TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
On my travels, I would normally look for women-friendly activities like trying different cuisines, enjoying a staycation with a good view and learning more about the heritage and culture of the place. However, when I visited Ilocos, which is mostly known for heritage landmarks, I was able to go to a parched area that lies adjacent to Suba Beach and try a thrilling activity which turned out to be oomph of my Ilocos Tour.
4×4 rough riding vehicle
Though hesitating, upon reaching the base of the site of Paoay sand dunes, I still opted to join the group in hiring a 4×4 rough riding vehicle to experience the 4×4 ride on the sand dunes. As the engine started, and wheels roll on the rugged terrain, the uncomfortable ride has started as well while we were standing at the back of the 4×4 wheel. From lush land, we were transported to the vast sand dunes in a few minutes and the up and down movement of the ride have commenced. The bumpier the ride is the more we struggled in staying stable hence, we need to keep a good grip on the safety bars. While the higher is our thrilling drop on steep sand ridges, the louder we scream in excitement. It somehow gives you the same feeling of riding a rollercoaster. As the vehicle trudge the series of sand hills taking photos is really a challenge because so you really have to hold on the bars or you’ll get thrown off the vehicle. The bumpy ride and the thrilling drops are actually the fun part of the ride and this adrenaline rush activity that would make you put taking pictures aside.
Way to the Sand dunes
The first stop would be on the peak of a sand ridge which they consider as the viewdeck. On it, there’s a wooden marker bearing the provider’s name of the sand dunes adventure and seats that are made from cut tree trunk. This spot is intentionally made for people who would like to take a picture with the marker as their background to indicate that they have experienced the 4×4 ride on the sand dunes.
Marker on the view deck
After taking a few photos the ride would start again, but this time it’s going to be a bit faster and more exciting with high elevations and fast drops. Due to the fun brought by this activity, you wouldn’t be able to notice that you are on your next stop which is on the beach shore along the sand dunes. Since I visited the place late in the afternoon, the view of the beach and the sunset was the perfect backdrop where you can stay for a couple minutes to enjoy the sound of the waves of the sea.
4×4 wheel trace on the sand
After a few minutes, we’re back on the jeep and we’re off again. This time we experienced a more heart-pumping ride with sharp turns and winding track ride. However, it was short and reached another sloped area where the sand boarding activity is being done. Playing and getting dirty on the sand would be another part of the fun adventure, hence I tried sandboarding and simply followed the instruction of our guide and sat on the plank of wood which would slide over the sandy cliff and held on its handle. The thrill of the activity is the moment before you fall when you are still trying to balance to keep yourself stable until you reach the end. However, it is also fun when you fell on the soft sand since you already know how to fall and has an idea of what to do to keep yourself stable. After falling, you would want to do it over and over again until you perfect it.
All throughout the ride in the sand dunes we were breathless and a bit hoarse, meanwhile sandboarding has filled my mouth with laughter. After all the screaming and laughter, I felt something was unloaded in me though I can’t point what exactly it is, but it definitely felt good, hence I realized this might be a good way to release stress. Suddenly I remember that I have almost skipped this activity, but I’m glad I experienced Paoay Sand Dunes Adventure, as it even became the oomph of my Ilocos tour. Certainly, this should not be missed up north.
If you would like to experience Paoay sand dunes adventure you may visit them at Brgy.23 Bacsil Paoay, Ilocos Region 2902 Philippines.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All expenses were paid by the author.