Coron is the town located on Busuanga Island if I understand it correctly. Cashews are a main agricultural product both for local consumption and for export. Like many other islands, the main road seems to go around the island. According to Wiki the 2020 census, population was 65,855.
We were greeted by a young marching bad which I am thinking with the letters “CSF” on their shirts, belong to a local school. The more I looked at them, the younger they seemed. Primarily a percussion based group, there was a small contingent of some keyboard thing I hadn’t seen before.
After waiting a while for the ship to be organized – we disembarked with the plan to hike to and up Mount Tapyas.
looking from the port past the port building, the yellow hotel, you can see Mt Tapyas in the distance. As it turned out, you had to walk through and past the majority of the town (several kilometers) before figuring out where to start the hill climb. Since there was a large cross on top of the mount, I figured that turning up at the main church – St Augustin was probably a reasonable move. Up a block, it was obvious that there had to be a way, but a guy on a motorcycle said “left to the next street before going up the hill”.
Seems obvious on the way down.
We hiked up the road, then looked up to see stairs heading up the hill/mountain.
Let me just leave it with the statement that there were a lot of stairs. Admittedly, there were a more than a few landings with benches. But it was a lot of stairs. I counted 696 on the way down. There were painted signs on the way up every 100. According to them it was well over 700. Not sure it makes a difference. It is NOT something that can be managed any other way than a step at a time. We passed, chatted with, or sat with some amazing people both ways. A couple of pastor’s from the Seventh Day Adventist Church several islands over, a couple from Austria, a guy from Australia with his wife from Louisiana, a UK
elderly gentleman in about our age group with his wife and a group of her relations, university students from Vancouver on a three week holiday.
At the base of the cross is the painted cement section noting the location with the original build going up in 1902. On the pastor’s mentioned that he thought that there had been replacements over the years secondary to typhoon damage.
The view from the top was amazing –
for the views of the surrounding islands,
as well as the view down to the city with all the tin roofs crammed together. You can barely seen the ship from here in most photos – so looking closer.
Other quick things to note:
power lines run along sides on the road up the hill –
and I have no clue about water/sewer. I didn’t want to ask as there were blue jerry cans all over the place as well as the usual black used for fuel. Many of the transport vehicles were carrying both.
and, in contrast to our ship – the most common mode of transport for tourists and island transfers –
By the time we hiked back down all those stairs and back to the ship it might just be time for a short nap.