Getting up early this morning, after our late night rendezvous with Erin and Ben, was not pleasant and was not our favorite sunrise. waking up in our hot box of a room and lacking water,we knew this was not going to be an easy travel battle.
Step one: get up and have a shower to cool down. Then, Soak our buffs to wrap around our necks once we get outside.
Step Two: get Gatorade, water and breakfast -A good breakfast; One with egg, bacon, toast; not canned corn, beef or rice.
We also added a quick stop at the public market for bananas, mangos , apples... The usual. We knew this was going to be a haul, so we wanted to be prepared.
Step Three: get to the travel agent and on our shuttle bus on time.
We completed our objectives, all with 10 minutes to spare!
So we are going to take a comfortable air conditioned mini van to the airport. Our hangovers can make it to the next travel leg without getting worse. Afterall, we nursed them with gatorade and american breakfast. However, It would have been more pleasant if we hadn't circled the town proper 2 times before setting out, but it's better than a jeepney or tricycle.
Arriving at the Busuanga airport with a ticket in hand was a satisfying and powerful feeling. We checked in, paid the airport tax and went into the boarding lounge. That is a large room with about 70 stadium-like seats, fans at the back and two boarding counters in the front. The room was beginning to fill w people, there weren't many seats to choose from and the washrooms were starting to send out fowl odors.
Oh, the hangover!! We just want to get out of here and sleep on the plane.
We found a spot in a back corner, close enough to a fan where Carl was lucky enough to find a log-stool to sit on. I sluggishly sat on the ground and leaned back on the wall. It was comfortable enough until we got out of here. Here we sat for longer than we would have liked, reading gossip magazines and doing crosswords.
More and more people filled the steel lined room and it was getting hotter.
An announcement on the PA informs us that the flight is delayed. It's ok, we anticipated a delay. However, we didn't expect the 5 hour delay that was our reality. We can still make our Manila to Caticlan flight. We will arrive an hour or so before the flight.
So we get to Manila and hustle to the check in desk of our next flight.
Oh! It's cancelled, and the one after as well. We were transferred to the 3:15 flight but it's boarded and disembarking from the gate.
After spending 5 hours in a stinky, hot airport lounge eating cups of noodles and crackers, we were not really in the mood for messing around.
Cebu Pacific instead put us on a flight to Kalibo, leaving an hour later than our original flight and adding a two hour shuttle bus to Caticlan. Carl's disapproval had him asking what kinds of compensation we would get for our inconvenience. "Are you going to give us free food?" Unfortunately, the ticketing agent was not going to give us food for the trouble. We expressed further our frustrations because of our new travel itinery and their lack of communication. Surprisingly, this landed us each with a free flight within the Philippines! No food. But free air travel. Sure, we'll take it. ( it was our tickets out of Boracay, a last minute booking and saved us alot of money leaving Panay)
Our next leg was smooth, no further delay on the Kalibo flight, got on the bus and arrived into Caticlan at around 8 pm. Now, we do the ferry. The last one is at 10, so we are in the clear for getting over to Boracay.
At the boat terminals there are more steps to follow and you do them in order as said by the windows.
1: purchase ticket
2: pay environment fee -40 php
3: pay terminal fee
- all three different windows, in this order, in a country that has zero line etiquette. People hanging around but not in line, and others crowding the windows sticking their money in the agents faces.
We hammered it out, remembering our end goal was in sight. Getting to and on the Banca was fairly painless and it was a short trip to Boracay.
We arrived at the 'Jetty Port' in the dark and were slightly disoriented because of that. We know better than to listen to phillipino's inside the gates of terminals, so we moved toward the outside, where tricycles lined up and we could head for the white sand beach.
However, we were intercepted by a woman offering a room in her house for 1000php and on the beach. We thought maybe this could work, so we hopped on the trike and began journeying for the beach. Arriving in any place at night is always confusing and this woman's house had us actually walking up hills to get there. It was also not on the beach. In actuality, the beach was quite a walk away. This was not our place to be for Boracay fun. We continued walking around and entered any sign that said accommodation. Many places were 'fully booked', others too expensive and some that would make you feel as if you were in a concrete prison cell. It was a relief when we found Blue Coral, just behind CoCo Loco's near the beginning of station 3. 1,500php got us air conditioning, hot/cold water, tv, fridge, towels and a new friend named Jude. Jude was the host of Blue Coral, who is friendly and helpful, he took us in off the beach at 9 at night, giving us a place to rest our weary heads.
We found our home in Boracay for the next 4 days. Although it was a 15 min walk away from the activity's of the WhiteSand Beach, the water in front of Blue Coral was perfect for our beach bumming needs and the room was a comfortable, clean place to sleep.