Trip Start Feb 10, 2013
Trip End Sep 18, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Friday, March 15, 2013

We had left Pandan high in spirits, knowing we had another long journey ahead. A bus to San Jose on West Mindoro, a night stop there and the a bus to Roxas on the East coast which was 4 hours then a 4 hour ferry trip to Caticlan, in the Visayas, from where we could get a small bangka over to of the worlds top Holiday destinations with a 4km long beach of white sand and a really crazy nightlife. The travelling was fine, I think we are now becoming accustomed to the transport and severe lack of timetable here so eventually after nearly 48 hours we arrived in Boracay, at 9.30pm! We found a room which was a fan room, no aircon, for what was quite a high price compared to our acceleration so far. Well this is one of the top holiday destinations in the world, one might expect it to be a little overpriced.

We had decided to come here early, a little ahead of schedule so that we could time our proper visit to coincide with meeting Ed who would be here over Easter weekend. The plan was two nights rest here and then visit a group of islands north of here called Romblon, then we should be able to come back to Boracay around Easter weekend.

Awoke the next morning to something we weren't quite prepared for: Boracay. The beach is indeed 4km of white powdery sand, with a killer sunset and turquoise water...however along that 4km you also have massive over development. Every inch of the beach front is smothered with shiny hotels, restaurants, shops, dive centres and bars. The beach is covered in tourists, budgie smugglers and westerners who seemed to have lost their way a little. In between this you have thousands of boat captains, vendors, touts and masseurs offering their highly priced services and off the beach in the water is a dense forest of bangkas, yaughts, speed boats, banana boats and dive boats. Encircling over head like a flock of vultures are para sailing parachutes, each one attached to a speed boat scithing through the turquoise water. It was crazy. So crazy. Instant realisation was that this is not a travellers destination, this is a holidaying destination. It was a bit of a let down in terms of what we are here for, the only thing that is Philippino here are some of the tourists from Manila, the workers and the Jollie Bee! If you are here for a two week holiday blowout it's great; lively, frantic and we decided to try and find something to do that wasn't on the main area know intelligently as 'White Beach'.

A quick look at the map showed a beach on the opposite side of the island, maybe 1km away so we thought it may be worth walking to and having some peace and quiet away from the main hub. Upon arrival and to our dismay the beach was covered in bangkas, and meant that we had to find another quiet place however the rest of this side of the island is under development for new resorts and so it is out of bounds! Great... a long walk and tricycle ride and we did manage to find ourselves a beautiful, secluded and quiet beach where we could relax, and we did....for an hour. Due to the mission getting there we had only an hour before dusk! We had read about a bat cave that you could access from this beach so an hours relax then up we got again and wandered up the beach to try and find the bat cave. At dusk the bats apparently come flying out of the cave in huge numbers, a sight which we were looking forward to after the craziness of White Beach. Although we could not find the path, we didn't worry and asked a random fella walking along the beach who showed us where the path was. Great...nope. He then told us that the owner of the land had stopped people from going there as there were too many injuries being reported by people who were being attacked by bats!! You know what, lets cut our losses here and go back to the hotel, have a pizza and get off this island!

I can imagine if you wanted a week of partying and sea sports then this is a great place...but not for a's just too crazy. What was once a paradise beach is now an overdeveloped mecca for partying which you can no longer see for the crowds of people. So instead an early morning boat and up into Romblon Province for some real Philippino culture and natural beauty :-)

Bye Boracay, we won't miss you much!!!!

Da Perkins
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M & D on

A very happy Wedding Anniversary to you both, wherever you are xxxx

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