving alongside the West Philippine Sea! I am afraid of floods and I am even more afraid of storm surges. So great timing to be on this side of the country, right?
Thankfully, the rain let up for a few moments to allow us to have a view of the sunset, still somewhere in Ilocos Sur, a few hours south of Vigan. If the sunset is stunning at the Manila Bay, it's also a sight to see on this northern part of the country. I relaxed a bit because the rain had stopped; no more storm surges, no more lightning, no more reduced visibility. I didn't think, however, that night was coming in fast...
... and it's highly possible for the rain to fall again! Where did all those clouds come from? There's no typhoon warning, as far as I knew! So perhaps these clouds originated from the mountains of Cagayan or the Cordilleras, who knows? Anyway, there's no turning back since we were too far away from home and were so close to Vigan, our second pit stop in this Ilocandia adventure.
Somehow, I remembered the scene in LOTR: Return of the King in which Pippin was singing sorrowfully to Denethor in Minas Tirith as the Orcs started attacking the city and as Denethor slipped deeper and deeper into madness (yes, of all times to geek out, I chose this rainy evening!):
Home is behind, the world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow, to the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight
Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall fade
Indeed, the view started to fade to black as afternoon turned into night. The rain started pouring again as well! This turned out to be a difficult segment of my drive up because I wasn't familiar with the road and the weather wasn't cooperating. I was just so happy to arrive at our destination: Grandpa's Inn, Vigan City.