One of Les’s cousins spends the weekends with us to work in the store. She normally takes the bus to get here and get home but I was pretty bored being caged up at home for so long so I looked at Google Maps and decided to take her home then take a scenic drive. She lives in Kinoguitan, a small town 50 miles from us, and the road I wanted to drive started about 25 miles on the other side of Kinoguitan.
After we dropped her off we continued driving to the next town north of us, Gingoog, and found the road we wanted. It comes back near to CDO before it drops onto the highway we took to get to Kinoguitan but instead of following the ocean, it goes inland through the mountains.
The highest point the road reaches is about 3935’. I would love to live in this area because they can grow most of the veggies that I am used to. I also could save a lot of money because I would not need A/C. I talked to an pilot one time and he said that for every 1000’ you go up, it is three degrees F. cooler.
There are a lot of hairpin turns and steep inclines. I did a lot of shifting since my truck is so underpowered. Most of the road was pretty good. Some of it was so new it was not finished yet. Lol
I like to drive and explore new places and see new things. Some of the new things I saw today were roses being grown commercially. I have never seen that anywhere before. There were quite a few fields of them. I am guessing they might have totaled more than 100 acres but there is no way to know because most of the fields are small and strung along the curvy road.
I have seen tobacco grown here but only a few fields. Today we saw what must have been 200-300 acres of tobacco.
We saw the normal field corn as well as a few small fields of string beans (most of the beans grown here are nearly one yard long) , a few green peas and a few misc. fields of other veggies that will not grow at lower elevations.
It has been VERY dry here for months. I think this is the longest, driest stretch of dry weather I have EVER seen in my life. At least where I live we have not had one inch of rain total since before Christmas. I am not sure how long before Christmas we got our last good rain. Everything here is in desperate need of water.
Almost all of the cultivated crops we saw today were stunted, shriveled or dead. One field of corn was not too bad, I am guessing that small area must have gotten at least some rain. The rose bushes we saw were so dried out I do not know if they are dead or alive. I did not even know what they were until Les told me.
All of the streams we crossed were dry or down to a trickle. Keep in mind this is all in an area that normally gets about 60” of rain per year. I hope Mother Nature does not decide to still give us the normal 60” of rain for this year or it will be raining every day.
Another thing we saw was the memorial for Flight 387 that flew into a mountain in 1998. I will add a couple pics of it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cebu_Pacific_Flight_387
There are lots of things I will NEVER understand about this country no matter how long I live here.
1. Road construction. They were still building the road we were on today but they go about it in a strange way. They use a road grader to level the whole route like I would expect but then they concrete one lane maybe 500’ long. Then you have a short space of no concrete before they go to the OTHER lane and pour concrete in that lane with just bare dirt in the lane you are in. It goes back and forth like that for about 10 miles. Then you come to a stretch of road where they have not done anything, it is just a rock filled, potholed, dirt road. That lasted about a mile before I got to a good road again, and it was completely finished.
2. Road barriers. Normally there are barriers set up across the highway in the school zones, church areas, etc that force you to weave in and out of 2, 3, or 4 sets of barricades to get people to slow down. I do not mind those during restricted hours but they normally leave them up full time. They cause a lot of traffic jams because they force both directions of traffic to take turns going through. Today there was only one set of those up instead of the normal 6-7. Today there were other barriers set up by the police to do the same thing but in different places than normal. I am sure the police barriers are there so they can hopefully catch any illegal activity like log smuggling, drugs or the New People’s Army (communist rebels.) The only problem with that is that I only saw any police at one of the 7-8 sets of barricades they had set up. Even then they did not stop anyone to inspect the vehicles.
3. Drivers here. I admit I am a pretty aggressive driver (you have to be to drive here) and I like to go as fast as possible. For me in my truck that means about 45-50 miles per hour because it is so underpowered and under geared. It is designed as a people mover for city use. Most traffic here is pretty slow. Davao has a speed limit on most streets of 19 MPH. On a few of the major thoroughfares you can go 37 MPH but those 4 lane major roads. The traffic on the national highways here can vary from a Pedi cab (a bicycle with a sidecar) to a normal pickup truck trying to go 60 or 70 MPH. There are millions of motorcycles here and you never know how fast they will be going. Some zoom around me but most putter along anywhere from 10MPH to 30 MPH. There are thousands of people standing on the sides of the roads waiting for ride, walking, or just standing there watching life go by. I am amazed how many small kids you see on the road with no adult around. I am talking about 2-5 year olds.
4. Road repairs. The thing that is really grabbing my ass right now is one of the streets they are working on near my house now. I drove by it the first day they started it. They had traffic cones out showing the area they would be working on that day. The road was PERFECT!!! No potholes, no cracks, no bumps NOTHING. They proceeded to use a giant jack hammer on a hydraulic excavator to poke holes in the concrete so they could go back and tear the concrete up. The next day they had the old concrete out of one lane. On day 4 or 5 they were ready to pour new concrete for one lane. They did not replace any water line, sewer lines, power lines or anything else. There are lots of streets in the city that NEED repaired but they chose to do this instead.
Oh well that is enough bitching for one day.