BY RICKY MONTECILLO
June 22, 2016
Last April 21-23, 2016 The Long Riders went to this place called Adams. It is located in Ilocos Norte, past Pagudpud. Adams they say is the next Sagada but it is still in its virgin state. It is more than 600 kilometres from Metro Manila and it took us about 14 hours of riding to reach Adams. We passed thru NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX. Rode all the way to Vigan, Laoag and Pagudpud until Finally Adams.
It was already dark when we reached the foot of the mountain going up to the road leading to Adams. From the main highway going up the dirt road we had to ride carefully for about 15 kms in the dark to reach Adams.
We stayed at Ilyn’s Homeyplace & Fudhaws. The place is very quaint, with fish ponds and several wooden cabins. The construction is impressive and good quality. The resort is owned by Ms. Ilyn Ternate Chen and her Taiwanese husband, whom she met while working in Taiwan. They run it personally and Mr. Chen is the one who cooks the meals. They are very hospitable and decent.
The place is up in the mountains that’s why the temperature is cool. It usually rains every afternoon and it makes you relax more. The place is near a river and and it has a nice view of the mountain ranges. So nice, relaxing and calming.
We were a large group of more than 20 riders that’s why some of us had to sleep in tents put up in the big activity hall. The others occupied the charming wooden cabins. The cabins cost only 1,200 pesos per night. It sleeps 3 per cottage and had its own clean bathrooms. Impressive for a resort up in the mountains.
Coming from our long and tiring ride from Manila, we freshened up had dinner and downed beer and Bugnay wine. Bugnay is Adam’s home grown wine locally made from the wild cherries in the mountains called Bugnay. It is Adam’s major product and it tastes sweet and refreshing. And it gives you a good buzz,too.
The following day, we woke up before the sun rose to hike up to Lover’s Peak. It is a short hike from Ilyn’s Homeyplace &Fudhaws. We decided to walk and leave our bikes to enjoy the morning air and get some exercise. The hike took only about 30 minutes but it was all uphill. Good enough to get our hearts pumping.
At Lover’s Peak, we witnessed the sun rising and the view of its majesty from the hilltop. Amid the burst of orange, blue, white and grey colors and the reflections of the clouds, it was an awe inspiring show. What a way to start the day with such a heavenly show. Good morning never felt so right. Not all of us went though because most of the other riders were still sleeping.
After breakfast, we prepared to go to the Anlupig Water Falls. Some of us rode the pick up truck and some rode our big bikes. Nothing like a bit of trail on big adventure bikes, but we could only take our rides up to a certain point. We had to hike through the single tracks of trail into the mountains.
It was rather challenging. The hike consists of uphills, downhills and the sun was scorching. But the breathtaking views of the mountain ranges, some rice terraces, trees made up for the difficult hike going to the falls.
We finally arrived and there was the marvelous Anlupig Falls. It had two levels, the bigger one was higher and the second one was smaller. Up on the second level of the big falls is a large catch basin with clear clean water where you could swim. Some of us dared to swim amid the raging waters to climb to the mouth behind the big water falls. The water was cool and invigorating.
Like little boys, we swam and played and even jumped from the second level of the falls. We took pictures, hoping to capture the wondrous nature and help us relive the joy of the adventure when we get home and open our Facebook accounts. We had big smiles and were noisy. Middle aged men, trying to reverse the hands of time.
In my mind, I always think of how lucky we are that we are able to do silly things even at our age. I think of my loved ones whenever I experience the different sites our country offers. How I wish my family and all my friends were with me.
We hiked back to our resort after but before we arrived we stopped over by the riverside where a long hanging bridge is. Two daring riders among us, Tony Amor and Arthur King, took the courage and rode their big bikes across the narrow hanging bridge, much to our delight and the local folks.
Famished from our hike, we had a hearty lunch and soon after the regular mountain rains started to pour. And what better time to start drinking beer and Bugnay wine as the cool mountain breeze blew. The atmosphere of being in the middle of mountain ranges full of trees and greenery makes for a truly relaxing time. Away from the noise, crowds and pollution of Metro Manila.
After dinner, some of us rode on board the local police patrol jeep together with some policemen to distribute some toys to the local children in the barangays nearby. We usually do this as our small way of sharing our joy to the less privileged children. When you ride to the country’s provinces, you cannot help but see the abject poverty around, and bringing smiles to little ones, hopefully uplifts their spirits.
Our ride back to Manila was long and tiring as usual. But underneath our helmets and balaclavas, we smile and exude happiness for another adventure has come to pass.
“We know Ilocos by their beautiful beaches. And those who experienced Adams will remember this. The sunrise over the mountains, crystal clear rivers, wooden and hanging bridges, the trek to nature, the falls, the climate, the warm people. Adams is such a hidden paradise for nature lovers. Salute to the guys who rode on Adams dirt. Took us back in time.” —- Restie. The Long Riders.