To the old man
Trip Start Sep 12, 2005
51Trip End Sep 11, 2006
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Okay, where was I?... Tues 4th Oct I caught a flight to Boracay (tiny touristy island) and was amazed. Not, I'm afraid, at the beautiful, 2km long beach and crystal clear water, but at the sheer number of Koreans there. Hundreds of them. Literally. I was walking along the beach trying to find some suitable (read: cheap) accommodation and I didn't see one other westerner, but I did see more Koreans than Filipinos. My expectations of finding a place to meet up with a few westerners were fading fast. Nay mind, I struggled on in the heat and found a REALLY cheap place to stay down the quieter end of the beach. Once I got my stuff sorted I just went for a wander and lazed on the beach etc. Started to see some other westerners, but they were all couples ..
Thank God I was drunk when I returned to my room though - I woke up looking at the ceiling and staring back at me were about 300 tiny, jumping spiders. There was an egg sac on my ceiling which had apparently hatched that night. That sure got me up in a hurry. When I eventually found the owner later on that day and told her about it, she went in my room armed with bug spray - but even she was scared! I tell you, when the locals are petrified it's definitely not a good sign!
Not to be perturbed, I soldiered on out that night. Didn't get chatting to a single person. Ended up in a bar called Bom Boms playing live music (mainly guitar - they LOVE Bob Marley and Eric Clapton here) by myself, much to the consternation of my waiter who was of the opinion no woman should be alone
Thurs 6th - again, one the beach all day (noticing a pattern?) then out again that night. This time I had 5 rum and cokes in a row at the bar in order to pluck up the courage to go over and chat to a couple of blokes. Managed that, but they obviously weren't too impressed - they left after about half an hour saying they had to get up early for their Open Water course. Must have looked particularly forlorn because before I knew it an Irish girl came over to ask me if I wanted to join them. Lovely group. Two Irish girls - Sinead and Niamhb and a Norwegian called Marianne. We went on to a club called Summer Place and danced the night away again.
Feeling incredibly rough the next morning Fri (7th) having got in at 4:30am. Met up with Sinead and Niamhb during the day who were arranging a birthday party for Sinead. They were certainly going to town with it - including giving me an invitation and when I arrived that night it was certainly worth it. There were balloons, party hats and birthday cake. Had a great night playing drinking games and then on to the same club again.
You guessed it, Sat (8th) was also spent on the beach, then Bom Boms followed by the club
Much the same Sun (9th). Did have a fantastic meal that night though. It was Mongolian were you get to put all the ingredients you want together and they cook it in front of you - fantastic - and another all you can eat - so I obviously went up 3 times - not bad for 1.80! It was my last night in Boracay so I ended up staying out all night having a grand old time before clambering into bed at 7:45am thinking I could catch 2hrs sleep before I had to get my boat over to the mainland at 11am. Big mistake. Woke at 10:45am. Hadn't packed, and had the hangover from hell. Somehow I managed to catch my flight to Manila.
Am ashamed to say I did absolutely NO sightseeing whatsoever in Manila. I don't know if I was just being paranoid, but I'd read that you shouldn't really walk around by yourself, especially if you're a female and there are currently riots and demonstrations going on as the Filipinos are unhappy with the government. Consequently, I spent Mon (10th) afternoon in a shopping mall stocking up on a few cheap clothes before I hit Australia. Spent the night in my really friendly hostel chatting to a couple of Ozzies who were keeping me entertained with anecdotes of all the occasions when they'd come across dangerous creature in Oz.
Tues (11th) was the beginning of the ordeal. A flight from Manila to Cairns would take about 7hrs. Of course I wasn't going direct. I had to fly NORTH(!) to Hong Kong (another 4hrs in that airport) - then SOUTH to Brisbane before catching my flight to Cairns. The total journey from Manila took 22hrs. Unamused. So, landed in Cairns absolutely cream crackered... read on for more boring tales...