Before leaving Pagudpud and going back to Laoag City, we drove to Patapat Viaduct, a 1.3-kilometer concrete coastal bridge at the foot of the cliff of the north Cordillera mountain range. Driving through the winding mountain road without traffic was a delightful experience. This viaduct rises 31 meters above sea level, offering scenic views of the lush Cordillera mountains and the enchanting Pasaleng Bay. It connects Maharlika Highway from Laoag City to the Cagayan Valley region.
Maharlika Highway is a 2500-kilometer network of roads, bridges and ferry services that connects the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It starts in Laoag City and ends in Zamboanga City.
Before the viaduct was constructed [during the Marcos administration], landslides were a common occurrence in this area during rainy season making this stretch a dreaded one-way road. In the 1960's, a footbridge perched on the mountain slope was the only link between the provinces of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley. The etched footbridge can still be seen at the upper part of the cliff.
This was the farthest point of our Ilocos road trip---about 580 kilometers from Manila.