Away from the standard karting circuit, Bokod in Benguet provides a worthwhile diversion for the karting aficionado while riding on a rough road amidst stunning mountain backdrops.
Last January 2010, I was invited by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau to join a media tour of travel writers and bloggers to experience North Luzon for seven days starting in Cagayan province all the way to Pampanga to sample the various local cuisines and experience the attractions offered by the various provinces along the route. It was my first time to drive a go kart, those almost miniature like vehicles that, with my tall frame, my knees were already jutting out, seat space all but taken up but still comfortably ensconced. The whir of the motor engine signaled that I was ready. I revved up, pushed on the accelerator and off I went on the straight rough road. Plumes of white dirt and the engine’s smoke followed while I was karting but I didn’t mind. The experience was just exhilarating. Wheee…
Karting is being planned to be introduced in this area, a few kilometers down Ambuklao Dam in Bokod, Benguet. The place is beautiful with stunning mountain backdrops where stands of native pine trees, Pinus benguetanus, pepper the almost denuded and brown earth providing a beautiful contrast. The dirt road is challenging too since its rough with a few rocks and some portions are difficult to drive, all the more providing a sense of adventure. It’s like you’re driving a miniature 4×4.
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Will this work? While I have my doubts, it does have potential. First and foremost, I guess, go karts might be cute but aren’t ATVs (all terrain vehicles) better? I’m not just sure if the former can take the stress of off road rides but the latter would provide better handling in this kind of terrain. If they will eventually have the budget, they should switch.
Another thing, what will they do when the rainy season come? The area where we were taken is ideal during summer but once the monsoons come, the river will eventually flood the area. Using the existing road system is also dangerous due to landslides, traffic as well as located in slopes and most of the time, steep drops.
Once they can address these or just provide it seasonally, then it will eventually attract thrill seekers.