Guihulngan to Bacolod, the San Carlos


I’ve spent a lot of time riding on busses for the last two days, it’s a relief to be in an air conditioned room in San Carlos, Negros.  Praxy wanted to see the country and I couldn’t say no, even with the specter of motion sickness hanging over my head.

We lit out of Bulado at 8 in the morning, and had to stand on the roadside for almost 1/2 hour before a San Carlos bus came by.  We shoehorned in and found standing room only.  So there I was, no way to take photos, hanging on to keep from falling on the bicycle that was in the aisle.  I had to watch that I didn’t get grease and oil on my leg and I told Praxy to stay put on the other side.  We had to stand for about 45 minutes before enough people got off that we could sit, albeit not next to each other.  My camera was stowed in the overhead bin area and not a chance to reach it.  We weaved up the coast for 1 1/2 hours total and arrived in San Carlos.  Time to switch busses, this one was air conditioned and almost new.  Very comfortable.

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A few minutes into the mountains, and my old nemeses returned, motion sickness.  It wasn’t bad, but it was enough that all I could do was look out the window.  The bus had the movie “Jumper” on the TV screen, but every time I started watching, things got worse.  Winding, turning, bumping, braking, I finally had enough.  It was time to buy some medication in Bacolod.  The scenery was beautiful, the road twisted up some very steep and green mountains and canyons.  I hoped the brakes on the bus were up to the task.  I could smell them now and then, but obviously all went well.

We arrived in Bacolod and searched around for a motel and finally found a nice one, the Sylvia hotel.  It was a little spendy, but it was close to the SM mall.  We settled down for lunch and I just had to order the Fillet Mignon.  It came, and it was a real fillet, wrapped with bacon and cooked perfectly.  First decent piece of beef I’ve seen this trip.  And only 5 bucks including french fries.  We hung around and rested for a bit, then  we were off to by some Bonamine, sunglasses, facial cleanser, hair mousse, and dinner.  We settled on a Pizza Hut Hawaiian family size.  Had to be a small family, it was only 12 inch.  Praxy and I polished it off in the room easily.   It was just sort of OK for a Pizza Hut pizza.

Bedtime, we both slept decent.

Next morning we were up at 6 and went downstairs for the free breakfast.  It was pretty good with the usual breakfast fare with the exception on deep fried fish with tartar sauce.  Unusual, but fine with me.  Then off again to SM for another round of shopping for what we forgot.  Since the mall opened at 10, we stalled and walked around downtown.  Not much to report, you’ve seen one Philippine city, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  Traffic, crowds, noise, etc.  Finally the store opened, and we were shopping with the holiday crowds.

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Praxy was looking for shoes, I was after a Philippine travel atlas.  She didn’t have much luck, but I did.  I found several in the National Book Store and bought two, one for us and one as a gift for Dick and Susan.  Their book was 10 years out of date.  Then, back to the hotel (I remember playing a rap song named that at the Rollaway years ago).

We caught the courtesy car to the terminal and the driver screwed up.  He took us to the north terminal and we needed the south terminal.  Grrr.  An extra 120 pesos went bye bye as we had to catch a cab across town.  Arrived at the terminal, a bus was leaving in 5 minutes to San Carlos.  No problem, there is one every 1/2 hour.  Next air conditioned bus was in an hour.  Rather than wait, we grabbed the bus.  And hey, the Bonamine worked.

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Leaving Bacolod, the traffic was pretty light.  And up into the mountains.

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Starting to climb.  You’re hearing it from me, it’s hard to get good pictures while the bus is moving.  Lots of blurry ones, though.  I gave up and shot stuff while we were stopped for the most part.

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Hawkers desperately try to sell food at all stops.  If you even look their way, they are on you.

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They come on board an add to the confusion.  I guess this is the inflight service.  As long as that flight isn’t hurtling over a cliff.

All along the way, people lay rice on and along the road to dry.  Everyone avoids it for the most part, but here is a young lady in training, turning the rice. 

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She was so cute moving the rice about with her hands, then she got to watching the passengers embarking and stared at them.

Over the top and down the other side of the island.  I thought the driver was entirely too fast going down the hill, I could smell brakes all the way down.  He knew what he was doing but, I sure would like to see a little more caution on such steep grades. 

Into San Carlos and now it was time to find another motel.  This was easy.  A lady in one of the little food stalls had a recommendation and we took it.  We are in a little pension motel just off of the main square in downtown San Carlos.  This room was much cheaper,  air conditioning and hot water at 855 pesos, a little less than 20 bucks.  The other one was around 65.

We wandered around the market area, found a place for dinner, and returned to our room for the night.  Tomorrow we’ll wander back towards Guihulngan.  But for a closer, a little taste of home.  At least for me.  I got a little homesick when I spotted this.

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One of the mongrels on the streets in San Carlos.  The tires on the front of this pick up were absolutely gone, if he gets another 100 miles out of them, I’d be amazed!

12/11/11  6;25pm

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About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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