Saturday, March 22, 2008

Second Day at Subic

I didn't have a good night sleep and woke up around 7am. Everyone was awake already and having breakfast. After breakfast, I accompanied Caitlin to the pool area. Ilene, Dad, his driver Jobert, and the maids also went swimming. The pool is small but everyone seem to have enjoyed swimming. Ilene was showing off her newly-acquired swimming skills. I think Caitlin can swim better than her. hehe

We checked out of our unit by noon. Did some more last minute shopping at Royal Subic, then had lunch at Aristocrat. The place was also full, so service was quite slow. From there, mom wanted to see the wild monkeys along the road. So we took the same road towards Jungle Joe's again until we found some monkeys by the roadside.

On the way back, there was a section of the road where there were lot (and I mean, really lots) of bats flying. Several cars also stopped to take photos and videos of the flying rodents. I think something must have disturbed them. After a while, they went back to their roost and hanged upside down from the trees.

We left Subic around 4pm, I think. I decided to take the new road -- the Sub-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). Actually, the 50-km highway is still on a dry run and so its still "free". One can get to Clark from Subic on this highway in 30 mins or less. I have to say that this is the most beautiful road and expressway I've seen in the Philippines. It almost made me forget that I'm driving in the Philippines. It was like driving in the US highway system -- reminiscent of our road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles last year. Sections of the road clearly show that mountains were split in the middle to make way for the road. Some sections are bridges over very deep ravines. Very amazing piece of civil engineering.

Unfortunately, since I was the driver, I could not take photos of the road trip. I was driving at around 140kmph on the smoothly paved highway and was hardly feeling it. But here's a site showing some photos taken by other people of SCTex. It doesn't do much justice though as compared to actually driving through the highway with the verdant green fields on both sides.

As advertised, we got to Clark/Dau exit in less than 30 mins. Then it was a fast drive back to Manila. We travelled from Dau to Speaker Perez in about 1 hr.

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