You Tarzan me Jane....

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


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Where I stayed

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Sunday, May 23, 2010

Waking as it got light at about 4:30am I now realise why I'm knackered all the time. It needs to be dark for me to sleep and these huts are just not designed to get dark. Also the noise of the fruit (about the size of an apple) dropping from the tree onto the tin roof also keep you awake. I waited until about 5:30 before waking the Lady and went and got a shower. We said our goodbyes and dumped some nice warm clothes for fat people with the family, who seemed very thankful but I have no idea why it’s about 40 degrees C every day. A quick walk into town and had to pay a local boat man 20 Peso to drop us off onto the boat back to Maya. We came in at some pace with Erica having no visibility of where we were going (she was sat backwards). Her head was level with the stabiliser so with a backpack and front sack on I tried to stand up and grab the cross arm that was about to hit her head. Unfortunately I lost my balance and collapsed on top of her knocking us both to the floor with full packs on much to the delight of the other 20 people already on board.. At least we landed in the boat!

Like a fool we then walked up to the front of the boat not noticing the swell on the sea and for the next 35 minutes just got drenched wet through by waves hitting the boat and splashing over the top of us. My shorts were soaking wet through all around the bum. We dismissed all the offers of a taxi before boarding a bus to Cebu. The Cebu Lines bus was far more spacious with no music but was overcrowded and therefore actually less comfortable the next four and a half hours were a fairly hellish experience and Lady E continued to vocalise her disgust at every market as we watched pigs and hens get slaughtered in front us and chopped up into manageable pieces. She needs to learn to keep quiet as she is fully aware that meat comes from animals and the immediate slaughter guarantees freshness in a very hot and poor country with no or little refridgeration.

We finally arrived in Cebu and got dumped by a taxi driver at one of the ferry piers (although it later transpired this was not the right pier at all). Hot and tired Erica sent me off to find boat tickets with the little cash we had. After walking a couple of km through the Moss Side of Cebu with constant shouts of "Hello Joe" (this is a reference to the fact that Filipino’s believe all westerners are from the USA (USA, USA Get in the hole) a hangover from the Second world war days. Anyway it’s the first time I’d heard it and I probably heard it about 40 times in 20 minutes as I wandered through the food markets looking for the mystical ticket office I kept getting directed to (or not as the case was in hindsight). Anyway I finally got to see some of the Filipino delicacies such as unhatched bird embryos (quick recipe foodies take a fertilised egg and allow to grow until near hatching age, then boil. To serve crack the shell and eat in one, hoping that the beak is fully formed to provide that added bit of texture).

I finally reached the ticket office which turned out to be 10 minutes walk from where I started and found a ferry desk that told me the ferry would be 5.5 hours and it left in 5 minutes, with no E no luggage and no cash we missed that. I then had to jump a cab to a cash point and on the third cash point get the same cab back (the driver was great though and charged me 30 Peso (about 45p). I bought tickets for the Speed ferry from a woman that told me not to bother her because she was asleep (now that is customer service for you, Note not typical at all either the Filipino’s have generally been great but then Cebu is our least favourite place).

Walking back through the heat I found Erica and wandered back with all the bags to Pier 1 ferry terminal. We still hadn’t eaten since about 5pm last night so had an ice lolly (mmm filling!!). The ferry left shortly after a quick film that showed some bizarre wrestler / martial arts guys fighting and throwing elephants around (all a little odd).

The ferry left on time and we were able to make use of the free WIFI on the boat, we were seated right opposite the toilets and the smell was eye watering so we kept having to get up to close the door which kept being left open. Arriving at Bohol we took a taxi to the bus terminal as we wanted to avoid the whole tricycle rip off scenario. We still got ripped off having to pay 100 Peso but I kept winding the driver up about how nice and shiny his meter was and he should use it more often. The bus was just about to leave but the plan to get the taxi paid off he zoomed up beeping his horn and the bus stopped to let us on. The guys on the bus as always were amazing they threw our luggage onto the bus for us and hid it under the back seats. The bus was crammed but we managed to get a standing space in a reasonable location (i.e. not hanging out of the door or on the roof). We were amazed at the sheer beauty of the place and how friendly the people were, people offering to stand up to give Erica a bum cheek on a chair.  Such a world away from the parts of Cebu that we had seen. The bus ended up with TV’s and people and their luggage on the roof so we did quite well. The conductor yelled 'Nuts Huts' down the bus when we got to the turn off for our hostel.  The sign directed us down in to the jungle and we walked 750 metres down a very rough road which with rucksacks was a mission to say the least, we were sweating like pigs and it was just approaching mosquito time.
 
The walk in however was amazing just treking through the jungle, through towns with people just taking part in normal everyday life. There were cocks and hens with litters of young, kids with homemade wheelbarrows etc. We then got to the top of the steps down to the hostel which were almost vertical.  One hundred steps later we got to the restaurant, checked in and then as we were told that our hut was another hundred steps further down we did what all sensible people would do and grabbed a beer deciding to leave our rucksacks there until we had summoned enough energy to do the remaining descent.

Getting comfy we ordered dinner and watched the sun go down, listening as the sounds of the jungle started and the most mesmerising fire flies appeared.  We had asked at reception if Chris and Sarah had already checked out as they were due to go the day before but we were told they were still around so that gave us an excuse to have a couple more beers. Before long Sarah and Chris appeared too so we got chatting and decided to go to the islands fiesta, one of only two in the year, with them the next day.  We headed to bed, taking our rucksacks down the steps in the pitch black and got to our hut on stilts in the middle of the jungle.  We could hear all kinds of unrecognisable animal calls and regretted leaving it until dark to navigate our way to the hut.  The bed was huge and most importantly we had a FAN!  We watched another episode of 'Entourage' before we went to sleep in an attempt to try to distract ourselves from the loud, ominous rustling in the bushes behind our hut.
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Comments

farknash
farknash on

another amzing day, guys - it sounds, even treks through moss side/hackney equivalents, fantastic.

amusing ferry incidents, an ever increasing proliferation of enthusiastic animal slaughter and a descent into the jungle via a bar. man - sounds like my idea of an experience...
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