It is Sunday, the last day of our 7-day Lakbay Norte tour. It seems most of us have exhausted our wardrobes that we started wearing some of the shirt giveaways we got throughout the trip. I get to curl up more on Holiday Inn’s comfy beds longer as our call time isn’t that early. We still have a few activities for the day and as soon as we finished breakfast. The group was once again split into half to do some horseback riding and a jeepney tour.
My group gets to go horseback riding first so we headed to El Kabayo in Clark. A recreated Tinsel Town serves as stables for the horses in this popular riding stable. I haven’t really tried horseback riding so I was looking forward to it. I got this big great white horse or Arabian breed they said and it’s one of their fastest horses and also a rowdy one at that. And why would they let me handle him I wonder? I;m just afraid I’d loose control of him and he’d run off at full speed.
Though a bit wobbly on the top I got comfortable with the horse but they made sure I have a handler with me since the horse could just run off anytime. I was also thought the basic handling of the leash to control directions of the horse and the proper kick to get the horse moving. It was just an easy walk for the horses as we go through the street and cut through a neighborhood to reach a bridge. But when the horses started trotting, it wasn’t really comfortable jumping up and down the horses’s back. Now I have high respect for horse riders. It wasn’t that easy.
To make things faster, we took the jeep from the bridge to head to Paradise Ranch where the group will switch and they’ll be the one on horseback. Paradise Ranch is a nature and Conservation park where guides are dressed up like native aetas if they are not real ones. It’s a nice place but we only got to see the butterfly farm since we were out of time.
We rendezvous again at the bridge and headed back to Holiday Inn and off to our late lunch stop at Oasis Hotel. It was a nice lunch of roast lamb slices, mussels and clams. We also got a look into their accommodations at the resort.
An hour ride to Mexico, Pampanga found us at the Lakeshore. A premium class residency centered on the man-made lake. The place is very scenic with a few houses already standing. We went to this small island with a nice garden to have a couple of videoke session before we had final press briefing to cap of the tour.
Robinsons Starmills was our last stop before going home. We roamed around for some bargains but I didn’t buy any and just contented myself for some snacks over a cup of hot chocolate. Thinking about it now it was a wild whirlwind 7 days ride but an enjoyable one at that. In an hour we’re about to go home. It was surprising how almost every individual in the bus didn’t know each other at start ended up friends by sharing the experience. It was bound to happen with like minded travelers with adventurous spirits go together.
Jeepney Juan Tour
Sacobia Valley, Clark Special Economic Zone
Join our next Backpack Photography series, Batanes Outdoor and Travel for on June 24-27, 2010. Take advantage of Seair’s Lean Season Promo on flights to Batanes until May 15. Check details here.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.