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Trip to Baguio

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Not much to report on the Baguio visit over the weekend but I thought I would update everyone on the roads.

It was our first trip up the mountain since they opened another section of the TPLEX expressway.  I think it is around 14 km longer now.  The last exit now is Pozorrubio and is nice because it dumps right into National Hwy.  The previous exit, Binalonan, was lame because it was far from Nat Hwy and you had to cut back over quite some distance.  It was better to exit at Urdaneta and head north on Nat Hwy, thus we only previously used the Binalonan exit once.

This new exit is only about 11 km from the Rosario intersection where you choose to go up Kennon Rd or Marcos Hwy.  We went up Marcos Saturday and down Kennon Monday.  Kennon is faster but I don't use it in bad weather, and it had several closures in the past two years due to large landslides.  My BIL said it was fine now in the good weather, but I hesitated Monday morning.  At 0845, there was a 3.8 earthquake in Baguio and it shook us fairly good.  I was on the 4th floor of their building so I got a good jolt.  I was worried that the quake might have loosened some of those "falling rocks" but we decide to go for it and there were no issues.  Minor slowdowns at a couple of roadwork sites.

Baguio traffic was not too bad on Sunday when we went out but downtown was crowded as usual.  We had to queue at Good Taste parking for 30+ minutes.  Still waiting for the "Good Taste" to arrive, but the family likes to go there.  We went to Camp John Hay and I was surprised that they now have an entrance fee to the nice areas like the amphitheater.  Last time I was there was 4-5 years ago and there were no fees.  The main reason for our trip was that all 3 of my wife's sisters would be there, thus they had a 4 sister reunion.  My kids love visiting their aunties and uncles and cousins, so we had a good time.

From Subic, with the new exit, the one way to/from Baguio (on Kennon) is a bit less than 3.5 hours, going about 110 kph on the expressways.  Marcos Hwy adds 15-20 minutes, I think.

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Thanks for the update OMW. This is festival month so increased traffic is not unexpected. I have a fondness for Baguio having lived there for two years and meeting my wife there. We are looking forward to visiting next summer when we visit my wife's family with our new daughter.

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