The Vigan Gap and the Quirino Bridges That Connects It

I ended my previous post with a stitched photo of the tip of the Heroes Hill National Park. It was huge, right? These mountains are formed by the constant movement of the Earth’s lithosphere popularly known as the Plate Tectonics Theory. Sometimes, this happens around a river. That’s when the battle between earth and water starts.

vigangap_cover

As the mountain slowly begin to rise, the river continues to flow over it. Over time, millions of years actually, a winner is determined. This was the case with Abra River versus the mountain ranges that borders Abra and Ilocos Sur. It’s obvious who won, isn’t it?

The mighty Abra River that starts in Benguet has built enough power after flowing over 170 kms in the Cordillera mountains to constantly erode the rising mountain. When something like this happens, a water gap is formed. In this case, it is called the Vigan Gap. It is also known as Banaoang Gap and is about 9 kms long cutting through 3 tall mountain ridges.

The Abra river cuts the mountain range as it flows out into the South China Sea.

The Abra River cuts the mountain range as it flows out into the South China Sea.

Mount Binitalo (North Shoulder of the gap) in Bantay, Ilocos Sur

Mount Binitalo on the North shoulder of the gap.

Mount Tetas de Santa (South Shoulder of the gap) in Brgy Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur.

Mount Tetas de Santa (South Shoulder of the gap) in Brgy Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur.

The view deck offers a dramatic view of the Abra River highlighted by the old and new Quirino Bridge. According to the Tourism Office of Vigan, the view deck is also known as the “Gabriela-Diego Silang Memorial Park”. I clarified that I am not referring to the Gabriela Silang Park located in the Old Pideg Pass just right after the turn off Heroes Hill. The Tourism Officer explained that it is in this view deck or watchtower where Diego Silang proposed his marriage to Gabriela. The emotional statue of Diego hugging Gabriela from the back facing the river is just totally opposite to the fierce and angry Gabriela on a horse and wielding a sword in the park near Abra Tunnel.

There is also a grotto on top of the watchtower.

There is also a grotto on top of the watchtower.

Gabriela and Diego Silang looking into the Abra River: "Mahal, ang taas naman ng sampayan natin"

Gabriela and Diego Silang looking into the Abra River: “Mahal, ang taas naman ng sampayan natin”

I also had a little chat with a fellow rider and his son who stopped by to appreciate the view too.

I also had a little chat with a fellow rider and his son who stopped by to appreciate the view too.

As I made my way to the bridge, I saw a sign pointing to an adventure zone. It is a 2-way zipline located between the bridges. I tried going up the 5-storey platform but only managed to reach the 2nd level because I chickened out. LOL! The zipline is probably almost a half-kilometer long and you should be able to endure dangling for a while above the river on your return trip because you’ll stop short of the landing. Some will come to attach a line to you so you can be pulled back to shore.

A dramatic rescue unfolds! Haha!

A dramatic rescue unfolds! Haha!

Damn that's high!

Damn that’s high!

You can cross Abra River by the old or new Quirino Bridge but the zipline is another way to do it.

You can cross Abra River by the old or new Quirino Bridge but the zipline is another way to do it.

Stucked, Hooked, and Reeled in...

Stucked, Hooked, and Reeled in…

The Old Quirino Bridge is still strong and steady but it is not passable during heavy rains when it gets submerged. It even collapsed once so a newer, taller, modern Quirino Bridge has to be built. It was inaugurated December 30, 2010.

The old steel truss bridge still stands proud in the Vigan Gap.

The old steel truss bridge still stands proud in the Vigan Gap.

Some locals appears to be fishing in the river.

Some locals appears to be fishing in the river.

The new Quirino Bridge is rising higher from the river to make sure it is all-weather.

The new Quirino Bridge is rising higher from the river to make sure it is all-weather.

This concrete bridge spans 456 meters and costs Php 625M.

This concrete bridge spans 456 meters and costs Php 625M.

It’s already 1:30 PM and I headed to Vigan City, the capital of Ilocos Sur. I learned from my research prior to the trip that Vigan Hotel is one of cheapest hotels in this Wolrd Heritage Site so I was delighted that it’s the first thing I saw when I entered the city proper. The single P395 fan room is not available so I booked for the double P495 room instead. I didn’t expect much, and I’m prepared for a little “discomfort”. When you’ve ridden a motorcycle for 12 hours over 400 kms, you really won’t think about comfort that much.

Parking is somewhat secure.

Parking is somewhat secure.

All I need is a shower and something that doesn't vibrate to lie down to so yes, this would be fine..

All I need is a shower and something that doesn’t vibrate to lie down to so yes, this would be fine..

I took a bath and prepared for my Vigan Tour. You’ll need at least 2 days in Vigan to see the major tourist spots; I have 7 hours. Lucky for me, I have already been here with Laguna Moto Club in 2010 so I can skip some of the tourist spots.. Actually, I’ve skipped a lot. My Vigan Tour coming up next.

Advertisements

About Dom de la Torre

The rider is a 20-something Filipino that rides a Honda Wave 125cc underbone. He knows little about motorcycles yet loves the experience going places on two wheels. Rider Ako is a motorcycle-slash-travel blog. The rider not only shares to you travel destinations and what to see there but also the experience of getting there. You will read about the thrills and adventure when he rides solo, the romance of riding in tandem, the camaraderie riding with a group, the excitement participating in events, and anything that he thinks you might find interesting.When he's broke and the fuel's empty, he will share stories about motorcycling how he sees it through his helmet visor.
This entry was posted in Long Ride, Rides, Solo Ride and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s