Ahhh...we can breathe again
So I started off the trip with a major screw-up.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Thinking it would be a good idea to book our first night's stay ahead of time, I checked the internet and found a place in Manila that seemed like a good deal.Ã¯Â¿Â½ When we exited the airport and got into a cab, the driver kept telling us that we should stay in the Ermita area, and that where we were staying was "residential." Ã¯Â¿Â½ I told him we had already paid for the room, but he just sighed and said, "it is residential.Ã¯Â¿Â½ you will see."Ã¯Â¿Â½ We saw.Ã¯Â¿Â½ What he meant by "residential" was that it was a slum.Ã¯Â¿Â½ We got thrown right into the dirtiest, smelliest, and most crowded part of Manila, which is already dirtier and smellier than most places you could think of. Ã¯Â¿Â½
Anyway, of course we ended up taking a long taxi ride back into Ermita anyway the next day.Ã¯Â¿Â½ On the way, we noticed that there really don't seem to be many traffic rules.Ã¯Â¿Â½ People generally drive on the right side of the road, but other than that, it's kind of a free for all.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The horn seems to be the only thing holding it all together.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Philipinos love their horns.Ã¯Â¿Â½ They use them to signal for turning, stopping, slowing down, speeding up, changing lanes, opening doors, and often when driving past two confused white kids on the side of the road.
Spending one day in Manila was enough, and we quickly caught a bus/boat out to Puerto Galera the next morning.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The boat dropped us off at White Beach, which was just a bit too intense for us.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The jewelery salesmen aren't too pushy, and touts for the hotels are manageable, but they jump you right when you get off the boat, and we just felt really uncomfortable.Ã¯Â¿Â½ After getting into town and finding a crappy place to stay, we did some exploring, and started to feel a bit better about the place.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Everyone is very nice, and most people say "hello" and smile when you pass them in the street.Ã¯Â¿Â½ We did more and more exploring, and finally found a nice hotel at the end of the beaches where we will be staying for the next two nights.Ã¯Â¿Â½ I think I can post some pictures up here so you can check it out. Ã¯Â¿Â½
Anyway, plenty more to say, but I'll save it for another time.Ã¯Â¿Â½ For those of you who were worried, we're alive and well (though a bit sunburned).Ã¯Â¿Â½ I'll update again sometime soon.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Stick around.