So our next stop was a little island south of Cebu called Siquijor. We got the ferry which took a few hours, as soon as we got to the harbour we thought it looked stunning. We were pounced on by loads of tricycle drivers trying to charge 250 pesos to take us to where we needed to go, Kam marched off and left me with them all and found another tricycle driver up the road who took us there for 80 pesos! We didn't really know where to stay but the driver said that Bruces was a nice place- we thought he might be on commission but when we arrived it was really nice. It was a tiny bit over our budget but as it was Kams birthday we agreed to it. We were blown away by the beach - it was absolutely stunning. Pure white sand, palm trees, the mountains of negros were in the background and the water was like a pond, it was so clear and calm - the only sign of life on the beach were some ducks! Just as we were about to run into the lovely water we realised that there were loads and loads of clear jellyfish bobbing around - so no swimming but we were quite happy just staring at the amazing scenery, plus there was a small pool we could go in at the resort. We were then treated to one of the most amazing sunsets we have ever seen, the sun set behind the mountains and there were a few clouds in the sky, as it set the sky turned pink - because the water was so still it acted like a mirror - there were two men out on a paddle boat and it was picture perfect, this was all viewed swinging from a hammock-bliss. We went out for dinner in the evening to Coral Cay - a sleepy little place a short walk up the beach. It was so different from Alona - very quiet and peaceful with very few bars / restaurants etc. Kam had a nice birthday - his only bad bit was when a coconut beetle buzzed into our room in the middle of the night - they are harmless but as he hates flying bugs he refused to come out from beneath the covers until the morning!
The next day we hired a moped - having never driven one before we were both a bit nervous, luckily we met a really lovely couple called Sharon and Jim from Bromley who had been travelling on and off for nearly 23 years, Jim gave Kam a quick induction and we were off armed with a photocopied map of the island. The roads were fairly quiet and the locals were really friendly - all waving and smiling as we whizzed by, we had to get some fuel for the bike which is sold in old coke bottles on the side of the road. We went through some tiny towns and saw a really old tree, a pretty church and then went to some waterfalls. We had to go down quite a few steps to get there - it was a three tier fall and we went for a dip in one of the pools which was like a bath! We then went back on the bike to go further round the island, we stopped at one point just to stretch our legs - someone went by on a bike with a trailer and we thought they were saying hello to us in a funny voice but it was a pig squealing in the sidecar! We drove further and stopped for something to eat - Filipinos love fried chicken so we had some - it was more batter and bone than meat but was OK. We managed to drive round the whole island and then got back in time for another stunning sunset.
We were supposed to leave the following day, as we had the bike until lunchtime we thought we would nip in to the town to get our ferry tickets but on the way we both agreed we didn't want to leave yet so we hired the bike for an extra day and this time we drove into the middle of the island as there was a viewpoint there. We had to go up a few gravel roads and steep hills but we made it, the viewpoint was quite hard to find - we had to ask somone where it was, it wasn't signposted. At the bottom of some steps there was one sign that randomly said free wifi - we went up and there was a four storey rickety old tower with steps missing, as went up it was quite wobbly but the view from the top was amazing we could see all over the island. When we got back we had a message from Carmen to say she was in Siquijor so we met up with her in the evening and then saw Sharon and Jim who were talking to another English couple on a balcony of one of the cottages - we went over to them and the other couple offered us some beer - they were called Eileen and John and they were retired and actually lived there, they had the cottage built for them and spend most of their days just relaxing on the balcony. We had read in the lonely planet that Siquijor is supposed to be full of healers and spooky things and that some Filipinos wouldn't go there. Eileen said that the people on the island are just very superstitious and some of them believe that there is a creature- half cat half kangaroo that roams around in the night, they also don't sleep downstairs because they believe that witches can get through the window! There was a sign when at the harbour when we got off the boat saying that Siquijor is a safe place and no occult practices were carried out and a special number to call if you saw anything dodgy! Anyway we had a lovely evening and another powercut (we had quite a few) and walked Carmen back to where she was staying, nearly tripping over a few frogs on the way.
On our last day Eileen and John offered to take us back to the harbour in their car - Carmen came too which was a nice surprise as we thought she was going to stay for another day. When we said goodbye to them I nearly cried as they were very grandparenty!
I think Siquijor is/was one of the best places we have ever been, it was great to have the freedom on the bike, the locals were so friendly and the scenery and sunsets were just awesome examples of Gods creation!