New Year's Eve and Elliot's birthday
Nov 01, 2006
. It looked so intriguing we decided to follow and we found them all a few doors down at someone's house. Turns out Steve had decided to go for walk through the woods after an argument with his wife and he found a family who invited him in for food and drinks and ended up buying the kids fireworks. We had some rockets and sparklers we were going to light on our balcony later, but this seemed so much more fun so we gave ours away and watched kids as young as 4 run around firing rockets at each other! Sadly we were stuffed after dinner so could only manage a couple of oatmeal and raisin cookies, which were still warm from the oven, but the spread looked great. As it got closer to midnight we managed to persuade Steve to come back to the resort to see the New Year in with his wife and friends and we all stayed up drinking rum until the early hours. We lazed around the next day and then hired a motorbike to see the sights including the sunken cemetery (eerie), waterfalls and hot springs. We also drove up one of the volcanoes through the clouds, which was pretty cool. Then we got bored, so we decided to leave a few days earlier, but not before fitting in a trip to White Island, an uninhabited small sandy island 1km offshore. It was lovely and peaceful and had the biggest seagull we'd ever seen (it looked like a cross between a gull and an eagle). The snorkeling was amazing and we really did find Nemo, as we saw the cutest baby clownfish hiding in the coral with its mum and dad.
So we arrived in Camiguin, an interesting sounding volcanic island in the Southern Region of Mindanao. Although Mindanao gets a lot of bad press with terrorist bombings, quite a bit of it is perfectly safe, including the areas we visited. It was raining when we arrived at 7am and it was still raining when we left the island 7 days later. That's a bit of an exaggeration but it did rain a lot. We arrived at our resort with 3 other couples, 2 Americans and 1 Scottish, with their Filipino wives. One of the guys Steve was constantly drunk and a constant source of amusement for us (more of that later). We had a bit of an explore and found a really nice Italian restaurant to have dinner in on New Year's Eve. The food was lovely and the panacotta and tiramisu were gorgeous! We were finishing our wine after dinner when suddenly a big group of kids came running past the window shouting and letting off fireworks and who should be leading them just like the Pied Piper but Steve, skipping along the street like the biggest (and happiest) kid of all