Cíes – the Tropics of the European Atlantic

At last, summer has arrived! Having lived most of my life in a tropical country, I never got so excited for my first travel to an island in a long time. I’m sure that I’m fond of summer and going to the beach (sometimes), but with Mediterranean waters still cooler than the beaches we had in the Philippines, I have come to terms into going to the beach less frequently than before. Perhaps it was being exposed to the colder seasons for long which eventually drove me to plan for my first summer getaway this year. Shall I go and take a pill once again in Ibiza? Will I revisit the historical forts and turquoise waters on the coves of Menorca? Is it a cool idea to relax while listening to the sound of waves smashing on the coastal rocks of Sardinia? Shall I spend a weekend of paradise on any of the Greek islands? Well, I decided to go a little off-path – I chose to spend quality time in the Cíes islands.

The islands are located southwest off the coast of the Spanish region of Galicia. Although planning a trip there requires more planning than usual (i.e. application of permits from the Galician council, reserving slots to ride the ferries from Pontevedra province and back, travel time), it’s a fulfilling getaway especially for travelers like me who take it up one more notch to enjoy biodiversity and mini-trekking all while enjoying time in the beach. The islands are considered a national park due to its isolated location and because it houses arguably the largest colony of seagulls in the world. Due to this status, entry to the islands are highly regulated and this meant a less crowded, relaxing and peaceful atmosphere for me and my compañero.

Towards the western sections of the 2 main islands, Monteagudo and do Faro, we managed to do a relaxed pace of hiking to 2 ends – towards the lighthouse of Cíes and to the Alto de Principe (Prince’s Peak) on the other end. What consumed most of our time was us just chatting all the way to the peaks that we even didn’t recognize that we already spent a lot of energy as well as performing documentation on the magnificent views, wildlife and trippy poses we did along the way. This was certainly the reason why we ended up running, excessively sweating and panting all the way to the port to catch our trip back to Vigo. Jaja.

And finally, a getaway to the islands would not be complete without time spent on the beach. The sandbar connecting the islands of Monteagudo and do Faro stretches for several kilometers and are one, if not the most beautiful beaches that I ever went to. With fine golden and soft sands extending towards the dark blue Atlantic waters, one manages to see stretches of turquoise water from the shore until the shade of blue water turns darker further to the sea. The sandbar is curved inwards to the 2 islands, thereby naturally protecting it from the Atlantic currents. Although the water was still cold even if it’s already June (at least it was very cold to me), we managed to enjoy our chilly dip while we bask under the heat of the sun. It was reminiscent of those times when I used to go to the beaches when I lived in Cebu. My place was just a 5 minute drive to the coast and it was always a pleasant time to spend at least a day inside a cottage and spending time with family and friends while eating and swimming in the warm waters.

I would definitely want to go back to those islands and perhaps spend a longer time to just chill and relax – just like how it used to be in the tropics.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Protected: Tromsø, Norway 2018 – Successfully Chased an Arctic Dream

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Welcome to a View of the World Through My Lens

Hey everyone! First of all, I’d like to welcome you to my personal blog, where you will be able to read some of my travel stories. People who know me personally would say that I’ve been a social science enthusiast since I was a child and to live that enthusiasm as an adult has made me feel immensely blessed.

My humble blog is not your typical travel blog – I didn’t have much preparation setting this up nor do I have the instruments and marketing to make this as a commercial blog. I was motivated to create this blog after three of my friends separately recommended that I set up one as I’ve been traveling around the world with much passion, knowledge and excitement. I would say that I’m still private about my experience, let alone my travel experiences. But this might be the right time to share some of my moments with the rest of the world… to show its beauty through my lens, my perspective and through the incidental experiences and lessons I have learned along my travel routes.

From here, I don’t know how this blog would eventually become. Would it last a year? Maybe a couple more? I used to write a lot when I was more introverted but would I be inspired enough to frequently write new posts? Only time will tell and I will keep it as it is. What I know is that, with this medium of expression, perhaps I would be able to draw in readers who share an authentic passion about the world – the history of civilizations, empires and modern states; the diversity in languages, culture and cuisine; and perhaps, friendships and connections derived from a common interest in these things and in travel.

For now, I hope you will have a pleasant time in my blog. I’ll stay in touch more with all of you soon.

 

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

post