The original plan was to go Capones Island in Zambales but as we traverse the highway and got near Zambales, what started as an early sunny morning turned into a rainy day. We have to immediately change our plans and divert to activities around Subic Bay Freeport Zone so as not to disappoint ourselves. All of these happened yesterday (July 19, 2009) together with Jojo, Patrick M. and Jonathan.
Initally, we plan to go to Ocean Adventure and in fact we already parked right across its entrance gates. We arrived earlier than its opening time (they start accepting guests in by 9AM) so we just brought out our supposedly camping food for the island and ate them inside the car while waiting for the opening time. Further discussions during the food trip led to everyone deciding to do something else instead and so we found ourselves doing Tree Top Adventure later that morning.
Tree Top Adventure in Subic, Zambales is a canopy adventure park situated amidst a lush forestry and greens. Activities here include the canopy chair lift ride, ziplining (superman), trekking and the tree drop.
The three of us did the canopy chair lift ride while Jonathan opted first for the tree drop. People who are close to me knows I have fear of heights and they are concerned if I'm okay with this. I explained that if it's not too daring nor fast moving, I'm okay with the ride.
So how does the canopy chair lift ride work? Basically there's a chair hanging and mechanically tranferred from one point to another. There are 12 station points and the whole ride takes around an hour and a half.
Jojo, me and Patrick M., ready for our first crossover
And off we go!
The cable from one station to another runs for just around 200 feet so it doesn't take to long to reach the next point in every jump off.
Prior to the ride, we were asked to wear harness and a cable that serves similar to a leash for safety purposes. This cable is connected to the chair and then to the rails of the station as we alight on each of them. So this is how a pet dog feels like! :P
For every transfer, one could wander and appreciate the beauty of the trees and the surrounding nature, as well as breath fresh air. There were a few flora and faunas here and there to see and you may ask the person situated on every station for things to look for as you go. It was drizzling when we started but it was bearable.
view from one of the stations
Patrick M., me and Jojo
As we reached the highest peak, rain began to pour and towards the end we were literally drenched all over. At the end of the ride is the canopy walk, which is basically just a walk over the hanging bridge. Depends on where you begin the ride, this can be the first part of the ride or the ending tip of the experience.
For a few minutes, we stayed at the elevated platform to see if the rain will die down a bit but unfortunately it did not so they proceeded to do the superman ziplining activity. I opted not to do this due to being acrophobic so I just changed clothes, freshened up myself and stayed in the car.
It was past lunch time when we left the park and based on a suggestion from Jonathan who happened to be a local in Subic, we ate in Xtremely Xpresso Café, allegedly a famous cafe restaurant located in Dewey Avenue.
I was skeptical about dining here at first because as the name sounds, it is indeed a cafe. On top of my head is something similar to Starbucks Coffee that serve pastries and some but I was surprised to actually see a lot of items in their menu.
Jojo, Jonathan and Patrick M. waiting for the food..
I had the strawberry lemonade for my drink. It looks cool in the picture and it is actually a lemonade blended with strawberry syrup. However when I tasted it, it is very similar to the powdered version I have at home although its not bad at all.
We shared a 22-inch Big Ben pizza, their best-seller pizza topped with pepperoni, sausage, beef, bacon, onions, peppers, mushrooms and olives. It was good but the crust wasn't that crunch and great.
Patrick M. and I shared a platter of ribs, served with loads of fries. It was tasty and delicious and not so sweet.
Overall the experience was good and we left with our tummies full to its capacity due to the large servings but I wish I had prepared and made room for the gelato ice cream.
After our lunch, I insisted that we pass by the lighthouse. I thought it was clear to them that we are going to a real lighthouse, and not The Lighthouse Marina Resort and was surprised that we actually headed to the resort. From there though, one can see the Kalaklan Lighthouse.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in Jonathan's shack where we crashed and as a retalliation, where we were forced to eat large slices of cakes. Before the sun got down, we left and headed back to Manila passing by the scenic Subic-Clark-Tarlack Expressway.
As we reached the roads of Metro Manila, we decided to have dinner and I suggested to have it at Cookbook Kitchen, a restaurant find that is not so famous but is visited by diners because of word-of-mouth.
I had my usual Parmesan-Crusted White Fish which is served baked and is one of my favorites dishes served by the restaurant. As expected it was creamy, yummy and delicious. I was full though so I had to share my left-over with others who happily obliged.
Jojo had the Wasabi Soy Fish which is okay. However, he expected a "kick" from the Wasabi which left him a bit disappointed. You can read more about his experience from his blog post.
Patrick M. had Frutti Di Mare which is basically like a pomodoro pasta served with shrimps and other seafood items. He said it was okay.
Jonathan had a White Fish with Lemon Parsley Sause. It was good but there was a bitter aftertaste to it, maybe due to the herbs.
For desert, we had a couple of slices of the Kittin's Scarlet Cake which we shared among the four of us. This is one of my favorites although until now I still am not able to describe its taste and flavor. A must try red cake!
Jojo, Patrick M., me and Jonathan - complete group pic at last
As usual, another successful road trip down the line. It didn't went well as planned but we were able to compensate and do something else in lieu of our original intentions.
More pictures are available in multiply. Just add me as a friend to view them.