Taking Refuge at Nomad’s Refuge

Before I tell you how I discovered Nomad’s Refuge, let me share with you a quick story. I left the city very early that day for a paid gig in the town of Balamban. I was going to cover an outreach event in one of the schools there. Although I wasn’t very familiar with Balamban, I knew that as long as I stayed right along the TransCentral Highway, I really didn’t have to worry about a thing.

Just an hour or so later, with the help of the trusty Google Maps app, I made a turn toward unfamiliar territory. I basically left the comforts of the well-paved highway and began an hour-long cruise through dirt roads, trails, and even footpaths. I had full confidence in the app. It has proven to be quite reliable countless times in the past. So I never really doubted the app’s instructions (even at times when the signal was no longer available.)

I was so happy when I got to this part of the route. Apparently, the school was on the other side of that mountain. And from the looks of it, I could be there in ten minutes or less!

But then, I found out that it was the end of the road. There was no road through, around, or over that mountain. So, I had to head back and look for another way. And this was when Google Maps suggested an entirely different route. As I traversed the new route, however, I realized that the roads were getting narrower and more difficult to navigate. First, the dirt road was slippery and muddy. And a few minutes later, it was all loose gravel.

More than half an hour later, I reached the foot of a winding dirt road that was heading up. There were no houses or structures in sight and there was no one who could help me. I was basically in the middle of nowhere. Alone. I knew that it would take me another hour if I went back to where I came from. So, I decided to try to reach the top of the road and see where it would take me.

I soon learned that it was just not possible. With the type of bike that I was driving and with the condition of the road, it was really impossible to reach the top. With all the loose gravel and uneven surface, I slipped and fell to the ground multiple times.

I was starting to feel desperate and, honestly, a little scared. I was miles from the nearest house and any damage to my motorbike (or myself) could spell disaster. Obviously, I thought about this, but I didn’t want to give up just yet. So, I got off my bike and slowly made my way to the top. Just a few minutes later, however, I found out that the ground was all wet and sticky. I took one wrong step and my shoe was buried deep in the mud.

And that was when I knew that this section of the road was actually created fairly recently. The ground looked freshly cleared and dug. I’m sure even bigger vehicles wouldn’t be able to make it! So I thought that I had to make a decision. It was time to give up and head back.

Thankfully, the drive back to the main highway was fast and safe. And even without Google Maps, I was able to retrace my route

 I gave my contact a call the moment I found a working signal. I had to inform them what had happened.

Feeling defeated and tired, I began my long drive back to the city. And that was when I saw it.

Nomad’s Refuge is a relatively new dining spot along Transcentral Highway. Located close to the Cebu City-Balamban border, the cafe is a perfect pit stop for weary travelers. Like myself. Hehe.

Thinking about it now, I guess this was all destined to happen. How else would a lost ‘traveler’ just all of a sudden find a nice little ‘resting spot’ after a tiring journey? I WAS a nomad taking refuge! Haha.

I immediately decided to check the plate out. After all, I needed to find a place where I could just regroup before heading back. And this place was perfect.

Perched on the side of a mountain, the cafe offers guests an amazing view of the mountains of Balamban.

Take a look at that view!

The trip was long and tiring. And I knew exactly what I needed at that moment. FOOD!

And don’t forget dessert!

After an hour, I was feeling so much better. Never mind the lost money-making potential. Or the few bruises and scratches on my palm.

What’s important is that I’m safe and well. And FULL!

Thank you Nomad’s Refuge! I owe you one! ­čÖé

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