I totally support this contest, as I saw its humble beginnings. I used to join by posting a picture or two on APPICS, then using the tag #amazingnature to be found.
From there, it has grown to be an official weekly contest. I congratulate @adalger for that. I'm also grateful to him for inviting me to the Steem Terminal group. More power to this contest! May we all celebrate the beauty of nature in all its form.
I've been a city girl all my life. However, that did not stop me from being a nature lover. We don't get to enjoy a lot of the great outdoors in the city. This being the case, my daughter and I plan out of town trips at least once a year to get closer to nature.
This won't be a one picture post, as it's also my tribute to the beautiful island of Itbayat in Batanes. We visited the island in March of this year. In July, it was hit by devastating earthquakes that brought a lot of damage to parts of the island. That really broke our hearts.
I'd like to look back and remember our unforgettable trip. I hope you'll enjoy the visual tour.
This was our view from where we were seated in the boat ride to Itbayat Island. From the main island of Batan in Batanes, it's roughly a three-hour ride. That was the first time I've ridden a boat that long. It's not exactly a very comfortable way to travel, but in the end, it was so worth it.
I remember getting too excited when we finally could see the island so near. If I remember correctly, it took another half an hour at least from this view before we even landed at the port.
We finally got off the boat after three hours. Turning around, this magnificent view took my breath away!
Our first stop was our homestay, so we could freshen up and get ready for more sightseeing trips for the day. A side trip to Itbayat Island from the main island of Batan in Batanes would mean an overnight stay. That's because there's only one boat trip that goes to the island and travels back after two hours. There's no hotel on the island as well. Lucky for us, our tour guide helped us book this special trip, so we had accommodation arranged in advance as well. That's the view from the terrace of our homestay.
One of our stops was at Lake Kavaywan. Everywhere you looked was so peaceful and serene. You'd think we were the only tourists around, but there were others as well. We had our own tour guide that took us around the island on a tricycle.
Paganaman Port. It will always be one of my favorite places. It's a steep slope going down to the hidden lagoon. Here, I stayed out too long in the sun and got sunburnt on my right side (arm and leg). I don't think I got my color back to this day. So, it is truly memorable. ^_^
We sought out this place, as my daughter saw it on an Instagram post. She wanted to see the place in person. We called it hidden as the guides don't normally bring tourists here unless they ask for it. We've got more photos of my daughter enjoying the lagoon. I didn't go down as it was a bit too rocky for me.
More trekking to see Torongan Cave. Before reaching it, we pass through the lovely view seen here at Torongan Hill. That's Dinem Island over there. They say it's uninhabited.
I stayed outside by the entrance of Torongan Cave, as the climb down was rather steep. My daughter proceeded with our tour guide. She's smaller and slimmer, so it wasn't much a problem when it comes to climbing here and there. She took this photo once they got to the end of the cave. What a lovely window to the sea! The earthquake in July damaged the cave entrance ( according to the news), so we have no idea if Torongan Cave is open to the public once again.
Going back up from the cave, we stopped at the hill for some more photos. There's a place where you can sit very close to the edge to have your photo taken.
We are glad that we made a stop at this church before calling it a day. Sta Maria de Mayan Church was badly damaged by the earthquake that hit Itbayat Island. See photos on the news.
We retired early for the night, as our call time was around 2:30 am. We would be trekking 6.5 kms in the dark to reach Rapang Cliff before sunrise. Ta-dah! This is one of our many sunrise photos. We survived the trek during the wee hours of the morning. It wasn't that dangerous or rough, but it was a physical challenge if you're not fit to walk miles on end. Good thing I still can and did! ^_^
Whereas I passed up some rough climbs, I couldn't just pass up getting atop Rapang Cliff for this shot! That one time when I proved that I could if I wanted to! ^_^ (PS. One of the other guides hinted I couldn't make it as I didn't even try going down Torongan Cave. LOL!)
I love this scenery! To me it shows the real beauty of nature. We really should be thankful for our beautiful planet.
We made one last stop before heading to the port for our boat ride back to the main island of Batan. This is the Mauyen Arch according to our guide. It's another hidden spot. My daughter seemed to have done her research well and knew what places to ask to see. ^^ We really had a great time visiting Itbayat Island. We hope we could go back again someday. There's an airport there now, so perhaps that's how we'll go there next time. Till our next adventure... ta-tah! ^^
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