I took an early flight with Cebu Pacific to Cebu in the Southern part of the Philippines from Hong Kong for $130USD and lucky me met my Filipino family right there on the plane! Ninette a/k/a Nina currently resides with her Scottish husband in Aberdeen but has been on vacation with her sister, brother, sister in law and their two lovely children Mikayla, 6 and Matteo, 4 who live in Tagbiliran near Bohol – my next destination. Lucky me they own a tour company called NRV in Bohol where I’m headed.
We first stopped to get a SIM card for 500 pesos and then they took me with them in their private transfer to the ferry in Cebu for our two hour ferry to Tagbiliran for 410 pesos but not before posing for my first surf picture and stopping at an authentic Filippino restaurant for lunch and we had soup, fish, rice and, of course, roasted pig – a common food here in the islands. It’s hard not to picture the pig with the apple in its mouth roasting on a skewer every time I order this in the Philippines.
Nina and the gang then safely deposited me at my hostel – Alona Hammocks on Panglao Island near Alona Beach. I paid $6.00 USD per night. Now, as you know, I try everything at least once including sleeping at a place that is most like where and how the locals sleep. Here, it is on a thin mat on bamboo flooring with nothing but a mosquito net to cover you and perhaps, if you are lucky, a fully operational thatched roof with no leaks in case it rains. “Once” being the operative word here! I don’t know if it’s my age or all the injuries I suffered when I was young but suffice it to say, as cool as it was to do it especially during a thunderstorm, there isn’t much “sleep” actually happening. I even tried a bamboo hammock but to no avail. Ouch is all I can say but at $6USD you won’t hear me complain (at least not for a few days anyway!) Thank goodness for the $9.00USD full body massage I got before I went to “sleep” and the one after I woke up. Money I could have used to get an actual bed and left Alona Beach with perhaps fewer spider bites.
That’s all for now from country 72 – Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Philippines.