The way to Cloud 9
Trip Start Oct 27, 2007
29Trip End Nov 29, 2007
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Monday morning and all is crazy on the streets of Surigao. There's a traffic jam of tricycles on every corner. I'm in a hurry because I'm trying to sort my via extension before I head over to the island. When you arrive in the Philippines, you automatically receive a 21 day tourist visa. For stays longer than this, you need to visit an Immigration Office and get an extension. Manila is a pain, but regional centers like Surigao are easy.
Upon entry I filled out my form. Then had to run down the road to get a copy of my passport info page, and entry stamp page. Back to immigration, where I joined the cue (get there early). When it was my turn, had to give the officer the form and passport and 2200P. He then filled out more forms and I had to run down the road and get some more copies lol
Then it was a mad dash back to the Metro to get my bags, and down the ferry terminal. The ferries are always late leaving though, lol, and after all that running around, I sat there till 12.
My first stop on Siargao is Ocean 101 resort. There are a few decent spots around the capital of the island, General Luna, but you there are more waves around Tuason Point, where the famous Cloud 9 is located.
The trip from Dapa, the port, to Ocean 101 took about 30 minutes, and was mostly paved concrete road. I took the resort pick up service, which is a bit of a rip off at 600P, but convenient none-the-less. Tricycles abound and would be a much cheaper option.
Ocean 101 is about a 200m walk from the Cloud 9 reef. There are a few other resorts in the area, and all in all it's pretty close to paradise. The only beef I have is that the spot Cloud 9 is extremely over-rated, some saying it's in the top 10 in the world for waves. Don't think so
The whole area is very close to the Philippines Trench, a depression in the ocean floor that drops to over 10,000m not much more than 30 miles offshore. Hence the fishing is incredible, and any swell there might be, can be channeled towards the east coast of Siargao. Like many places however, it's internet success ahs been it's downfall (unless you own the resorts out the front), and the moniker "Crowd 9" is closer to the mark...every day I see at least 20 people on the main peak.
There are many viable alternatives however, and the classic setups that are within 20 mins by pumpboat, are rarely crowded, and can be very good indeed. Maybe I'll paddle out Cloud 9 for an hour and wrestle with many locals, Europeans, Australians, Americans, Europeans, Japanese, Brazilians and Isrealis for one or two waves to see what the hype is about, then again maybe I won't...