When we visited our friends in Tacloban this week, we really didn’t know what to expect. But they surprised us BIGTIME by taking us to the Sohoton National Park in Basey, Samar – a short drive from Tacloban across the famed San Juanico bridge.
Our hosts decided to take us first to see the Sohoton Natural Bridge – a natural arch shaped rock formation that connects two mountains ridges with the Sohoton River flowing in between.
But to get there, one has to take a short 45-60 minute boat ride off Basey port. There is a tourism office where you register and pay the fees for visiting the National Park.
Once on board the boat, you leisurely traverese the Sohoton river – watching the residents of the area doing the laundry and taking their morning bath in the river bank. You also see the students going to school by crossing the river from one bank to the other side where the school is located.
If you are lucky and you get to the Sohoton National Park at high tide, then the trek going to the Natural Bridge would be easier. Unfortunately for us, we got there during low tide. SO he had to get off the boat and cross the river TWO times! It was tricky the 2nd time around since the under current was quite strong and one false step could get you completely wet!
After crossing the river, we also had to hike up the mountain – a distance of 400 meters only, according to our guide from the DENR. But I seriously doubt if it was only 400 meters. Seems like forever!
After the ardous trek among the lush forest vegetation (we were very fortunate it did not rain that moring) - we were all rewarded with the most magnificent view of the towering mountain ridges meeting in the Suhoton River – forming a natural bridge that spans (vertical clearance) 48 meters and 40 meters in length. We just sat there and enjoyed the view … AWESOME!