In what will be my sixth post about our recent month-long vacation, I’ll close out this topic. Not only have I almost ran out of things to share, I’m sure everyone is kinda-sorta bored with the subject. It’s time for us to start planning our next vacation, which we already are doing, and it includes travel to another country. That’s a way down the road, however, so more on that later.
Acres of coconut trees. On the far horizon is the Gulf of Davao.
Towards the end of our stay in Lynndee’s hometown of General Santos City, we made a road trip to Davao City to check into some family matters. Davao City is 90 miles distance from GenSan. Lynndee had told me that at one time, that was an arduous journey over very curvy roads, some unpaved. Since that time, however, much work has been done and still continues, as we saw during our trip. The roadway was entirely paved the entire way and the process of widening the road was ongoing. Though only 90 miles, we took our own sweet time and it took us almost three hours to arrive. The traffic was relatively uncrowded, though we did run into a few jams on the way. An interesting thing was that when sitting in a jam in areas where there were many of those road-side stores prevalent in the Philippines, salesmen bearing many goods such as fruits and snacks would swarm around the cars in search of business.
Beware he who must venture into this; here there be tygers!
Davao is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area, and the most populous city in the country outside of Metro Manila. Its current claim to fame is that its former mayor, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is now the 16th President of the Philippines. Though there was much to see and do in the city but we had to head back to GenSan after taking care of our business due to the length of time it took and the length of time it would take to get back home. While in the city, I did see a sight that blew my mind. It was the electric lines running to a pole on the side of the street. And nowhere in the United States had I ever seen such a sight. Having done electrical work myself, it did make me wonder at how anyone could ever possibly work on such a mess, trying to trace down a problem, much less dig into such a mess without getting electrocuted!
Bananas awaiting harvest.
Be careful walking in here unless you have a hard head to protect you from falling coconuts!
Like many areas in the Philippines, agriculture is a major industry in Davao with many banana, pineapple, coffee and coconut plantations in the city. And the city is the leading exporter of these and many other tropical fruits. And that’s one of the things that so fascinated me about our trip to Davao. Not only is the city a great fruit enterpriser, the entire Philippines is a haven for the fruit industry.
On an earlier trip to the Philippines, I was amazed to see the huge Pineapple fields of Dole. But during the drive from GenSan to Davao, my eyes were filled with the sight of fruits galore. The island of Mindanao itself is full of pineapple, banana and coconut plantations lining the highway as well as rice paddies. Even looking up on the high mountains that abutted the highway, I could see huge groves of coconut trees. I could only wonder at what it would take to harvest in such an unfriendly location.
The highlight of the trip, though, was a little stand we stopped at on the way home. It was located halfway down the mountain on the way to the flatlands where Davao is located. And it had a lookout in the back that allowed us to gaze down in the valley below. This area reminded me so much of driving down Old Fort Mountain, near my city, on the way to the piedmont and flatlands of my state. But here, not only could we see acres of coconut trees spreading out for miles, in the far distance on the horizon we could actually see the Gulf of Davao twinkling in the sunlight. What an astounding sight the entire vista presented.
Prior to our return to the states, we went to the grocery store so Lynndee could stock up on many of the local edibles and treats she so loves and misses, as well as picking up a few to send to her Filipino friends here in the states. Unfortunately, one of the things we couldn’t carry home was fresh fruit. I did, however, get to bring one treat home, one of my most favorite vices: coffee!
Some of the best coffee in the world!
Lynndee’s aunt went to a location and bought freshly harvested and ground coffee beans and presented them to me as her so-long gift. She had already given me some to enjoy while I was there so I knew what I had to look forward to on my return home. Though it won’t last forever, I’ll enjoy the coffee as long as it does last. And the mornings get no better than waking up to freshly ground, Filipino coffee!
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