As I walked along the road, the sun beat down. The jungle canopy stretched overhead; protecting me from the hottest sun rays, but many still landed on my back. I drank a mouthful of cold water. Sweat dripped down my back. A motorcycle sped past, spitting exhaust fumes into the atmosphere as it disappeared around a corner. Where was I? I was in Puerto Galera, a small town on the island of Oriental Mindoro.
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Roughly 4 hours from Manila, Puerto Galera is a popular town for weekend getaways. It attracts tourists of all types. The Filipinos congregate around White Beach, a popular nightlife district, while the foreigners tend to set up camp around Sabang. I was staying at a Puerto Galera resort in the middle, approximately 10 minutes motorcycle ride from White Beach and Sabang.
Today, I’d forsaken the motorcycle for my own two legs. I was on my way to Sabang, one of the tourist areas.
Why walk when I could drive?
Because the walk is incredible. It winds its way through the jungle, passing by traditional Filipino homes and various multi-million dollar resorts. At numerous spots along the way, you are presented with magnificent views of the surrounding islands and harbors.
If you go to Puerto Galera, it’s definitely worth doing this walk. Don’t worry – you can catch a motorcycle back!
The walk to White Beach is less enticing. While it is roughly the same distance, the road is less protected from the sun by the jungle, so it is a lot hotter.
I was in Puerto Galera for the same reason most people go to Puerto Galera – for a holiday. Badladz, my resort, was located on the edge of Puerto Galera bay. While there are plenty of things to do in Puerto Galera; including diving, paintball and exciting nightlife, I decided to try my hand at mud karting.
A short distance out of town, I found the Adventure Park. I signed up and climbed into one of the brightly-colored mud karts.
For the next 10 minutes, I raced around a dirt track. The track began with a few bumps. Then, around the corner and a long straight section. At the end of the straight section, one has to be careful to avoid one of the trees. After a wide U-turn, I descended into the creek. This was the fun part…
mud karting in Puerto Galera
I sped up the creek (or down?) and before exiting the other side, I raced through a massive puddle. A wave of muddy water sprayed the mud kart (and me!). My clean white shirt was now permanently brown. This continued for the next 10 minutes.
It might sound a little strange to enjoy racing through mud, but when I stepped out of the mud kart, I had a smile on my face. The next day, I jumped on the boat and returned to Manila. I’ll be back, Puerto Galera!
Note: This is a guest post.
About the Author
John is an Aussie that recently moved to the Philippines. Previously confined to the dreaded “cubicle”, he now spends his time enjoying coconut trees, sandy beaches and finding as much adventure as possible.
Follow his Twitter account here: twitter.com/JohnMcIntyre_