Have you tried Tarlac Bike Trail Lately?

23 10 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Tarlac, Tarlac, Philippines

If you have ONE day to spare, try Tarlac for a new perspective!

Tarlac is 104 km away from Manila. If you want to try biking around Tarlac, then hop on your bike in the trunk of Victory bus liner early morning say 6 0r 7am and expect to be back around 10pm, same day.

That’s what I just did today! Cham, my Chamorro bike, and I reached the bus station at 7am. Few seconds, we saw Bucopie waiting. Then the three of us took the bus heading to the town of Gerona.

Gerona town

After 3 hours and 30 minutes, we all reached Gerona where GT has been residing since February. GT is Bucopie’s silver bike.

Gerona is also the place for the fine food of Tarlac. It was my first different Philippine cuisine taste. And I was very glad we stopped at The Halfway to the North Floating Restaurant for our 12n lunch after we got GT. I ordered  the spicy “tahong” (mussels), a fusion of the spicy food coming from the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, and the Ilocos Region. Bucopie tried the local version of Tilapia fish.

Tarlac City

After 13 km of peddling on Mc Arthur Highway, we reached Tarlac city and turned left coming from Gerona. Our next target was La Paz. While we were on Santa Rosa-Tarlac Road, we stopped for a drink and had some photo opt. The landscape of the landlock and plain province started to show. We passed by Matatalaib, Maliwalo, San Jose, San Manuel, Balingcanaway, Amucao, Caramutan, San Isidro, Rizal, Balanoy and finally Dumarais. Cham’s odometer already reached another 19km.

Dumarais Off trail

Dumarais is a barangay with vast agricultural land in the small town of La Paz. Both Bucopie and I started to feel the rush and the power of  both GT and Cham. We were already standing while pedaling. We met some friends of Bucopie in Dumarais and in Sierra, (another town of about 2.5 km from Dumarais). Within this area, I saw the nicest sundown, interesting rice paddy and even had my second carabao (water buffalo) ride!

Since it was already 5pm, we started to head onto the last portion of the off trail. On our way, we saw hundreds of ducks crossing the dirt road and caused a short traffic jam! I didn’t think they could demand an imaginary stop light that fast! Whoa! After hitting the sugarcane field, we saw the SCTEX pavement that traverses Luisita Access road. Then we just headed onto Mc Arthur Highway in oder for us to go back to Tarlac city Victory bus station where we started.

Cham’s overall reading upon reaching Manila was at 56.9 km. So try Tarlac next weekend! Who knows, you may reach 100 km!

NOTE: While you cruise Tarlac city, don’t be surprised seeing men in uniform along some post since it is part of the Operation Enduring Freedom project of the government.

BUDGET: bus fare <500php (10 USD) + food of your choice. h

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