Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Get outta this damned cold!

That time of year again....school is ending (kind of),....people are either heading home or scooting off around Asia. Where to go, where to go? Vietnam was on the cards....head out there with Max, Tim and Kim....BUT WAIT what's this $200 return flights to Manila!!! See ya guys.....I'm heading to the Philippines!!!

Where to go, what to do??? Let's see....what do I want. Sun...Beach...loads of other people around because I'm on my tod....something to do during the day and something to do during the night! There was only one place to head to........Boracay!!!

Small bag packed with the essentials and it's a 3am bus from Daejeon to the airport, a 4 hour flight to Manila, 3 hours in Manila airport, 1 hour flight to Caticlan about an hour to get from the airport via trike, ferry and trike to Frendz Hostel in Boracay!

I decided that I'd just hit up one spot for my holiday. Travelling around the Philippines can be a pain in the butt with days on boats, planes, trikes and all sorts. Time to perch my bum on a beach with some fine frosty cold San Miguel beers.

The hostel is pretty basic but well renowned to be a cool place to hang out, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. On arrival I'm hooked up with a frosty Red Horse beer and plonk myself down in the bar/communal area and hang out with the peeps there. As usual I meet a plethora of Korean EPIK teachers and fortunately for me there are none from Daejeon. Don't want any stories getting back to Korea other than the ones I want to tell! ;) 

My first night I woke up with a little shock.....a mouse/rat decided that my face would be a perfect place to take a little rest!!! I didn't really know what it was at the time. I said to the chaps in my hostel dorm that I had something on my face in the middle of the night. An Austrian guy mentioned that there had been some rodents in the room lately...no sooner had he said that than 2 little scavengers scuttled straight passed us. I couldn't help but laugh. 

 The guys at the hostel ran it well though....happy hours, live music and everyone working there always  had  smile on their faces. Except one girl actually...could never get a smile out of her! If you're looking for a hostel, stay there. Good times. 

 A highlight of the trip was Ariel's Point. For a measly 1600 pesos you take a boat trip out to a nice spot for the day. They provide you with all the booze you want and a cracking bbq lunch. They main selling point to me (apart from the unlimited San Miguel) was the cliff jumping. They set up 4 boards to jump off of... 3m, 5m, 8m and a whopping 15m jump. There is also kayaking and snorkelling and a private beach too.

I was lucky to have an awesome group and the drinking started early 11am as the boat leaves for Point. Music playing, sun shining and beautiful scenery made the 40 min boat trip a joy.
As we get to the point you can see the jumps and I realise that 15m is actually a lot higher than I thought it was. But slightly lubricated with some confidence boosting San Migs we are all pretty excited to take the plunge.
I had been advised the day before that to avoid a rectal exam from Poseidon upon entry off the 15m jump one must clench your bumcheeks together as hard as you can. Turns out this really was essential as there were many a victim of this invasive procedure during the day.

My favourite moment was when a drunk Finnish guy attempted a back flip off the 15m board and landed flat on his back. The instant bruise that popped up as he came out of the water was a bad sign, but his fall had actually drawn blood from the poor chap. Needless to say that was the end of his jumping day. Unfortunately for the rest of us it meant he had nothing else to do but drink and was a pretty sloppy mess.

Anyway...my first jump was excellent. I was third up...check the horizon, salute my comrades and take the plunge...after a brief "yahooo" I remember saying "I'm still falling....." splash! Bumcheeks firmly clenched I was safe from the aquatic rectum examiner and was good to go again......A few hours (and beers) later I was not so fortunate.

I'd highly recommend doing this if you fancy a good giggle with a big group of people. But remember...clench those cheeks!!!

Nothing like a good hookah before the night out to get things going....picture the scene...the sun is going down on the beach...you have beers, buddies and a fun little shisha for everyone to share. Lovely.

Puka Beach!

Boracay is famous for it's White Beach...so we decided to try out a few others. Not in the same league but the numbers are a fraction and there is no one trying to sell you tat on the beach. A great little spot to get away from the hustle and bustle. 

 You can't go to an island and not take a trip around the island or go island hopper. We had a great day scooting around snorkelling and sampling the delights the surrounding islands had to offer.

But the White Beach is stunning;y beautiful. The weather was a little cloudy for most of my trip, but we had a few good days too. This was my favourite sunset pic. There is a great little place, with an unfortunate name, called Spider's Inn that has a perfect spot to grab a cocktail, some sushi and watch the sun go down.

10 days in Boracay and I had a ball. It's a hub for Korean and Chinese travellers, but also the usual EPIK lot and also pretty popular on the backpacker route. So I got to meet a lot of really fun people from all over the World. Couldn't have asked for a better little break.....but back to the Korean Winter!