Oct 21, 2017
The Ride from Loboc to the Old Spanish Tower
Location: Spanish Tower, Loay (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Mountain Bike Guide: Jeffrey Huerte
Increasingly, the mountain bike rides I have with Jeffrey is morphing into a bike tour - a mix of hard riding when needed with stopovers to explore anything interesting. Our ride had stops at a hilltop house overlooking the landscape below and a long bamboo foot-bridge leading to a restored Spanish watch tower from the colonial era.
It was a different route this time on mixed paved and dirt road. Heading towards Sikatuna, the next town, we veered left into Calunasan and took the back road. It was again rolling hills on winding road but mostly going up as we gained altitude - minor climbs and fast descents.
Along the way, we segued into a private road leading up...way up into a dizzying climb up a steep hill. It was nauseating when I reached the top given the huffing-and-puffing I did cranking up my pedal strokes. There was a house under-construction, perched on a cliff-face overlooking the valley below - Loboc River, the coastline of Loay, the sea and the surrounding mountains. The house owner got the hilltop all to himself - good for him!
Old Spanish Tower
Upon reaching Loay, again, we took a sideroad that led us into the mangrove where a long bamboo foot-bridge was in place leading to the old Spanish watchtower which was under restoration. It was perhaps a 300m walk along the bamboo walkway. The watchtower still had no roof but scaffoldings were in place. Back in the day, pirates used to raid towns, pillaging and taking the women with them. This used to be one of the watch towers keeping an eye for marauding pirates.
The ride back home was through the main highway where Jeffrey again treated me to our ride indulgence, the coconut. Thanks again! Next time, I'll bring my wallet :)
Doing a bike tour is a double-header. We get our bike workout and we get to explore places and interesting spots. All of this is done and over with while most people are still asleep. Great way to start the day! Thanks Jeffrey!
Next stop: Eco-Tourism Adventure Park
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
»» next story: Ziplining and Cable Car Ride at Eco-Tourism Adventure Park
»» next Mountain Biking story: The Ride to Morning Hill
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