Off The Backpacker Trail
Trip Start Mar 10, 2005
13Trip End Ongoing
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The month spent here was filled with lots of moving about on jeepneys (left over US jeeps which are now painted gaudy colours, nicknamed the likes of "Queen of the Road" or "Rambo" and are basically civilised "matatus" that you flag down and jump in.
Also travelled on many many ferries between the islands - in all I visited Luzon (where the highlights were the rice paddies in the North of Luzon in Banaue - the 8th wonder of the world and in the South: swimming with huge 10 meter whale sharks in Donsol.)
Cebu (beautiful diving, did my advanced diving course which means I can do night dives which are amazing!, and can also do deep dives - did one dive at 35 meteres in Boracay which was very cool - we had to do a negative descent after flipping into the water from a sitting position (aka James Bond style) and then without surfacing swim at full speed downwards...trouble was visibility was not so great so after managing to dive around 20 meteres I got disorientated not knowing which way was even up!
I also visited Bohol where I saw the unimpressive chocolate hills and cute Tarsiers - smallest primates in the world which also uncannily resemble baby ewoks.
The people in Philippines were lovely and sometimes trying. Everyone everywhere was completely gobsmacked at a girl travelling by herself and some would keep inquiring why I was travelling alone. Otherwise would finally say "its good your parents gave you permission!" I also got questioned everywhere I went - they should really call it the Philippine inquisition not Spanish inquisition although Philippines has been a colony of Spain. They wanted to know everything from how many siblings I had, what did they do, what did I do, how old was everyone I knew, what job did everyone I knew do, was I married, why not etc. So that when I met people for 5 minutes on a ferry it was very trying to have to answer all these questions and maintain an air of politeness at the same time. But many of the locals were so friendly that it was great to be able to chat to them all - I met lots of nice families who wanted to show me their village and meet everyone and so had a good time and felt like I really got a good impression of the Philippines even though it was a little more like hard work compared to traveling in backpacker places since here there were hardly any backpackers anywhere.
So after meeting lots of great Phillipinos and having a very intensive travel experience without many luxurys like the backpacker obligatory fruit shakes and banana pancakes, I felt I needed to see some friends and party a bit so headed back to Thailand (not without first spending an awesome night in Hong Kong with a friend who lives there who showed me the cool bars and where I tasted the best bestest best cocktails in the whole wide world - pictures please Rita! By the way I think I still have your key and thanks for everything!xxx
Will grab another travel log entry for the updates on Thailand.....