Traffic is everything

Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, December 3, 2009

Traffic is all

           The estimate given to me for getting down to Batangas to catch the ferry to Sabang Beach was obviously based on traffic patterns.  We were lucky today in that we made it to Batangas in just 2 hours, not the 2 to 3 that was promised.  I am quite glad because I would have had to ask for a toilet stop before too long had we continued.

            Once at the ferry terminal, we were offloaded and given into the care of a man to lead us to the ferry.  This meant our luggage went one way with a porter and we went another way into the ferry building, through security (does everyone have security these days?  We should have bought stock a long time ago in the scanning machines), and then right out the door to the ferry.  My luggage was no where to be seen and I thought, great, I managed to get over 's of the way around the world and then I lose my luggage????  But he finally showed up and had a bill with him!  He had to pay a tax to get into the building and of course he wanted to be reimbursed in addition to his tip.  As the whole thing cost me under $4, I paid up, got my luggage carried on board and was helped aboard for the trip to Sabang.

            The "ferry guide" had hurried me through the building allowing no time to stop at the toilet.  They kept assuring me there was a toilet on board.  It consisted of a tiny room with a tiny toilet that was open to the elements below and flushed by pouring water into the stool.  No matter.  Have seen and been in worse.

            A 78 year old lady came to sit beside me for part of the journey and said her niece was the owner of the hotel where I am going.  I think everyone is related somehow in the Philippines.  This lady is also the president of the senior citizens association of Puerto Galera and quite proud of it as well.  She told me they are having a celebration on Dec 11 and I should try to come and see it as she has made special shirts for her people to wear and it will be a great spectacle.  Sounds like fun and I will try and get over there if I am not diving.

            The ferry ride was good.  There were plenty of life preservers on board and we weren’t overcrowded.  One is always a bit leery of hoping on board a ferry in a country where ferry sinkings are almost regularly reported on the news.  But it was a good, fast ride and the sea was calm (good since I forgot to take any motion sickness meds).  One can feel tension melting away as one gets closer to Sabang.
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