Summer City

Trip Start Oct 01, 2011
Trip End May 05, 2012

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Early wake up in order for us to get to one of the 800 Manila bus stations to get a bus to Baguio and then hopefully on to Bannaue. We are heading up into the Cordillera mountains but as our knowledge is limited we are a bit unsure of where is best to go, how to get there etcetc. It's a bit hypocritical for us to complain about uncertainty at this point as we have chosen to come to the Philippines in part because we wanted a more unique experience and things not being completely set out for you is part and parcel.

Into a taxi. Out of a taxi. Into another taxi, on meter. Stayed in taxi. He has the worst radio station I've ever heard on. The woman and topics of discussion are almost Partridge comical.

We arrived at the station and I got out of the taxi. I must have still been pretty tired because I went over and handed 150php to the taxi driver who was stood just by me on the platform. Having paid him I turned round to Charlotte asking me what I was doing and looking at the 'real' taxi driver who was still sat in the driving seat. I turned round and the guy was laughing and handed me the money back. I could have sworn the taxi driver got out of his car when we arrived. He hadn't, some idiot with a beard had just walked over to a random Filipino guy and handed him some money, insert your own "they all look the same" joke here. Like I said, tired. 

That's about as exciting as the day got. The buses are decent enough and I read basically the entirety of Tucker Max's final book in about 4 hours. The window provided me lots of opportunities to Pacman spot. I am intrigued to what extent he is a superstar over here. So far I've only really seen him do a few endorsements for various products but then again what am I expecting?

We arrived into Baguio around 5pm. We were informed there was no forward bus now and we would have to stay here. I was pretty angry that we had wasted a day but there was little that could be done. We ended up in some expensive hotel room that did not constitute the cost once again. I'd hoped that getting out of Manila would reduce the stupid accommodation costs, seemingly not. 

The taxi driver on the driver to the hotel heard my grumblings about wasting time and probably also heard me moaning about how I thought he and his mate were ripping us off. He didn't mention the ripping off bit but he did tell us what we should do tomorrow in terms of travel. I need to get used to the fact that virtually everyone speaks English. Normally if we talk in a hushed voice and quite quickly you can get away with saying anything happy in the knowledge that the locals wont have a clue. Not here, they are listening and they fucking know what you're saying. That's how we have got so much help on public transport because people listen us saying "I don't know where we go from here etc" we don't generally say etc.

Baguio is the Philippines summer city. Basically that means it's a bit cooler, which it is, but it's nice cool nothing drastic. The city itself is a grey mini Manila filled with students who go to the uni here for half the year. We were in no mood to investigate the city as it got dark so we instead went to an internet cafe and saved down as much info as we could about our upcoming destinations. We need an itenerary, winging it will only get you so far and we no longer can afford just to waste days because of our stupidity.

After the cafe we ate at McDonalds which has a 40p (pound) saver menu which I made use of. Philippines doe have it's own food but we know so little about it and the opportunity has yet to arise to eat it properly. Back in Malaysia I wrote how we ate at a Philippines food stand and I mused that I doubted Filipino food was steaks and rice, it seems I was wrong, alot of it does seem to be that sort of thing. 
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