Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zambales Weekend Getaway: Camping at Nagsasa Cove

After our short Capones Island trip, we went to Nagsasa Cove so that we could set our camp. Nagsasa is a cove double the distance of Anawangin Cove which is the more popular among the series of cove in Zambales. It is much peaceful in Nagsasa, though, since it is much farther away from Pundaquit, the port where you ride the boats going to the different coves. It is approximately an hour of boat ride from Capones Island so we rested as we let the waves relax us and save energy for the night at the camp ahead.

It wasn't my first time to go to Nagsasa. A year ago, I arranged a trip here with my friends. We only had a day trip here and we didn't get to swim at the clear waters because it was high noon when we got there. We only got to trek the safari-like terrain going to the small falls which unfortunately was super dry at that time. This time, I will not only swim at the waters of Nagsasa but also would stay for a night here with the people I just recently met.

Like Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa is surrounded by the tall mountains of Zambales, pristine white sands and crystal clear waters. Both has a body of water, a stream I guess, at the back of it giving a perfect view together with the mountains. It also has the pine tree-like trees (I heard it wasn't pine trees but a different specie of plants but I didn't get to know what it really was) that was carried by the air when the Mt. Pinatubo erupted. It was a perfect paradise.

The right side of the cove is inhabited by the Aetas that you can ask as guide going to a big waterfalls 2 hours trek away. They can also help you with your camp but make sure you give something to them since it is their way of earning a living. On the left side is where most of the campers settle. It was just the same as the other side but it is nearer the mountains. I am not sure why we chose this place but it was all good since it was camper ready. A mini sari sari store sells different items that campers need and the neighbor campers are all helpful and makes you borrow some of their stuff.

Sunset at Nagsasa
 As we landed on Nagsasa at sunset, we quickly prepared for camp. We divided in groups for the tasks needed. Initially, I prepared one of the tent since it was mine. It was difficult at first because I really don't know how to setup a tent and second, the wind keeps on blowing it away, making it difficult for us to set it up. In the end, I get to learn how to assemble a tent and also be resourceful in looking for stuff that will prevent it from being blown away.

After a while, I helped those in charge of our food. I really don't want to cook since we are cooking in fire woods and so I just helped in maintaining the fire. Unfortunately, our rice wasn't cooked right but since we are all resourceful, we asked the guys in the store if they have cooked rice and they have, so we bought it and we had our dinner together with the grilled fish and pork plus our mango ensalada which was really really yummy! I am very thankful that the folks I'm with had cooked a very yummy dinner for all of us.

Bonfire with our marshmallows roasting

After filling our tummy, we made a bonfire. We sat there enjoying the view of the stars in the sky while the others are enjoying the low tide beach and having a night swimming. We are chatting with our new friends, knowing who they are and what they do. I learned a lot from this people and I am enjoying this. I said to myself that I will do more trips with new people to know more about them and learn from their stories.

Stories around the bonfire
 After a while we were joined by the others in the bonfire. We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. It was very yummy that we all enjoyed it while taking shots of the mix we had for that night. We had a round of Q&A portions and we have learned so much from that night. It was a night filled with laughter as we enjoyed the company of each other. Soon, we called it a night and slept at the tents we made. Some settled at the beach and they slept at the sands and waited for the morning to come.

Shores of Nagsasa in the early hours of the morning
I woke up at around 4am but it was still dark. I was planning to catch the sunrise but since it was too early, I went back to snooze some more. It was around 5am when I awoke and it was already bright outside. I quickly grabbed my camera and had a walk at the beach. cool morning air is so nice and perfect for a morning walk at the shore. I took a picture of the whole place and the mountains and the beaches. It took me a while to discover the back of the cove where it was a very pretty sight. The sun rises at the side of the mountain and is reflected on the body of water below. It was a very scenic view and I enjoyed taking pictures.

It was all we did at the morning, we took pictures, and also, we went on for a swim. I like the waters here since it was just shallow. I get to go to the far side of the beach while the water is just waist deep. It was the farthest I ever gone to from the shore and it was fun. After a while we went back and ate breakfast and wash up and prepare our stuff. We were taking pictures again when we needed to break camp. We disassembled the tents and it was difficult since it was too windy again and very difficult to gather the stuff properly. We, however, did it through team work. After we packed our stuff, we just waited for our boat to bring us back to Pundaquit.

Our journey going back to the main land was a bit of an adventure. There is a typhoon brewing up according to news and the waves are getting strong. Good thing we reached the main land safely and we went to the boatman's house to clean up. It was already late but still we didn't have our lunch so while waiting, we bought some isaw and tenga at the streets. It was comfort food for me and I could already survive the day with that.

Before leaving Nagsasa, the boats are waiting for us

Soon we left and headed back home. It was a very nice trip that we had. I met new friends and get to be independent since I didn't know the people whom I'm with. I am glad I got to be part of this and I am willing to do it all over again. Thanks to the new found friends and thanks for the experience to have camped with you.


Anyway, here is our itinerary for that trip. Although it wasn't strictly followed, it may serve as a guide to those wanting to have a trip similar to ours:

Call time: 6am at Victory Liner (Cubao area) McDo Katipunan

6:30   - Departure from Cubao
10:00 - ETA San Antonio Zambales, ride a tricycle going to Pundaquit
11:00 - Early Lunch at Pundaquit, shop for dinner
12:00 - Boat ride
1:00   - ETS Nagsasa Cove

2:00 - Capones Island
4:00 - ETD Capones Island
5:00 - ETA Nagsasa

Day 2
11:00 - Departure from Nagsasa
12:00 - Lunch at Pundaquit

12:00 - ETD Nagsasa
1:00   - ETA Pundaquit (wash up)
2:00   - ETD Pundaquit
3:00   - Late lunch at SBMA
4:00   - Manila Bound (go home)

P1900 each for 10 people (lunch not included)
Van (QC - Zambales - QC)
toll, gas
Boat ride (Pundaquit - Capones Island - Nagsasa - Pundaquit)
Other fees

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