AFTER regretfully postponing my ride for a day due to bad weather, I finally hit the road and head off to my target destination this month: Bitbit River.
Bitbit River is a watercourse quietly nestled in the Sierra Mountain range near the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa Dam system, which supplies water to Metro Manila. It’s located in Norzagaray, Bulacan; some 46 kilometers from Metro Manila. It is, however, just over 32 kilometers away from home so the trip was quite a short one for me.
The river is a popular spot among trekkers, mountain bikers and mountaineers who want to practice their rappelling skills on the 100-foot Bitbit Bridge.
Recently, it has also become a haven for riders looking for a quick swim after going through the sweet twisties leading to the river.
Finding Bitbit River through Google Maps wasn’t easy, though. To get there, I need to locate Ipo Dam first.
According to the map, I have to turn right to Del Monte Road after San Jose Del Monte City. After a short drizzle, I accidentally veer off course and took the road heading to Bagong Buhay Avenue in Sapang Palay. I asked for directions from the locals who advised me to head to Minuyan, then Bigte so I could reach Norzagaray.
After that, I had an easy time locating the river. Getting there though was quite a challenge because of the road made slippery by the rains. I also had to go through several twists and turns so takbong pogi lang ako.
Then I reached a fork in the road; one is connected to the Bitbit Bridge leading to the dam, the other is a rough road that circles under the bridge and to the river. It turns out the area covering the river ways is privately owned so I had to fork over P20 (about US $0.43) to the caretaker for entrance.
Well, it was worth all the trouble. The spot was gifted with a scenic view complete with a great big rock at the river side.
The water is cool, clear and so inviting, you’d surely go for a dip.
There are also makeshift cottages for those who want to picnic under the shade. The renting cost of each each cottage is P250. I chose a spot near the Balete tree at the hillside where the wind is cool and refreshing.
Too bad, I forgot to bring my tsinelas (flip flops). I was forced to walk around in my riding boots while sporting my swim gear. The locals were amused.
I spent a few hours of alone time then went on snapping photos. I saw some kids climbing the big rock from where they’d jump into the river for a huge splash.
Afterwards, I dressed up, zipped my riding jacket and headed home for lunch. This time, I used an easier route that brought me to Tungkong Mangga Road, to Barangay Muzon then home.
All in all, it was a positive experience (every ride is). But next time, I’ll be bringing along my rider friends for a swim, maybe we’d cook fresh tilapia by the riverside.
For sure, I’ll bring my tsinelas.