FEW DAYS ON PHILIPPINES

11.05.2011 – COMING BACK HOME

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A QUIET FLIGHT. LANDING IN QATAR AS PLANNED. A SPOT OF SHOPPING – COOL COSMETICS’ PRICES. NEXT FLIGHT. NOW TO FRANKFURT. FROM THERE TO KRAKOW AFTER ONE HOUR WAITING TIME. OUR TAKE OFF FROM DOHA WAS DELAYED, WHICH CAUSED US SOME WORRY AS WE DID NOT HAVE BOARDING PASSES FOR THE FLIGHT TO POLAND. WE HAVE FINALLY FLYING OUT. (more…)


10.05.2011 – BACK TO MANILA

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EARLY NEXT DAY, “AT DAYBREAK” AT 7.00 AM, WE WENT FOR BREAKFAST – PLAIN VANILLA. WE HAVE STARTED OUR LAST TRIP IN THE PHILIPPINES STILL IN THE RAIN, BEFORE 7.40 AM. DIRECTION MANILA. BECAUSE THE SHOWERS THE FIRST 50 km WENT RATHER SLOWLY, THEN THE WEATHER HAS BEEN GETTING BETTER. (more…)


09.05.2011 – THROUGH SAGADA TO BAGUIO

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EARLY THE NEXT MORNING WE SCRAMBLED TO OUR FEET, GOT BACK ONTO THE ROAD AND TRAVELLED TO THE RICE TERRACES … THIS TIME IN BONTOC. WE TRAVEL ALONG WITH A HIGH MOUNTAIN RANGE – THIS AREA IS THE FOOD BASKET OF LUZON (THE ISLAND ON WHICH WE ARE; THE BIGGEST ISLAND OF THIS ARCHIPELAGO). THE ENTIRE ROUTE IS WRAPPED UP IN A MORNING FOG … WE HAVE ARRIVED IN BONTOC AT 8:30 AM, MUCH SOONER THAN WE EXPECTED AND WHAT OUR INFORMATION SUGGESTED. (more…)


08.05.2011 – BANAUE AND SURROUNDINGS

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WE HAVE ARRIVED TO BANAUE IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING AFTER ABOUT 7 HOURS DRIVE (CIRCA 390 km) HAVING NOT QUITE ENOUGH SLEEP BUT READY FOR SIGHTSEEING. IT HAS TURNED OUT THAT OUR DRIVER WAS ALSO A GREAT, INTELLIGENT AND OBSERVANT GUIDE. HE QUICKLY REALISED WHAT OUR NEEDS WERE AND TOOK US TO AN APPROPRIATE HOSTEL-MOTEL – GREEN VIEW LODGE. WITHOUT FLAMBOYANCE HOWEVER DESIRABLY LOCATED, CLEAN AND WITH A HOT RUNNING WATER IN BATHROOMS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR 800 P PER ROOM. WE HAVE IMMEDIATELY JUMPED IN SHOWER TO THE WASH OFF FROM OUR BODIES THE 24 HOURS FILM OF THE STALENESS AND THE TIREDNESS AND HAD OUR BREAKFAST. IN THE MEANTIME THE DRIVER ARRANGED ANOTHER CAR FOR US TO TAKE US TO THE  RICE TERRACES AND A BED FOR HIMSELF. NEGOTIATIONS WITH A DRIVER WHO HAD DRIVE US AROUND “A HUB” OF THE RICE TERRACES LED TO A REDUCTION IN THE PRICE FROM 3 300 P TO 2 800 P. MAYBE I COULD HAVE PUSH THE PRICE DOWN A BIT MORE, BUT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THAT WE LEFT AT AROUND 7:00 AM AND RETURNED AT 6:00 PM I WOULD CONSIDER THE PRICE OK. (more…)


06.05.2011 – SABANG

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WE ARE GETTING UP BY 5:00 am.

IT IS TOO EARLY FOR TAKING PHOTOS OF A SUNRISE. WE HAVE STILL TIME FOR A WASH AND SWIM IN THE OCEAN. BEAUTIFUL SUN RISE – PHOTOS TAKEN AND WE ARE AGAIN ON OUR WAY AT ABOUT 8.00 am. OUR CREW IS BUSY FISHING FOR MACKERELS ALL THE TIME, WITH THE BEST RESULTS ACHIEVED BY THE CAPTAIN ‘S DWARF SISTER. SHE IS GREAT INDEED. BY THE TIME SHE LANDS FOUR MACKERELS, THE OTHER TWO FISHERMEN HAVE ONLY MANAGED ONE. IT IS NOW 9.00 am AND WE ARE APPROACHING ANOTHER SMALL ISLAND TO DO SOME SNORKELLING. THIS ISLE IS NOT AS COOL AS THE PREVIOUS ONE. THE CORALS ARE NOT AS INTERESTING AS BY THE PRECEDING ISLAND AND THEY ARE MUCH DEEPER, WELL OFF OUR RANGE. THE WATER IS REMARKABLY CLEAR SO WE COULD SEE A GOOD SEVERAL METERS DOWN, BUT STILL THERE WERE NOT MANY INTERESTING FISH AND AS THEY SWIM DEEPER WE WERE NOT ABLE TO FOLLOW THEIR ROUTE… TODAY’S BREAKFAST IS AS DIFFERENT FROM YESTERDAY’S MEALS THAT AS FOOD FROM THE SEA WE ARE GETTING ONLY GRILLED FISH – TWO VARIETY THIS TIME, BUT NOT MUCH VEGGIES. THE CAPTAIN TRIED TO GIVE US SOME NOT VERY CONVINCING AND OBSCURE EXPLANATIONS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH OUR SUPPLIES … (more…)


05.05.2011 – BY BOAT AROUND PALAWAN

EARLIER THE NEXT MORNING I WENT TO CHECK OUR DRINK SUPPLIES AND ORDERED ADDITIONAL 20 CANS OF SODA WATER (SPARKLING OR STILL MINERAL WATER IS OFTEN HARD TO FIND IN SOME ASIAN COUNTRIES). I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT ONE HAS TO OFTEN ASK FOR IT. I THINK THIS IS THE SAFEST DRINKING WATER IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD. IT HAS TURNED OUT THAT ALL THE SHOPPING WAS DONE AT THE GROCERY STORE OWNED BY THE CAPTAIN’S WIFE. WE HAVE PAID 2500 P FOR ALL DRINKS SUPPLIED. ALL OUR LUGGAGE WENT UNDER THE DECK AND THE NEXT LEG OF OUR JOURNEY HAS BEGUN. SAILING OUT OF EL NIDO YOU SEE LOTS OF ISLANDS OF VARIOUS SIZES. THIS IS THE BACUIT ARCHIPELAGO AND THE ISLANDS ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE BACUIT BAY. (more…)


04.05.2011 – SHANGHAI – MANILA – EL NIDO

 

WE TOOK A NIGHT FLIGHT FROM SHANGHAI TO MANILA AND LANDED AT AROUND 4 AM IN AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. WE DID NOT HAVE MUCH TIME TO CATCH THE NEXT, INTERNAL FLIGHT, SO THE BEST OPTION WAS TO TAKE A TAXI. (THE FARE SHOULD BE AROUND $8). IT IS RECOMMENDED TO FIRST AGREE ON THE FARE AND TO HAVE SOME SMALL NOTES AND CHANGE, AS THE TAXI DRIVERS‚ DO NOT HAVE TIME TO LOOK FOR A CHANGE’). (more…)