Banafee Goodness And Beach Laziness

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

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Sunday, November 18, 2012

We awake to beautiful sunshine and empty beaches. Most of the people here are divers and the boats ferrying them out to sea mainly leave around 9am, so by the time we eat and roll on down to the beach, it is practically empty. Woohoo. We lie in the sun and paddle in the sea. It is fairly shallow and soon turns to seaweed but we manage to cool off. We have been dreaming of a beach day for a while and this is not disappointing.

After a spell cooking on the sand, we wander down the beach to see if there are any loungers around for us to rent and come across the Irish Craic Bar/Restaurant. Looks like we've travelled all the way from England to end up in an Irish Pub! We get drinks and ask about the loungers, which are free of charge as long as we buy drinks and food from them. Brilliant! Lying in the sun is thirsty work after all. There is nobody else on the beach except a thousand year old man carrying huge tubs of water from a tiny boat to the bar. We have lunch here and it is varied and delicious. Later we have banaffees - iced coffee with banana smoothie. It's so fantastically tasty that Ian ends up with most of it on his face. Just before we head back for a shower, the sky darkens slightly and a couple of spots of rain fall. It only lasts a minute and when the sun comes back out we are blessed with a massive rainbow stretching over the sea.

We are having a good time doing nothing on this little beach island and are considering staying another day in malapascua. Staying another night has its risks though, it will be a race to make it back to Cebu airport for our flight to Manila, and if we miss it then we may miss our flight to Vietnam too. Also, there are no ATMs on this tiny island and our funds are dangerously low. To hell with the risks, it is incredibly beautiful and the sunshine and sea air are wonderful. Another day of this will be worth the race against time. Decision made, we book another night and wake early to get the most from our last full, sunshine filled day in the Philippines. It rains. And rains. And rains. Bloody hell.

We chill out in the room and wait for the rain to ease. It gets harder. Uh oh. There isn't much to do on a tiny beach island when it rains. We take the time to read about Vietnam before going out for lunch and walk around to (what we think is) the public pier to look for departing boat times for Maya the following morning. There is no one there, so we hunt out Sunny who tells us a boat will be leaving around 8:30am. This seems ok for us, as long as it leaves on time(!), as we have a flight to catch later that afernoon. It continues to rain for most of the day so we try and refresh ourselves on Vietnam and what to expect at the airport ect....

AAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHH! PANIC PANIC PANIC PANIC!!!  It turns out that we overlooked one very small, teeny tiny, entry visa requirement. We need a letter from the Vietnamese Visa Office approving our visas or we won't even make it onto the plane. We do some emergency Googling and find a solution. Maybe. We have to pay a premium to get an emergency approval e-mailed to us, the only catch is that we won't find out if we have it until just before we board the plane to Manila. If we don't get it then we will be spending the forseeable future in Manila Airport. After PayPal also tests our nerves, we finally have done all we can. The rest is out of our hands. We have a beer on the beach to settle our nerves and look at the stars and moon. We do hope our journey to Vietnam goes smoothly tomorrow..... hmmmm.

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