Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catanduanes - enjoying the sand, sea and surf; seeing the sun, shore and sky at puraran

puraran hut on the beachOn our first day in Catanduanes, we decided to venture 30 km northeast of Virac, the capital, to puraran. the Zest Air flight Otook was delayed for an hour so i was hoping we can still catch the 10am jeep headed for Gigmoto via Baras. The almost one hour jeepney ride took us through roads alternating between rough to smooth and concretized, then rough again. All the while, one notices the spectacle of hilly, forested terrain, green fields, and friendly-looking communities.baras municipal hall and jeepneyI haven't really caught up on lost sleep when the jeepney unloaded us at Baras. after a bit of haggling, we rode a tricycle up and down the hills before we saw the beach of Puraran.

Home for the night will be a cottage at Majestic (formerly Elena's Majestic Inn), the place that lies closest to the beach.  I'm not really a beach person but the sight of blue skies, emerald waters, dramatic karsts near the shore, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and not to forget, friendly neighborhood dogs, cast a spell on me.puraran karst and sand patternsOur community of cottage dwellers are a motley group -- 3-4 European surfer-types, a lone Japanese woman, and us, a pair of Pinoy travel photographers. While we didn't come for the surf (which Puraran boasts of, being the host of national and international surfing competitions), we found Puraran to be a quiet, friendly place to grab some rest and appreciate some sand, sea and surf as well as take photos of the sun, shore and sky. With Aireen's (Majestic's friendly manager and cook) tasty meals and bottles of cold Coke, it's easy to just unplug for the day.puraran off to surfINFO: to get to Puraran, ride the jeepney to Baras at the Virac terminal; fare: P35; travel time: approx. one hour • there are trips twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon during weekdays; twice in the morning and once in the afternoon during weekeends • from baras town, take the tricycle to Puraran; fare: P150/trippuraran majestic cottage interiorACCOMMODATIONS: there are three beachfront accommodations: majestic puraran managed by the friendly aireen and her family; (0919.5581460 or 0927.6282251); 6 cottages available at P350/pax; meals: P80/pax, website: Baybay Resort, single cottage - P300; twin bed - P400; family cottage - P500; rooms with communal TB - P250/day; 0910.3145482; and Puraran Beach House; 0917.8041020 or 0920.3199742 • MOBILE COMMUNICATION: best to bring a Globe sim as the Smart signal drifts and fluctuates at the beach site


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