Saturday, April 8, 2017

Journey to Kabankalan

As I mentioned in an earlier post, [The Amlan VW Beetle] a friend from the U.S. is in Kabankalan City visiting relatives, and my wife, son and I drove over the mountain to see her.

It was my first trip to Negros Occidental and I was not sure what to expect when driving over the mountains here. As seen from the screenshot of our route, we drove north along the Western Nautical Highway - turning onto the Kabankalan-Mabinay-Bais Road near the Universal Robina Sugar Milling Plant.

Not knowing exactly where to turn off, we drove closer to Manjuyod than we should have - asked for directions and drove back to the unmarked turn off. I would have expected a major road to be marked with a sign, but I suppose all the locals know where they're headed and find a sign unnecessary.

For the most part, the Kabankalan-Mabinay-Bais Road is in better condition than I expected. There were areas undergoing repair, but it wasn't so bad. Winding....sure; but that didn't stop more than a few impatient suv drivers passing when they really shouldn't.

Other than beautiful scenery, there was little of note until we reached Mabinay, and even then there isn't much to speak of. Mabinay does have a few natural attractions which we will one day visit, but none of these are visible from the highway.

When we arrived in Kabankalan, we immediately checked in to the Zaycoland Hotel. The Filipino accent tends to pronounce this name as "psycho land". We did not, however, have any encounter with Norman Bates.

The lower screen shot is of a comparable journey to give my friends in Georgia an idea of the distance. Google Maps gives the distance between Sibulan and Kabankalan as roughly 77 miles. The distance from Rome GA and Chattanooga TN via US 27N is nearly the same. Both trips are over mountains, but you'll see more coconut trees and sugarcane traveling to Kabankalan. The Rome to Chattanooga journey takes about 1 1/2 hours. The same distance in Philippines takes about twice as long.

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