Rainy Beach Paradise

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
Trip End Oct 06, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

By just about any measure, Boracay is the number one beach destination in the Philippines. Although we’ve developed a certain beach expertise (and I think we still have that beach walk swagger) from our stay in the south of Thailand, we were heading to Boracay because it is arguably the best place on the planet to learn Kite Surfing. Deb P is always going on and on…and on and on….and on and on about the joys of kite surfing and we thought if she could do it, it must be a relatively easy sport to master. We set aside 3 days which should see us doing somersaults and backflips.

Unfortunately, the flight down took us through some pretty ominous looking clouds and things didn't improve much upon landing (we really can't complain- in 8 months of travel the weather has usually been wonderful and hasn't caused us to cancel any of our plans/activities). Getting to Boracay is surprisingly difficult- we landed at rickety Kalibo 'International' Airport which meant we had a 2 hour rickety bus ride to the rickety Caticlan Terminal where we caught a rickety ferry to the island, and we still needed a rickety tricycle ride to the centre of the island to get to our hostel- but that does little to keep the crowds away. Boracay is a relatively small island with absolutely gorgeous powder white (think icing sugar) beaches on the western side and it's a bit of a wonder that the entire island doesn't start tilting in that direction given the weight of all of the visitors wandering around gripping a jumbo ice cream cone in one hand and a beer in the other. The western side is simply jammed with hotels, restaurants (how many all-you-can-eat Mongolian Buffet Eateries does one small place really need??), and souvenir shops. Bulk tourism is on display here- banana boats with 20 people on them dodging speedboats with 20 people aboard that were spraying dive boats with 20 people aboard....you get the idea- I'm sure if they could have strapped 20 people to the parasails that popped up occasionally, we would have been subjected to that sight as well.

The eastern side of the island is the location for the legendary kite surfing but apparently the kite surfers were at the back of line when the beach cleaners were being assigned- it's a bit of a mess but the steady winds, bay location, and reef break do combine for an ideal kiting site. We spent a little time watching the few kiters that braved the rains, and I have to admit it is one of those sports that have always mystified me- there's really not a competitive element to it, there's no real objective or top-of-the-mountain prize associated with it and there's a lot of gear to make it happen. Even the best of the group would race along parallel to the shoreline and then...turn around and go back the other way and then....turn around and go back the other way and so on. Beginners like us would have received instructions at low tide, which meant afternoon and you can guess when the rains were heaviest so the lessons weren't happening. DH did run around on the beach and jumped a few times and it was pretty much the same thing. Oh well. We still have a little traveling ahead of us so I'm sure the opportunity will present itself again. We had already booked our flights to New Zealand and there's no way DH was going to let me change that!!
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Deb P on

Ha, Ha, Victor Victoria. Those who can do lmao. No real destination snowboarding either but it sure is a thrill. I throw down the gauntlet and tripple dare you. Get me one good pic of you up on a board and I'll drop the Victoria part forever.

BTW the travelling must be agreeing with you both. You look slim, trim, healthy and happy ; maybe even tattoo worthy :)

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