Idiots Abroad And Giant Cross

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
Trip End Mar 31, 2014

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Where I stayed
Sea Breeze Guesthouse

Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Thursday, November 8, 2012

We awake in Coron and put yesterday's hell-journey out of our minds.

We take a walk to check the place out and hunt for a new place to stay. Sea Dive is not as cheap as Ricardo-Just-1-Kilometre said it was so we find a place a close by and move in. It is called Sea Breeze and it's cheap and basic. We don't realise how basic until we move in and find the bed to be covered in a mattress no thicker than a blanket with pillows made from polystyrene blocks, plastic bags and cardboard. Oh, and the shower doesn't work and our only cooling aid is an asthmatic fan mounted on the wall. The best thing about Sea Breeze is that we meet a very nice man there. We call him AussieJeff. He has been travelling the globe since the 90's and gives us loads of information about the Philippines. He helps us formulate a plan that will take us to some interesting places and gives us advice on costs etc. He is brilliant. He also regales us with a few travellers tales and keeps us entertained for a while. Cheers AussieJeff.

Coron, like the rest of the Philippines, doesn't have a big gold Buddha. It does have a huge white cross though (and big white letters on the hillside, spelling out Coron, like the hollywood sign). The cross is on top of a nearby hill and our new chum AussieJeff says the view is stunning. We grab some water and off we march. On the way we spot a sign for an Internet Cafe and decide to print out our plane tickets from Coron to Cebu. We don't fly for a couple of days but the shop is right there so we may as well do it now. We burst into the tiny Internet Cafe and Ian starts to ask if we can print emails? We start to slowly notice that this Internet Cafe is a bit odd. Firstly, it is tiny, broom cupboard size. Secondly, it has no customers, just 3 women sat around a tiny desk. Thirdly, it only has one computer. The one computer the women are sat around. Anna backs out of the shop and takes a second look at the sign. Ahhh, the sign is pointing to the Internet Cafe UPSTAIRS. We have stumbled into some sort of transport booking office. Ian has also noticed that this is definately not an Internet Cafe but he is in too deep now and the women have piled out from behind the desk and ushered him in front of the computer. They obviously think we are complete idiots but figure they can make a few quid here. Anna has been called back in from outside and is now sitting, looking embarrased, in one of the chairs. Ian has moved beyond embarrasment and is trying to pretend that all of this is normal and in no-way awkward. He is not succeding. As our luck would have it, the computer is made from bits of wood and chewing gum. It is so slow that Ian starts to lose the will to live. Finally we get a print out and ask how much. They charge us a crazy amount but we pay it and run. We really must pay more attention to signs.

Anyway, we continue our quest to climb up to the giant cross and catch the view before sunset. We manage to make it to the base of the hill without any further embarrassing incidents or getting lost. Quite an achievement for us. There are 719 steps up to the base of the Big Cross and by the time we climb to the top Anna has no fluid left in her body, we are both dripping in sweat and in desperate need of a good sit down. Once we manage to prise ourselves from the floor, the view is incredible and we stay to watch the sun set as it creates glorious red and purple fire in the clouds. The cross itself is pretty big but could do with a lick of paint. Gold paint perhaps.

We eat at a funky restaurant later that evening. Its at the end of a pier and has huge themepark-like naked mermaids adorning the pillars. We have to walk through a building site and down a rickety pier to get to it, but the food is good and the rum is cheap.... much to Anna's delight.
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