Conquering Valencia

May 07, 2013, Valencia, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. An adventure  like no other with cycling buddy, Tina dela Cruz. Highlights were visiting the market, breakfast at the boulevard, bathing in the river, and conquering Valencia.

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Buying breakfast and souvenir at the Dumaguete Public Market

Looking for local breakfast

Looking for local breakfast

Tina having some local breakfast made.

Tina having some local sandwich made.

Riding with my bayong and boom box

Riding with my bayong and boom box

On our way out, this "ATM" machine made us very happy.

On our way out, this “ATM” machine made us very happy.

Going local is always the best.

For me and Tina, going local is always the best way to go.

Breakfast at the boulevard

Breakfast at the boulevard

A morning to behold

A morning to behold

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

Immediately after breakfast, we pedaled our way to Mt. Valencia

The road ahead

The road ahead

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

On our way to Valencia, we passed by this river/stream

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

We crossed the bridge and took a dip

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was too beautiful to ignore.

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

The water was cold and clean. First time river bathers. What an experience!

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

A few meters from us were local women washing their clothes and bathing their children.

Up up we go

Up up we go

Bike weather

Surrounded by green.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

Meeting an american cyclist on the road. Tim has lived in Dumaguete for 25 years and has a Filipina wife.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

When we got hungry or thirsty, we stopped. There was no rushing. We made sure we tasted and experienced local delights on our journey.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

I got too tired so we hitched a ride to Valencia town proper.

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Thank you Manong! Apparently, the muti-cab we rode was the property of Valencia municipality. So we got a free ride!

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

Here was where we left our bikes. A carinderia just in front of the plaza. We just knew that our bikes would be safe here.

The road to the Writer's Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer’s Village was not going to be flat and smooth so we were advised to take the habal habal.

The road to the Writer's Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

The road to the Writer’s Village was misty and cold, they call this place the little Baguio of Dumaguete City.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer's Village.

Finally, after about 15kms of habal habal ride, we arrived at the Writer’s Village.

the Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

The Writer's Village

The Writer’s Village

Meeting up with Tracy.

Meeting up with Tracy.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

Then it was time to say goodbye.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

We took a habal habal back to Valencia town proper, and of course our bikes were still there. Had lunch at a local carinderia, then pedaled our way back to Dumaguete City, about 12kms of downhill. Fun! Thank you Tina for the unforgettable experience.

Thank you to the gentle people of Dumaguete city. We shall return for sure! More PHOTOS.

Amazing Azalea

An unexpected beauty is how I would describe Azalea. A cafe/resto that sits on top of a mountain where you can view nature’s priceless elements: the sea, a stream below, and the vast mountains of Sibulan.

Riding our bikes from Dumaguete to Sibulan, about 19km.

Riding our bikes from Dumaguete to Sibulan, about 19km.

Riding the coastline of Sibulan is breathtaking.

Riding the coastline of Sibulan is breathtaking.

A quick stop to hydrate and take a photo.

A quick stop to hydrate and take a photo.

At the foot of the road going to Azalea/Twin Lakes.

At the foot of the road going to Azalea/Twin Lakes.

I highly recommend to ride the habal habal when going up to Azalea. Cycling up there is strictly for hardcore bikers only.

Ride the habal habal. Cycling to Azalea is for hardcore bikers only. Believe me.

We finally made it up!

We finally made it up!

Entrance to Azalea Restaurant.

Entrance to Azalea Restaurant.

"It ain't ain't over 'til it's over." Became our motto for our non-stop adventures.

“It ain’t ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Became our motto for our non-stop adventures.

The grand view from Azalea.

The grand view from Azalea.

Once up there, one must have a cup of coffee and a cookie.

Once up there, one must have a cup of coffee and a cookie.

And of coures, I brought my own pumpkin seed snacks. Never without my seeds.

And of coures, I brought my own pumpkin seed snacks. Never without my seeds.

MORE PHOTOS HERE

Off the beaten path, 19 kms north of Dumaguete, in San Jose, is Azalea – a restaurant perched 289 meters above sea level on a mountain slope overlooking a spectacular ravine. Just 8 kilometers further up the mountain is the popular tourist destination, the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao – 2 rain-filled craters 918 meters above sea level. Azalea is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life in Dumaguete without straying too far.

This is the exact same route to take going to Lake Balinsasayao. Take the highway from Dumaguete going north, passing through the Municipality of Sibulan. After around 14 kms, you’ll see the big sign on the left side of the highway saying “Twin Lakes (Balinsasayao and Danao)”. Take a left on this junction. You’ll start gaining altitude. You should see Azalea on your left about 5.2 kms from the junction. 8 kms further up the mountain takes you to Lake Balinsasayao.

(source: http://www.coconutinsider.com/)