Getting about

June 23, 2007 Andy 0 Comments

Our planning of where we go and when is somewhere between long term and last minute. Usually I have a fair idea of the places I’d like to go to before we get there. This is reinforced with a good reading of the Rough Guide shortly before entering the country combined with tips and recommendations we’ve picked up on the way. The Philippines was different. The routine of reading up about the country in advance was thrown by the fact we were still reading about Singapore and were too busy shopping to brush up on Philippines knowledge. That combined with my complete geographical ignorance of the Philippines and its 7107 islands along with having met very few travellers who’d been there left me pretty clueless.

We drew up a rough list of places that we liked the sound of on our fist night in Manila (while enjoying the delights of some authentic Spanish Tapas at Casa Armas), selected our first destination of Puerto Galera and then pencilled in the rest with the subsequent destination of Cebu.

Tasty Tapas

We left Puerto Galera dreading the thought of returning to Manila to get down to Cebu. Manila was completely the wrong direction, yet every one we had spoken to on the matter informed us that was the only way to go. The tourist information centres only offer very basic info and the shipping companies websites are not at all user friendly (Only of use if you know exactly where you want to go. They have no maps and no connection information). Halfway back to Manila we found out that we could have made it down to Cebu using two ferries and two island crossings for less than half the price of our planned route. Very Annoying.

In the end we made our way to the port in Manila to find out who goes where and when. We knew that Super Ferries had a boat leaving for Cebu the following morning so we went to check what Negros Navigation had to offer. We were rushed into the desk and told that the boat for Coron was leaving in 45 minutes. Coron, also on our list was our intended last destination. Twenty minutes later we were boarded on the Negros Navigation Coron bound ship getting comfortable in our “Sorrento Suite” (the most luxurious on board, one of only two with forward facing windows, located just below the captains bridge) getting ready for the twelve hour cruise. These last minute decisions make travelling all the more interesting, and besides, I’d do almost anything to avoid another night in Manila.

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