We travelled with Cathy pacific from Copenhagen on January 26th 2009 the journey lasts till March 8th 2009.
Arrival in Manila January 27th 10:00
Where we had ordered a room at Malate Pensionne. Went around in town on some errands, but agreed that we wanted to travel further at once, it only turned into a bath in Malate Pensionne then we moved on.
Banaue with the night bus as drove at 22.00 and it arrived at 07.30 next morning.
We checked in us at People's Lodge to 700 Pesos per night. It was a fine place with hot water (that was what we got from this holiday) almost not any more, but it was good enough lovely for it were rather cold at the night.
The following day we went to Batad rice terraces
Together with a local guide who was called Denwill, we had arranged with him that he had to take care of a trip on a couple of days, this he had to have 1000 pesos for per day. We were living at 8 where we were picked up by a tricycle that took us up a to the "junction" from where, the rest of the trip then perished on go legs, it was a trip that took 5 hours (very hard but absolutely it all worth), it's simply so beautifully that you almost forgets how difficult it is. We had arranged that we had to try stay overnight in a traditional way, so that it became to a staying the night at Ramon's Home Stay in a traditional Ifugao hut to 250 P per night. When we came we got a little to eat and after that, we went down to the small village Batad, all the way down at the bottom of the valley where we visited part of Denwill's family. We had a fantastically cosy evening where Ramos made a campfire; we had a pleasant time at before we went to a bed. Next morning we were woken up by Ramos who had arranged home-grown coffee (tasted completely wonderfully). That is we were woken up the first time very early by various hens and pigs that got up very early. After a beautiful breakfast went the trip back again, but this time the trip was a little shorter, but it really was a hard trip for it went upwards to the "Saddle" steeply down again to ”junction" where we were picked up by our tricycle from the day before. When we came back to Banaue we drove down to the local market where we bought a chicken and some vegetables, which Denwill prepared to us at home with him, and his wife as well as 3 children. It can really be recommended to take a staying the night in Batad instead of (that most does) a one day trip. Next day we took a tricycle to a small town of Lagawe, where we could raise cash (however only 4000 P per time) a fine small town, where they not at all are so usual to see (white Legs)
20.00 We took again the night bus back (Florida) to Manila where we arrived at 04.15.
We were lucky that was what were consistent with a bus to Batangas (2 hours' driving), but there we had to then wait some hours before there was leaving a ferry for Abra The Ilog, on west the side of Mindoro, we met a sailor who was called Simon who showed us which Van we had to drive with in order to come to
Mamboro, where we had decided to stay a couple of days.
It had to turn out to become a special experience; it was a long time since tourists last had been there. People going past our hut and took pictures by us and when we went a trip in the town everybody stopped short op in order to look at the strange human beings who were on visits. We had only been there one day when the police turned up at us in order to write report; they'd know when we had come and how long we'd stay, so that they could regularly look after us. The Resort we had seen it was called Alii Beach Resort, but they had firstly changed name to Palm Beach Resort, and then they had the rest been closed off, they however opened a hut to us when we came, it cost only 600 P and it was the only place that was. We had to have something breakfast the following day; we got 1 eggs that we had to divide, but then we also got some rice to. The dinner we also became obliged to eat on Palm Beach, there were Chicken, and nothing else, but that now tasteful good enough, so that it was no problem. Our laundry was delivered to a little local grocer and she washed it all (a good big bag) she didn't want to correctly have anything for it so that we gave her 100 P, which she thought was too much, so that we got both to have fizzy lemonades and sweets.
Next day at 9 we took the bus to Sablyan (3 hours) and from there we had to take a banca and it took only 20 min. for Pandan Island it cost 250 p
Pandan Island is part of the most beautiful, and the very first time we jumped out in the water with a snorkel we met with some enormous big sea turtles. We met some beautiful human beings on Pandan and quickly managed to make a coffee club with Paul and Holly, (always we brings Café Noir and el kettle on our journeys). The days on Pandan went with diving and string grooving and otherwise just clean relaxation, but we were on boat trip for Apo Reef where it's completely fantastic beautifully, and on the road home to Pandan we wades so lucky to be surrounded by an enormous school dolphins (at least 100) they spawned in the water around the boat, we jumped in the water and swam with them. Next day rained it so that it was used to find flight tickets for our further journey and otherwise just, take a bath and snorkel. We got flight tickets from San Jose to Manila and from Manila to Busuanga, it's a little troublesome but like this is it consequently just to travel in the Philippines, you are to be a little patient and take the things as they come then there are no problems. We had to pay about 2500p per plane- trip so that it turned 5000p in all for both planes for us both 2. Next day we travelled from Pandan at noon, after 6 completely wonderful days with lots of string grooving, diving and coffee, cosiness with so many beautiful people.
We took a bus to San Jose after we came in to Sablyan.
That went on some very dusty roads for about 4 hours, but thus is it consequently just and you meet so many sweet people when you travel with a bus in positioned for the small vans as many tourists using. We had to have a staying the night in San Jose for our plane first leave next morning so that we moved in on Sablyan Beach Resort where we paid for 800p for a room with aircon. San Jose- town isn’t something to write home about, it's dusty and dirty.
Away to the airfield at 5,45 it took only 15 min. and the hotel took care of that transport. We had a stop-over in Manila where we had some hours before the plane to Busuanga. We made us a trip and see a incredibly beautiful church that lies near the airport.
When we came to Busuanga.
We met a driver from Kokosnuss Garden Resort where we moved into a room to 1500p (a little expensive), but there was a lovely bathroom. The staff on Kokusnuss seemed very careless about the visitors, but otherwise it was a fashionable place, but we ate down in the town, because it was very expensive on Kokusnuss' and they didn't have part of what was on the menu. We remained living on Kokusnuss' three days, from where we went on island jumps. We were for instance on Coron Island where we swam in the freshwater lake and on Malapulco Island where there was the most beautiful sandy beach. The third day we hired a motorbike and drove around and so a little more of Busuanga. Next day we came along
The ferry for Puerto Princessa.
It sailed at 7, but we had to take off from Kokusnuss at 5.30. That cost P 1300 per person on tourist class (recommended), where you get a completely small shelf for oneself, which was a/c that was just right. We arrived to Puerto princessa at 20.30
And we were lucky to find a Bungalow, at House of Rose who was a quite lovely place. The following day used us to go a trip in the town, which is one of the better towns we have been in, and after some hours we found a Tricycle we hired to drive for us the rest of the day. We saw many fascinating places, among other things we were on visits in a prison where the prisoners sold different jewellery and other souvenirs; so they could afford to buy soap and other small things, in all a quite exciting day. In the evening we again made a trip in the town and got a little to eat. We paid for a total number of 2300p for the 2 days at House of Rose; it also a place we can hotly recommend.
We left with Jeepny at 7.00 to Sabang
We arrived at 9.30 and from there we took a boat to Paraguman Beach where we were the only visitors, so that we had the whole area for ourselves, of course with the exception of the local residents. We had to see the underground river, of course, but remember to leave very early in the morning; there are many tourists the rest of the day. That cost 600p incl. Transport from Sabang Pier. On Paraguman Beach tried they unfortunately to cheat us for 1200p when we had to settle the accounts, but they righted it at once when we complained about it?
We left at 8.30 for we had to drive with a Jeepny at 10.00 to Salveton where we varied to a bus against Roxas and from there with a boat to Coco Loco that took more than an hour because it was bad weather.
Coco Loco is a little island (you can go all the way around the island in 20 min.) but it is very beautiful, it was clean relaxation for there are correctly not other you can do than enjoying the water and the chalk- white sand. We stayed 3 days there, and then we went on. We had met 2 quite sweet Germans (Daniel and Uli) and they wanted just as us to go to Albaguen Island where we had been recommended the place there, called Blue Coral Resort.
Departure from Coco Loco at 8.00 from there we brought a Van, together along Daniel and Uli, to San Vincent where we were picked up by a small boat and sailed for Albaguen Island.
It wasn't just what we had expected already next morning, we took a boat to Port Baton it takes normally only one hour, but we sailed whether on the other hand of Albaguen Island where there is a small fishing village, we went in country there and used some hour's before we again sailed on.
Arrived to Port Barton where we moved in at Greens Views Resort, lovely place to 800p per day. Had dinner at Bamboo House (can be recommended).
In the morning next day we went early out in the mangrove, where you could see the snakes lie and sleep in the trees right over the head on us when we sailed around. After this lovely morning we made a long walk around and swam in a small Waterfall and otherwise drifted we a little around in the town the rest of the day.
Departure with Greens View's boat cost 1200p to El Nido, it took 6 hours and After a hard sail we arrived to El Nido where we moved in on Chrislyk Cottage, a fashionable small place with breakfast and A/C to 1700p per day, but you have least to take 2 days.
We moved to a cheaper place to live after the 2 days that, it only cost 500p for a large room, but it was however with divided bath, but finely clean and quite cosy, the See view Inn can well be recommended if you wants to live cheaply. The owner is a quite pleasant "mother" type.
We bought a ticket for a boat trip for Coron, it's normal quite a hard sail in 10 hours, but we found Tao Expedition who made a trip on 3 days, we had to stay overnight on the boat. We were 10 people on the trip, as well as the staff to spoil us. More about it later, only just a little about how we got 5 days in all, to go in El Nido.
In El Nido you can choose 4 different boat trips round for all the small islands and Lagoons, that lie trip A-B-C-D all the way round, we took trip A where we were picked up at our resort at 9 in the morning and were at home again about at 16, it was a fantastically beautiful trip, but there is a great minus, and it's that all the boats (and there are many) leave the same trip from an island and lagoon for the next one and right in the heels of each other, so that there are simply too many people to that it will be quite lovely. Try to find some that will sail the trips the other road round, because it happens to be best to swim in a beautiful lagoon without it being together with 50 others. One of these days we got a boat to leave us out for a small lagoon, where they dropped us off and then they came and picked up us again in the evening, it really was beautiful and can hotly be recommended. The second day we brought together a boat along Joacim and Linda (two magnificent Swedes, we had met in Port Baton) where we sailed trip C but backwards so that we had a magnificent day. It can be recommended to let Tao Expeditions arrange day trips for they are very flexible and gladly make your trip precisely as in wishes it, and to the same price.
Then it became time to departure with Tao Expedition to Coron, we sailed from El Nido after we had had breakfast together, we were a mixed flock, but the fate wanted that we actually had met 4 of the others, several times during our journey, first there were Uli and Daniel 2 Germans whom we had been neighbours with both on Coco Loco and Albaguen Island and consequently now again, there were Linda and Joacim whom we had lived besides Port Barton, and otherwise there was a couple of from England, a fellow from Australien, a lady from the Philippines and not least trip the leader Jack (he was also English). We had 3 beautiful days and can hotly recommend taking this trip (you however have to like fish, for there almost nothing else to eat) it's a journey from one paradise island to the other.
Arrival at Busuanga, Coron where we become a single night at KokusNuss, and the following day we goes to Coral Bay (again together with Daniel and Uli), where we using the last 3 days. It's a completely fantastically beautiful place with Danish owners. One day goes with diving on some of the many wrecks, from the World War, which lies only one hour's boat trip from resort and the rest of the days there, is just clean relaxation, it's a fantastically beautiful reef straight out of the Resort it's just jumping in and enjoying it.
Departure from Busuanga again, where the plane leaves for Manila at 10.00. We leave from Coral Bay at 6.00 they have taken care of all transportation to the airport. As we arrive in Manila we take a taxi to Malate Pensionne where we pass the last night. The day goes with a little shopping at Manila and otherwise carried take a look around. 3.30 A very long journey home starts, from Manila to Hong Kong from there to London and finally in Copenhagen 25 hours after.
Finally, we like to send greetings to all the wonderful people we have met on our way it was people like you who made our journey to something special.