On a pushy? But How?!

It’s been quite some time since our last adventure, so we didn’t hang about in Manila – jet lag ignored, bikes rebuilt in a day and we set off South (well, across the city to hop on a bus for the first bit, Manila is basically a slow moving car park, it would have taken us a week to escape the traffic jams)

The Philippines is made up of 7,461 islands, so we’ll be travelling by boat as much as bikes.  the first one is from Batangas port to Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro. Turning up with mountain bikes seems to be confusing for everyone, but once we’ve done several laps of the port collecting stamps and stubs from every office we’re deemed fit for travel.

Landing at Puerto Galera it feels like we have arrived in the Philippines – blue seas, jungle covered hills, boats scattered along the coastline and motorbike trikes buzzing in all directions. Nice. We buy a coconut each and pedal away from the boat, up into the hills with a grin and spend a few days settling in and exploring.

bikepacking and bicycle touring the Philippines

Earthquakes are a very regular thing here on the ring of fire (60-70 per day recorded on PHIVOLCS – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php/earthquake/earthquake-information3 ).  Our first morning on Mindoro we receive a message from home asking if we’re ok and a broadcasted tsunami alert from PHIVOLCS.  We get up and discover no one has so much as raised an eyebrow. On this occasion the quake was to the east of Mindanao in the south (1000km from Puerto Galera), but a 40cm wave did reach the south coast of Japan, where some areas had been evacuated.

Following a brief discussion with a restaurant owner who exclaimed ‘but how?’ as we discussed our route for the following day, he looked at us doubtfully commenting “I’ve never heard of anyone doing it on a pushy”.

Challenge accepted, we took the road west past tourist town until the road ran out…


Our journey on what remains of the road involved a couple of thigh-high river crossings, lots of mud, a bit of a tumble, a chat with a Swiss guy drinking something clear and dangerous, many groups of jovial locals in the middle of nowhere and a lot of sweating. 

It turns out to be a bit of an epic first day (32 degrees going on 40) and at the end of it all we arrive to find the little hotel we were aiming for is closed.  Shame, not the shower + cold beer + bed we were hoping for.

We stop at Sari-Sari shops for snacks and water, and we’re learning to spot and the air conditioned boxes serving actual coffee (a rarity).

When it rains it REALLY rains. Take cover or take a beating!

Standard procedure – stop for a day one week in and fix everything.

bike club greets us in every largeish town.

Working is still a thing (definitely not our favourite thing!).

More of this underwater wonderland in our next blog.


7 thoughts on “On a pushy? But How?!

    1. Absolutely superb xxx what a fabulous trip x Happy New Year. Cous & Jez xxx so wonderful to enjoy your quest and pics xx

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