Welcome to Paradise

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Cococabana

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

After a hot and sweaty night we woke early and decided to get off Cebu ASAP. So without showers or breakfast we packed and jumped in a taxi to the North Bus station. We were then surrounded by people when we arrived and as soon as we named our destination our bags were practically stolen from the car and carried onto the bus so we didn't really get a choice of which company to go with. The price for the bus journey though was 90 pesos or 1.40 Pound which appeared good value for a three to four hour ride. The company was called "Rough Riders" and boy did they live up to their name. The first half hour of the journey was trying to escape from Cebu, the bus carried on stopping for anyone and everyone on the roadside just in case they also wanted to head in the direction of Maya.

After the first half hour the Jeepneys and Autorickshaw type things started to get fewer and fewer and the views of the sea and beautiful fields started to come into view. This was more like the Philippines we were hoping for. The roads though were not in the best condition and our Rough Rider Driver likes his accelerator which meant the journey was physically tiring trying to keep yourself on a seat. I’m sure at one point my shoulder clattered the top of the window I was that far out of my seat.

The other thing to note about the Rough Riders coach was that the baggage shelves were littered with speakers blasting and yes I mean blasting out gangster rap as we drove through Cebu, “Yo mutha .... I’ll shoot your .....” you get the picture. Bizarrely however by the time we arrived in Maya we were listening to Gladys Knight and the Pips and 'I will always love you’ by Whitney Houston, all very odd.

After about three and a half hour or four hours we arrived in Maya at a ferry port. Although the ferry port basically had about one boat. It was a smallish vessel with bamboo outriggers and a gang plank from the rocks onto the front of the boat. After paying 50 Peso (about 85p) we were asked to walk the plank with all our bags attached to us. Somehow we managed to get onto the boat which was quite surreal. There were a lot of locals, us, a crate of eggs, about 8 cases of beer, about 6 mattresses and about 10 cages of chickens squawking. It was beautiful though and the water was an unbelievable colour.

After maybe 30 minutes we pulled up onto the shore of Malapascau which was quite simply stunning. With white sand beaches and postcard perfect sea colouring on an island I guess you could walk around in maybe an hour or two, it was very idyllic. We put our bags in our very warm room and went in search of our first meal of the day and some beers. I had a hot chicken soup with loads of lemon grass, chill and ginger, Erica had spaghetti. Very nice but at 3 pounds each and 50 peso for a San Mig (Steve) we knew there were more bargains to be had.

We therefore wandered up the beach a little and caught the end of the afternoon sun and played in the sea with the local children who are on school holidays and therefore are trying to sell shells to help out family incomes.

We then went for an eye opening walk through a small walkway from the beach past lots of drunk Filipino’s and found a much cheaper restaurant and bar, we got Steve’s beers down to 40 so we thought it would be rude not to have one before going to the Scuba shops to see if we can afford to do a PADI course. Unfortunately we got talking to a Northern Irish couple from Belfast who were drinking a bottle of Rum. Now on closer inspection of the menu value is not in beer. For a half bottle of Rum (80% proof) it cost 50 Peso or about 80p and a litre of Coke or Sprite another 50 Peso, for a full 70cl bottle it cost 100 Peso, we ended up staying there until the place shut still dressed in our beachwear.

Having no real idea which way we had come from in the light we were lost in the dark and started following what we thought was a path, we ended up stopping in a field when Erica touched something with her leg she screamed at the top of her voice thinking it was a snake. We will never know as it is so dark and obviously no lights to guide the way anywhere. We eventually found our way back to the Cocobana and we decided due to the lack of a fan we may try and check out tomorrow to move into the place where the Northern Irish folks are. Again there is more value to be had there. 

Erica Edit:  As you can see we now have a new word that crops up in our conversation numerous times a day... the 'V' word (value).  We even have the action (the Asian favourite 'V' salute).  



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Comments

Stevie T on

last night big thunderstorm, washed out all the pollution for an hour or two so I took this video lunch time today. Sometimes we have blue-ish skies too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZGnc5TeWPU

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