Island life - cocktails, beer, sunsets & cockerels

Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
Trip End Apr 02, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Central Visayas,
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Even at 5am it was not too difficult to get a taxi and soon enough we were at Manila's main airport. We had not planned on being security screened before we even got into the terminal building, and there were hundreds queuing at every door … even at that time of the morning.  We worried we would miss our check in time.  Once we made it inside, the queues for checking in were just as bad and, since they did not have dedicated desks for each flight, it was a free for all.  Thankfully, about ten minutes before the cut off time, they suddenly called out our flight number and started pulling people out … phew!  The flight actually managed to take off on time, which apparently is not the norm in these parts.

We touched down in Cebu just over an hour later and our bags came out first, which never happens.  After a taxi ride across town to the northern bus station, and within half hour of arriving, we were on a bus heading up to Maya.  It was another local bus, so not that comfortable, but the scenery was pleasant enough for the four hour journey.  

We pulled into Maya just before 2pm and there were already a few people waiting for the boat over to Malapascua Island, which meant it would leave shortly.  Don had started talking to a guy on the bus, who is a dive instructor on the island, and he said he would give us a quick tour around to show us where was best to stay.

The boat over only took half hour and the water was calm, which made it relaxing … apart from the engine noise, which was deafening.  When we reached the other side, the water was too low to go all the way to shore, so we had to get into smaller boats, which they then charged us more money for.  A bit cheeky bearing in mind they had already charged us to go over … but it was only 25 pence, so it wasn’t worth arguing about.  

Accommodation on the island was a lot more expensive than we were used to paying elsewhere in Asia, and the quality was not any better to compensate for it.  We ended up in a bamboo shack with a shared bathroom … not my ideal situation but what could we do?  The attached restaurant was really good for evening meals, although expensive again for Asia … and a backpacker’s budget!

Whilst I watched a movie and caught up on some internet stuff, Don went off to see the sunset.  She returned well after sunset, completely smashed on just two drinks.  She had been introduced to Tanduay Rhum, which is as cheap as water here, so they don’t mind filling the glass up with it.  Needless to say, it was an early night for Don.

For our first full day, we headed over to the beach for a bit of R&R, but the beach was pretty messy and the sea was full of seaweed and sea urchins.  Within half hour, the black clouds started to gather … another thunderstorm was on its way.  We played with some local kids, who were larking around in the water, catching jellyfish and stuff.  Whilst the storm blew through, we headed back to the hotel’s swimming pool.  If we were going to be wet anyway, we had might as well do it properly.  Once bored with being wet, we cleaned ourselves up and headed back to the bar and stayed there for the remainder of the day.

We pre-arranged a boat tour for the next day, so we could do some snorkelling and see something of the island.  Within an hour of setting off, we broke down … well, we ran out of fuel.  It wasn’t such a bad thing though because we ended up next to a beach where we could enter the water, without the fear of stepping on something we didn’t want to, because the visibility was great.  The rest of the boat tour was ok but not that amazing.  It would seem that you really need to dive to see the best parts of the island … which unfortunately we don’t do.

We left the next day, with the room key … whoops … and headed back to Cebu.
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