Trip Start Jun 10, 2008
Trip End Aug 01, 2008

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Thursday, June 12, 2008

So an early start from Manila for us today, a 400 Km Journey ahead.

We got a lift from Manila to a place called Batangas, about 2 hours south of Manila, to catch a 3 hour ferry to another place called Wawa on the big island of Mindoro.  We made the ferry just in time, the ferry terminal was a mad place with people everywhere trying to sell stuff, help you with your bags for a few pesos, and basically doing anything to make a quick buck.

The heat was unreal, and we were dripping sweat walking to the ferry along the pier.  An ice cold bottle of water over the head was the only solution when we got on board.  And when we discovered there was an air conditioned room too we were in heavan!!  The sea was like glass for the whole journey, and we passed by loads of little paradise islands on the way.  When we got closer to Mindoro we could see why it was supposed to be impenetrable.  There were sheer mountains the whole length of it, many of them impassible and unexplored.  The whole of the interior is untouched jungle, mainly because its impossible to build a road through to the other side.  The only roads on the island go around the coast, and even then they stop in the middle of nowhere because the mountains are too hard to pass and you have to get a little boat around to the other side and carry on your journey from there.  Crazy place.

Anyway, we got to Wawa and were to make our way to the far side of the island and to the south to a place called Sablayan where we could charter a Banca (a local boat) to take us to Pandan Island off the coast.  We negotiated with a guy to bring us there in his van for a good price, and the journey took about 3 hours along bumpy and scary roads through little villages with paddy fields and surrounded by unbelievable scenery, like something out of Jurassic Park.  Beautiful.

And for such an isolated place there are a lot of people making thier way around on the roads, hanging onto all sorts of contraptions to get where they need to go.

We got to Sablayan just before the sunset and managed to get a boat to the island, which took about half an hour.
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