Saturday, August 4, 2012

Philippines or Bust: Part 4


When the bus arrives at the rural ferry terminal. I learn the regular ferry isn't running.  The water is too dangerous and choppy right now.  However, there is a guy with a boat that will take us for the right price.  It's more expensive than usual, and he explains it's because we might die.

Once we are on the open water, it becomes readily apparent that he wasn't kidding. The crossing makes everyone nervous, including the crew.  Thankfully, the captain and his mate are good at what they do.   We move carefully and effectively through the rough waters.
When we arrive it feels like this is what I've been searching for, this is my paradise.
I decide to spend a little more for a nice room.
It costs $9 a night.
Later I learn the owner  had died the day we arrived.
For the next three days they hold the wake in the main building.
It is an intimate and surreal experience.
I'm also lucky enough to make a friend.
As fate would have it,  he is another English teacher on vacation from Prague.
We explore the island together.
Enjoying the $1.50 meals and winding paths.
As usual, my keen eye for anything mysterious-in-a-bucket uncovers a delightful, delicious surprise.
No, I don't know what it was but I know I liked it.

While my friend looks for scuba trips.
I discover some of the islands efforts to make their world better for folks like this little guys.

Lunch alone turns into lunch with the islands school children.

We decide to lay low on day two and go scuba diving instead of diving. It costs all of $7 for 3.5 hours.
Truth be told, I couldn't be happier.
I could play on the beach forever.
One the way home we discover what that awful smell is, lol,  dried sea urchin.
The island is nothing less than stunning.
And I love to watch my food simmer in cast-iron pots.
Since it was my last night, my friend and I left the rum on the porch
and headed to the beach for a few light hearted evening cocktails.
A few of the children stop by my porch to hang out for a bit.
I tried to savor my morning and my memories on my final day.
Alas the end finally came.
As one last act of rest, I get a two hour Thai massage for $25.
The busses had wrecked havoc on my back.
Might as well fix it while I could afford it.
Then it really was time to go home.

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