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  • Writer's pictureMitch Metzger

All Roads Lead to Christmas

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

After over 10 months of Covid-type lockdown's and travel restrictions, I am preparing to launch out for our annual Christmas break starting December 13th evening.

This is my signboard which goes on the rear of my bike.

I am making two travel plans with emphasis on Plan A of 90% (Northern Luzon) and Plan B (Batangas, Quezon, and Laguna) getting only 10% weight. This means that I am focusing more on my Plan A and grudgingly will accept Plan B, if I have very little choice.

My Plan A is a 1,600 Kilometer trip from Antipolo to Aparri and back. It is scheduled to be only 10 days but, honestly, 10 days is not enough. I hate to be rushed, but I do have some extra "grace period" days if I have to extend.

As you can see on the maps attached, my trip starting at midnight on the 13th, will pass through the night reaching Cabanatuan City sometime on the 14th. I [may] have another biker joining me for three days from that point [still pending].

My trip will continue, primarily solo, all the way north to Aparri City, and wrap around the West Coast through Laoag and Vigan. If I have time, energy, and the "highway covid checkpoints permit," I would like to get past Baguio somehow to the Highest Point #1 and Highest Point #2 on the National Highway in the Philippines.

There is rumor that Baguio entrance is very strict with covid restrictions. There is no way of this happening unless there are some "favorable miracles" during my arrival in that area. I might have to bi-pass Baguio completely, and save for another day.

To somewhat prepare, I will be seeking to get a Medical Travel Certificate in the days following that [might] give me extra leverage in passing through any type of "highway checkpoint," with no promises.

My Medical Health Center Appointment

My trip is estimated from December 13th [late evening] until December 23rd. I would like to be home BEFORE Christmas so that I have [at least] a little more than a week still remaining before having to return to my normal responsibilities at the Center.

Meanwhile, I am doing basic bicycle maintenance in preparation. I do all of my own maintenance.

In these three photos, I have changed the bearings in my rear cassette, will complete my headset bearing replacement tomorrow, and I have rotated my front tire to the rear and replaced my front tire with a new. I now have 13,100 kilometers on my bike since 2018.

I will post again after today's Health Center Appointment. I [think] they will simply interview me and not take any type of swab test. If they insist on a swab test, I may decline and refuse. I will rather not have a travel permit and travel without one, than to risk taking a swab test, and becoming mistakenly "positive" when in fact I am healthy and negative.

Once you check "positive" for a covid test, I will be "black listed," probably quarantined for two weeks, and have to go through all kinds of "red tape, covid drama" and expenses. It's really a big scam.

I would rather change my route [Plan B] mentioned above, or avoid certain cities of Plan A, rather than get a swab test and having the findings inaccurate.


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