Early February this year when Maya, a classmate back in college, uttered her desire to try the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Tour Albay has been offering in recent months. She, I and another college classmate, Rojan, scheduled it on Holy Week break, March 30, 2013.
We had our tour under the Bicol Adventure ATV. We decided to make an early reservation, for during our past experiences on Holy Week breaks, tourists usually flock to these known getaways, and problems including delay, arise. So since we don’t want to spoil the planned getaway we had months prior the Holy Week, we texted the contact Bicol Adventure ATV has provided in their Facebook page, for reservation. By the way, we appreciate the very prompt reply of their contact person.
Bicol Adventure ATV provides several trails. The price varies on the trail selected by clients. In our case, we chose to have the Pawa-Lava Wall trail. This trail has an overall estimated distance of 9kms. The rate for this trail is PhP 1,500 which is good for 2.5 hrs. The jump-off point is at Pawa, Legazpi City. This can be reached by hiring a trike or a cab from any point in Legazpi City. Should you opt to take jeepney as public means of transportation, take Loop 1 or Loop 2, traversing the Rizal Street, get off at Sagrada Familia Chapel at Bogtong and walk along the street leading to Pawa. Still troubled? Google Maps! We did.
A briefing was conducted by an ATV staff when we got on the site. Briefing included trail preview, safety precautions, tips on smooth maneuvering of ATV unit, signing of waiver and paying of fee for the chosen trail. A guide was provided and taught us the how-to’s of ATV driving . Enough time was also provided for us to practice at the site before finally hitting the trail.
The heat was scorching, so having your skin applied with sunblock, is advisable. Guide was the one who led our queue. He’s also the one responsible for documentation, so no worries for pictures to be shared and uploaded online.
Basically, the trail was rough, the kind of trail for a worthy ATV adventure. Trail included grassland, rocky terrain, and my favorite: a number of streams! Accelerating on the streams awesomely made the ride splashy wet! The rocky terrain will require your arms to be vigorous for rocks tend to make the unit get out of the path and maneuvering it back needs some strength. This even made my palms ache for a couple of days after the ride. I guess the ride would be more enjoyable if Bicol Adventure ATV provides hand gloves for the riders, so that pressure on the riders’ palms would be lessen while driving.
After 1.5 hrs, we reached the ATV endpoint camp just several meters from Mayon Lava Wall. Another guide was provided to get on the wall. The wall was formed out of the magma emitted by Mayon Volcano during its eruption in 2006. At this point, we needed to climb boulders to get on the helipad at the top of the wall. Great view of Legazpi City, Albay Gulf, Lignon Hill and Mayon Volcano itself can be seen while on top of the lava wall. A zipline of 100meters length can be tried for an additional fee.
After several minutes of rest at the helipad, same track was trailed back to the jump-off point at Pawa, Legazpi City. It was a 2.5 hours of fun adventure. I guess trying it for the 2nd time wouldn’t lessen the fun.
Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines and the fun is doubled when you experience the beauty and adventure your own dear province is oferring to the world. Warm Albay, I love!