I've been in the Philippines, everyone has encouraged me to visit
the island of Boracay. So I obliged and took a group of eight others
with me. Why Boracay? Well, dubbed as the 'paradise island', for
its white sand, clear sea, coral reef and palm trees, it really
did live up to its name.
true Filipino style, it didn't all go as smoothly as i hoped. First
problem: the flights! We booked our ticket for 7:30 on Friday morning,
so we could get a whole day of sunning on the beach. However two
days before our flight we were warned that the flight was delayed
until 12:30pm the same day.
this in mind, we arrived at the airport well in advance, only to
find out that when they said 12:30, what they actually meant was
10:00am. So, with smoke firing out of our ears, we accepted the
very generous offer of a later flight. Checking in also came with
some fun surprises. We were all weighed individually, whilst they
calcuated who could sit where depending on the balance of the plane.
This sort of experience does wonders for building self-confidence..!
stayed three to a cottage, which cost us around 80 pence a night.
Such good value considering we even got running water and electricity!
On our first day, we hired some mountain bikes to go around the
island. Picture this: climbing up hills, in 35° heat, with broken
bikes. I had to take a taxi back with my bike, because it was in
too many pieces to put back together.
misery was relieved though during lunch by the kind invitation from
some Koreans to dine with them for free. They didn't speak English,
but for a free feast, any company is good company. (Note: when a
Korean introduces themselves, do not ask if they are from the North
or South, their faces contort into a single muscle
playing in the sea
down the beach, one is hounded by men selling island hopping boat
trips. So with this in mind, we thought we'd take the higher qualtiy
option and go through a 'more reliable' source for our snorkelling
didn't go quite to plan, as we fell straight into the tourist trap
of an overpriced scam. Our 7 hour trip with 'gourmet' lunch, turned
into a 4 hour trip with a barbeque too spicy to eat. After a little
European protest, when we refused to leave the boat, we were given
a couple more hours to tour the island. Nonetheless, we still got
to do a spot of fishing and snorkelling though the most beautiful
though you need a degree in haggling to get by in Boracay, it is
quite a specatacular break. Massages on the beach, were one of my
highlights. Luxurious but cheap
so I had two!
with most beach holidays though, nothing could beat the nights.
We toured the bars, swam in the sea in the wee hours of the morning,
and then toured the bars again. The locals welcomed us into their
hang-out spots after work, where they offered us free drinks and
taught us how to bang along rhythms to their music, well out of
sight of other tourists.
I any complaints? No. All the little annoyances along the way, passed
by as soon as you stepped onto the beach. Seeing the local kids
swim in the sea, watching the sunset with new friends, and drinking
cocktails on the sand. You can imagine my joy at returning back
to the chaos that is Manila. :-/
by Stevie Cameron