The steaming road.

I promised you a steaming road and here it is.  As you are probably tired of reading now, I am a great believer in using local knowledge and after having left the hugely interesting Malatapay Market (see previous post) I decided to head back up the mountain and look for a place up behind Valencia that a long-term expat friend of mine had told me about.  It is s place where there is a geothermal power station which provides the residents of Valencia with very cheap electricity.  I have told you about the earthquake already and there is a volcano not 10 miles from here which is overdue another eruption.  It is a fairly unstable region in that respect.

Back to the start however.  Whilst riding up to Tierra Alta previously with Hawk I had noticed the most obscure set of roadsigns I have ever seen.  They have the design features of proper roadsigns but are actually some sort of poem.

Road sign poem.
If you read the things in sequence, they do form a fairly small, free verse sort of thing about a tree, if I have read it correctly.  Here is another offering.

Lovely but dangerous.
Now here is the problem.  I have described to you the sheer suicidal nature of riding on a Philippino road, so the last thing you want to be doing is taking your eyes off the road for a second.  Not perhaps then a great idea to be inviting you to read roadside poetry.

Having survived the potential fatality of the Philippino Wordsworth, I carried on into what can only be described as a moonscape.  I had seen a few washed out bridges and things from Typhoon Sendong and the resulting floods but I really couldn't beleive what I was seeing.  I have been told that this river valley used to be, until a few months ago, one of the most beautiful and verdant places on Negros.  Now it looks like some gargantuan alien earthmover had just gouged the face of the Earth out.  I really coudn't believe it.  I'll let the images speak for themselves.

A river ran here.
The sheer power of this almost defies comprehension.  This was the course of a small river which has now had it's course totally altered (causing all sorts of problems).  I saw boulders, not yet overgrown and literally the size of lorries, sittin perched up hillsides where they had obviously been recently deposited.  The word breathtaking is ften overused but this truly was.

Building remains.
Naturally, anything man-made has no chance in the face of such an onslaught and I saw this building just about wiped out.  I have no idea what it's original purpose was but it looked like a bomb had hit it.  Take a look at the reasonably sized bulldozer sitting outside, it was completely trashed and had obviously been left there to rot.

After a sobering and quite challenging ride up what was left of a road, I came upon this sign.  Now there's a thing you don't see every day.

Crazy road sign.
 They weren't joking, as you can see here.

The hills are alive!
Like other such place I have been, the stench or sulphur is noticeable but not overpowering here as it is in, say, Rotorua in New Zealand.

Sulphur spring.
Hot water bubbles and hisses literally out of the very Earth and it is frightening to think of the power miles below that can cause this.

Hot rock.
I carried on after this to the small and fairly uninteresting village where the road effectively ends.  It does go on to the power station and I believe you can arrange a tour there but I did not have the requisite permist and so turned around and headed back, going the other way back towards Sibulan.

Look at that view.
Going back the other road was no hardship at all, as the image above tells you, I was more or less alone, beautiful vistas although again attention to the road was required, it is not that good.

The road goes on forever.
Eventually, the road became civilised and I made good time back to Dumaguete City.  I do love riding here and I reckon you could have a simply wonderful time on something like a 350 / 400 dirt bike.  Well, that is my plan anyway!

Another great day out, another reason to love the Philippines and best of all I'm still here.

I am still nowhere up to date but I am geting closer and this has been a productive day on the blog front.  I think I shall go for my daily siesta now, it is a thing of the heat an my increasing age. 

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