I realized that one way to enjoy a trip is to always lower your expectations. I never thought I would have such a blast in Baler, Aurora, considering that I’ve only tried surfing once prior to that trip (with a coach, of course haha) and that I am more of a hiking/sight-seeing type of traveller than a beach lover. I learned that Baler is so much more than its big waves and happy surfers!
If you only have a night and a bit short of two days to spend for an out-of-town trip, I definitely suggest going to Baler in Aurora. Here’s a photo diary of what happens when you set two extroverted girls on a trip up north!
We left Quezon City via Genesis bus at around 1 AM and arrived at Baler before 6 AM. We were mostly asleep during the trip so we had all the energy to exhaust for the day.
From the bus station, we rode a tricycle to Circle Hostel. Here’s Manong JR, the tricycle driver who instantly became our tour guide as well. Most of the people in Baler are really nice and accommodating!
Welcome to Circle Hostel, Baler! Good vibes na agad sa colors pa lang.
After having breakfast, we started our day trip with Manong JR. You can skip the other destinations but you must never miss these:
Meet my sorority sister, Brie.
It’s nice to see a waterfall literally beside the main road. Wala nang hike na naganap.
Diguisit Rock Formations
Dito pinakamasaya magshoot ng photos for portraits. HAHA! #arte
Buti na lang may sunscreen.
Who needs an extra hand when you have the self-timer option?
No travel diary is complete without a selfie! HEHE
You can miss the hanging bridge, the tsunami statue, or the mountain/hill top. Hindi naman gaanong breathtaking.
Of course, I bought fridge magnets.
We had lunch at a place which was recommended by Manong JR. We ordered grilled seafood but the crab was very dry and the squid was too sweet. 😦 I can’t even remember the name of the restaurant.
We then went back to the hostel to rest for a bit.
We met other guests, Christian and Perkins, who came with us to see Ampere Beach and the Old Balete Tree.
Brie + Wine + the big and strong waves at Ampere = deadly combination
Manong JR said that it’s still best to visit Ampere Beach in the morning, before sunrise.
It was late in the afternoon when we reached Ampere Beach (read: high tide), so it was all rocks and waves. Wala kaming natapakang buhangin, guys.
Sisters for life!
The Old Balete Tree was really huge but the most fascinating thing about going there was the tour guides’ photography skills. There are lots of them in the area, you just have to give your phone and they will direct your group on what to do, where to pose, and the results are really amaaazing! Sobrang benta!
For dinner, we went to Kusina Luntian, which I highly recommend!
TAGAY! Found the bottle at the bar — ayan, instant Instagram post. HAHA
We ordered liempo, roasted chicken (marinated in coconut milk), and fried dried squid, all served with rice, paco, and salted egg. YUMMMM!
Back at the hostel, we met other guests over coffee and alcohol. We were not able to take a lot of photos with the other guests but it was really nice talking to people who have the same passion for travelling and discovering new places, and at the same time have jobs outside of the medical profession. Most of them are “regulars” of Circle Hostel, while some are professional surfers who just competed at a tournament.
In the morning, we went surfing (with a coach, of course haha). I actually have a fear of non-swimming pool bodies of water. I don’t like opening my eyes in salt/lake water. After surfing though, I think that fear has been overcome. Well, sort of.
Surfing lessons take about one hour. The coach provided the surf board and I borrowed the rash guard from the hostel. I think we paid 400 pesos each for the session. It was worth it!
After surfing, we went back to the hostel, packed our bags, then ate sisig at Daddy Toy’s. Sinful but masarap! Our new friends brought us to the bus station, sweet no?
Ang-sarap ng sisig nila ha!
The next time I would visit Aurora, I’ll definitely go back to Baler but a side trip to Mother Falls at San Luis also sounds like a good idea.
So, when’s your next Baler adventure gonna be?
Learning to love seawater,