Philippines
Carles

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4 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Isla Gigantes day 1

    March 23, 2018 on the Philippines ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    Up at 4.30 which was painful! Got a van between 10 of us to drive us to the boat port. I slept for the whole way, so tired! People on the trip were: Emma, Hannah, Tegan, Sophie, Emma S, Keziah, Claudio, Laura and Anne.
    Lots of waiting around but eventually got shown to our boat. Had to walk across a dodgy looking gang plank and hope we didn’t drop our bags in the water!
    The boat resembled a spider with floats out on sticks at the side. Not particularly sea-worthy. We had an hour and a half journey where we thought we were going to capsize. Got completely soaked through to the point where I might as well have jumped into the sea.
    After a sketchy journey, we arrived at an incredibly beautiful island, with white sand and clear blue water. We were greeted with a fresh seafood lunch of clams, chicken stew and rice. The meal was made slightly uncomfortable by all of the stray dogs begging around us and red ants clinging everywhere. The rooms were cute wooden huts with 6 beds in each. Some electricity but no phone signal to be had.
    We then went for a dip in the sea which was heaven. Perfect temperature, just beautiful.
    Next we got changed and ready to go on a hike up to some caves on the island. It was a hard hour long hike, clambering over rocks with blistering heat and humidity.
    Eventually got to the top and found some pretty magnificent caves - Pawikan cave or sea turtle.
    Lots of interesting geological features and photo opportunities. 3 chambers with holes up at the top so you could see the sky. Stood on a precarious rock to get a great photo. Had to get help on the way down as there were some pretty tricky parts with big drops down the sides.
    Made it down and rewarded ourselves with another swim in the sea.
    Then had dinner, bbq pork and fish with more rice. Drinks and card games followed, which sort of escalated to the point of some people being completely smashed. Lots of fun and good to bond with everyone.
    Eventually all got to bed at about midnight.
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  • Day8

    Isla Gigantes day 2

    March 24, 2018 on the Philippines ⋅ ☀️ -9 °C

    Today we got woken up at 6am by some random rave music being blared out from somewhere near our huts. Tried to sleep through it til 7am when we had to be up.
    Had breakfast of scallop adobo (local speciality), fried egg and... you guessed it, rice!
    Headed to get the boat, had to wade out to butt level and then fight our way up the plank from the water. Had a 20 min journey to get to the first island of our island hopping day.
    The first island was called Cabugao Gamay. Walked up to a viewing point where you could see a sandbar across the island. Took lots of photos but then it started chucking it down, and I mean like monsoon level rain! Took shelter in a little hut, although the rain was just blowing in sideways so we were all soaked anyway. We then tried to make our escape onto the boat. There was a problem getting the anchor back on board so we were floating around for quite a while whilst a poor guy was diving in trying to rescue the anchor. We eventually managed to set sail.
    The next island was called Sand Bar and was essentially a strip of sand in the sea with a few trees on it. We went for a swim here, although the currents were very strong and there was some pretty big waves! Our boat went to take some people somewhere else and so we had to wait for it to get back. While we were waiting we decided to take lots of photos, make pyramids, jump shots etc. The tour guide brought us over some freshly steamed scallops and oysters which were delicious. After what felt like forever, with no access to any of our stuff including suncream, the boat eventually came back.
    Next we headed to an island called Antonia. This was a bit more touristy than the others, but still pretty quiet. Here we went on banana boats and jet skis which were easily the most fun thing I’ve ever done! Didn’t fall off at any point either which I was quite pleased with as it looked painful! Managed to get the jet ski up to 52 mph (which is the top speed) which on water felt like about 100. At this point we all started to notice how sun burnt we were getting but by this point it was too late.
    We then headed to our last island - Tankie Lagoon. Here there was a beautiful little lagoon hidden behind the rocks. The water was super warm and clear so we had another swim. Then some people went off to do cliff jumping. I sat this one out because the route up looked pretty treacherous. Everyone made it ok and all did the jump which was probably about 5m. Few cuts and bruises though I think.
    After this, we headed back to our island. We had a bit of chill out time so some people had naps. I went and had a bucket shower to try and cool off and get rid of the sand that was everywhere. At this point the sunburn was really starting to set in. Burnt everywhere, very sore!
    We had some dinner and a couple of drinks and then I headed to bed as I was feeling pretty exhausted. Some of the others stayed up to do karaoke.
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  • Day9

    Isla gigantes day 3

    March 25, 2018 on the Philippines ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Up at the crack of dawn again for more seafood breakfast. I actually couldn’t bring myself to eat any more so I had a cereal bar that I had brought with me.
    We were told the sea was likely to be rough due to high winds (great) so we needed to set off early as it would be a slow journey.
    Waded out to the boat again, this time a lot more sheepishly due to the sunburn and cold water mix being quite painful.
    The journey was quite rocky but not as bad as I expected from what they had warned us about. Got back to the mainland with enough time to spare to go buy tshirts from the tourist office and then back in the van for a 3 1/2 journey back to Iloilo. I napped most of the way, although the air con was freezing so I had to put all my layers on.
    When we arrived back I just chilled and did a bit of washing. Spent a while with my feet up to try and get rid of some of the swelling that was accumulating. Got my stuff sorted ready for the week ahead and went to bed.
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Carles

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