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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walking back from Whale Shark adventure

3/9/12

While on the 45 minute walk from the Whale Shark Interaction Center, 6 teenagers on motorcycles stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. I told them I was just exercising when in reality I was saving $1 instead of using the moto tricycle. They asked me where I was from and when I said Louisiana, they started singing almost simultaneously, "When I was a little bitty baby my momma rocked me in the craddle, in those ole cotton fields back home. I was born in Lousiana, just a few miles from Texarkana..............................." I could not help but laugh. Then they said they had to go. They were on a journey to the center of the earth. It will take a few days to disseminate all this information and come to a conclusion. lol I have noticed in the mountain villages that the older people have a preference and it is almost constant, 1950's to 1980's Country Music.

My other favorite thing to do here is walk. Almost every child will say "Whats your name." Then they tell you theirs. I am guessing it is to practice their English, but they truly love Americans and will engage you in conversation whenever possible. After being asked my name, I asked a little girl her name and she said "Miley Cyrus". The Filipinos love to be inventive when picking out names. I heard of another whose name was Chivas Regal. At least in Donsol, the friendliest people I have ever met in the world.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Headed to Masbate

3/10/12

Realized that the only last boat this week from Mandaon, Masbate to Panay Island is Sunday so have to take the jeepney to Pilar and fast boat to Masbate town today or wait a week. Arrived in Masbate Town and caught a minivan to Mandaon. Straight to the Coast Guard office at the dock and checked on boats. No boats going to Roxas City where I had planned but will go instead to Estancia and bus a little further to Caticlan to catch the boat to Boracay.

Then started looking for a room for the night. A guy in the shuttle had mentioned a hotel but that it was $25 a night. After looking all over town I saw a sign at a grocery store that said lodging. I was only $3.50 a night but is in my bottom 5 on all time lodging places. I was the only one in what should have been a condemned house. There were no locks on my door and lucky to have a door as many didn't. Don't even want to talk about the bathroom. But had a fan, clean sheets and was really tired so made the best of it.

Travel Days

2/27/12

Took 45 minute taxi to San Salvador International Airport to begin my insane 40 plus hour journey thru 6 airports. Breezed thru security in 10 minutes (what!!!) and then had 3 hrs to wait on my flight to Miami. Arrived there 30 minutes early so had 3.5 hrs to wait there until my flight to Denver. Got here at 10:30 pm and been looking for a warm place to nap all night with no luck. Wish I had my jacket.

2/28/12

Gave up trying to sleep around 3:30 am and now waiting on McDonald to open. Leave at 6:30 am for flight to LA , then LA around 10:20 am to Tokyo, then Tokyo to Manila and hopefully arrive there about 10pm.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mandaorn to Boracay Island







3/11/12

Caught the 7 am "pump" boat to Estancia for the 4 hr ride with about 20 passengers and lots of cargo. Started out inside the boat but the fresh air and beautiful weather convinced me to climb on top. That was great for a few about 1.5 hrs until the rain and large waves started seriously rocking the boat. That is when the 4 hr ride turned into a 6.5 hour ride. Arrived in Estancia around 1:45 pm and then caught a minivan to Roxas City, then another minivan to Kailbo, then another minivan to Leticlan, then a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay Island, then a 15 minute tricycle ride to Frendz Resort where I have a reservation in 2 WEEKS.

Since my plans checked so quickly and did not have internet, I was unable to make a reservation at Frendz, which is the cheapest and best backpacker establishment. He told me there were no rooms available but that he would have an opening in 2 days and then I would be set for a month. Down the street I go with my backpack and no idea where to look. Place after place was $40 to $60 and this was at the cheapest looking places. I finally went back to Blue Bayou, ironic, and took the $37 room with private bath, tv and fan and free breakfast. The fact that I had not eaten a real meal in 24 hrs was adding to the problem. They only had a room for the night so will do this again on Monday.

If this had not happened many times before I would not be happy but part of the job.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New room plans.

3/13/12

Since there is no availability in the dorm at Frenz Resort tonight must still find other accommodations. Also, just found out Frendz does not have a pool which it lists as an amenity. This along with the cheap price are the two biggest factors why I chose it.

Luckily I found a great spot right by the beach with a private room/private bath, cable tv and air con for only $2.50 a night more than Frenz dorm. I know it is still $2.50 but as I get a little older my backpacking skills seem to be fading. lol 30 days in a dorm in Frenz was probably pushing the envelope. So I will do 15 days in private room at Bonzai Resort and then 10 days in dorm at Frenz. Chance to reinvigorate my youthful soul and share that great hostel vibe which I love, even though it comes with a certain loss privacy in the dorm.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boracay Beach







3/12/12

Boracay Beach is incredibly beautiful, especially with all the sailboats, but the water has lots of seaweed. The beach walk where all the hotels, restaurants and bars are located is really busy all the time. There are many different restaurants of all price ranges from $1 to $9 unlimited seafood buffet. I still think that 3 mile beach on Koh Lanta in Thailand is still my favorite. There are sooo many tourists here and most are Asian. Move today to Bonzai Resort for 15 days ($17 day) including private room with bath and air con. Only 30 seconds to beach.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bulabog Beach





3/13/12

Just a 10 minute walk from White Beach is Bulabog Beach which is less crowded and a favorite of windsurfers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Purchased airline tickets to Palawan and then to Manila

3/14/12

Spent most of morning checking airline prices to Puerto Princessa , Palawan for the end of my journey. I will have to shuttle to Kalibo from Boracay (2 hrs) but the plane ticket was only $79. I then found a ticket to Manila from Puerto Princessa on April 23rd for only $52. I had planned on leaving Boracay on April 9th but will spend a few extra days in Paradise to save big bucks on the airfare.

Note: Think I am becoming addicted to Mango Fruit Shakes ($1)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eating on Boracay Beach.




3/19/12

The beach is lined with All You Can Eat Buffets for $10 to $15 including amazing fresh seafood. I pass them everyday on my way to the cheaper eateries that I frequent which include Andok's which has amazing BBQ pork skewers (2) with rice for $1.33. Places like this allow me to travel and spend 2 months in Paradise, the Philippine version.

Some of the things that I am amazed by is how impossible it is to find a knife. There is usually a large spoon, which they use for a knife and spoon, and a fork for pushing the rice into the spoon and spearing vegetables. A large amount of rice comes with everything, including BACON AND EGGS for breakfast which I find a little strange. But I am in the majority, with most tourists coming from South Korea and China (80%), Aussies (10%), Germans (5%) and then a wide variety with only a few Americans.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

6 Ways To Avoid Street/Beach Vendors

1. NEVER make eye contact.

2. NEVER talk to them even to say NO.

3. NEVER stop walking.

4. NEVER get them wet.

5. NEVER feed them after midnight.

6. Put a bright light on them, they hate bright lights.


Okay, last 3 are from Gremlins , but first 3 work great.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Early morning on Boracay Beach
















3/23/12

Beach is much quieter before 8 am. Can't believe that people actually buy these ships (last picture). Actually saw 2 people purchase these. How can u travel with these????

Sunday, February 19, 2012

All You Can Eat Buffet

3/23/12

Don't know why I did it. Guess staring at the more than 20 All U Can Eat Buffets on the beach every day finally got to me. I have done so well eating smaller portions and have been totally content. It was only 270 Pesos ($6) , included fried shrimp, ham steaks, chicken and roasted pork along with all the fixings. Plus their was cheesecake. I had 3 plates and now am so full I can't stand it. Now to try and get back to the smaller meals.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Creature of habit (for now)

3/27/12

Have become a creature of habit for now. 6:45 am walk to bakery for 1/2 price day old banana muffins, then coffee, then walk up and down the beach. TV when it gets too hot to be in the sun. Lunch at Andok's for $1.30, then 20 minutes of beach time in hot sun, more TV, then dinner at Andok's for $1.30. Afternoon mango shake and final walk on beach. Occasionally, twice a week, will go for a couple of happy hour beers. Final walk around the beach at night to watch all the people mulling over which All U Can Eat Buffet to choose.

While not exciting, I am not on vacation but simply living on an incredible beach as inexpensively as possible and still having a good time.

Move to dorm at Frenz on March 29th for 11 days to save a little more money. Gonna miss my private room but will enjoy the hostel lifestyle as always.

April 12th I move to Palawan Island for new adventure and final leg of this trip.