Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Last Train to San Fernando - Johnny Duncan & the Bluegrass Boys

Just as we go to post, country number 168 joins the readership by way of the intriguing, landlocked and remote Kingdom of Bhutan. A couple of years ago my Rig mate Dave Penney visited this wonderful place and returned with much praise for all he found, Since then it has been high priority on my list of places to visit, so who knows maybe some day soon. A warm welcome to the Blog awaits, and we hope you will pass on the link to your countrymen.

It was considered an early start would be advantageous with the first bus leaving Sagada at 05:00, but there was still something of a mountain to climb. The bag was already packed but it was still a 4a.m. alarm to make sure there was time to climbed the steep hill from hotel to bus station. I had checked this move thoroughly but by 10 past the hour the bus was still not in sight and 2 passers-by were now telling me the first would be 06:00 Needn't have worried as it did arrive, albeit a little late, and cracked the journey to Baguio in the prescribed 6 hours. On the strength of that it was thought best to carry on to my final destination, the small town of San Fernando without delay. For those following on the map, this is a small 'sea-side' town about 100 miles north of Baguio.

Having arrived there, with plenty of advice to progress my journey, I jumped straight into

a Motor Cycle Taxi to the recommended resort,

fitted the bill perfectly, a 60's throw-back to the days of the Beach Bums and Hippies - talk about 'fitting in'! However, given the lateness of the hour it was time to get the Blog posted, already being a day or two behind. No Internet Access at Peter's so a wander up the road to

where both Internet and dinner were available.

A little more luxurious than my 'garden shed' but then so was the price.

It was 'band night' and there were a serious number of people arriving to listen to a competent group but not my genre, Jazz Fusion, so after completing my labours it was off to bed.

This morning was a case of coffee then spending a little time finding my feet including a walk along the beach, first looking south

then the vista to the north.

A dead coal reef wasn't very inspiring,

while the sight of 2 Dakota Aircraft parked in someones back garden really makes you wonder just how they ended up there?

Around the point was no more inspiring making me feel the South China Sea may be devoid of bird life.

Leaving things to the surfies, I wandered the main road where so much vegetation would surely attract something of interest?

A typical back-yard, complete with Pigs, Dogs and Chickens.

There had been an over-far view of a Kingfisher as I left the resort, so it was appropriate that the first bird to be identified today was the same species.

Not only that but a 'Lifer' as well, a quite splendid


Wandering a little off the beaten track good numbers of Butterflies started to appear, and it's always of great interest to encounter a 'Blue' one with a 'Long-tail'.

Having said that, the next to be entered in the notebook was of even more interest. This 'Blue' was without a doubt the smallest Butterfly I have ever seen, to describe it as being the size of a 'Garden Pea' might make it sound a little larger than life.

While I sure this plant was not a Sun Dew it certainly had the appearance of one

while there were even more to see further into the wooded area.

The best I could do with this would be juvenile BLUE ROCK THRUSH, but hadn't expected to see one in a tree.

The Shrikes here, both Brown and Long-tailed, are so numerous it is difficult to resist the temptation of at least one shot,

and we finish with a small section of the 'thousands' of Ants here.