Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Camiguin Island

Last week was our fall break from school. It could not have come at a better time! We were in desperate need (well, I was in desperate need Rob was just in need... I'm a little more dramatic than he is!) of a break from the crazy life of a first year school teacher! So, what did we do with our week of? Travel! Of course, we have to take advantage of this season of our lives, no kids, living outside our home country... We had heard about this small island north of Mindanao (the big island we are living on) that has volcanos, beaches, hiking, hot springs, and plenty of cheap places to stay! So, we decided fall break would be the perfect time to go.
We had quite the adventure getting there. We had to take 2 buses, a boat, and a jeepney. The entire trip took about 12 hours! Talk about a cultural experience. At all the bus terminals, we were quite the sight to see! Everyone came running up to us, trying to sell us something or bring us somewhere or just want to know what we are doing. Wow, I usually don't mind all the attention in Davao, but this was very overwhelming, not to mention we were tired, hungry, and I was trying to get over my motion sickness. I was beginning to wonder whether all this travel was worth going to Camiguin Island. Once we finally got to the beach club we were staying at, ate dinner, and rested, we were glad we came. We spent 3 full days there, going to beaches, hiking to waterfalls, going to hot springs, cold springs, snorkeling, and eating Philippino food. We spent 2 nights at a beach club right on the coast and 2 nights in this mountain resort that was probably the nicest place to stay on the island! And it was ony $50 a night. In America, you can't even stay at a Motel 6 for $50!. At the highland resort, we had hot water and a bathtub!!!! We haven't seen a bathtub in 3 months! They would bring us movies to watch in our room, ice cream, ohhh it was so nice! We had a great time there!
There are many motorcycles here in the Philippines! Rob and I decided the best way to get around the island would be to rent a motorcycle! well, Rob has driven a motorcycle like once and that was a long time ago! So, of course he learned with me on the back! Yeah, and there really aren't any laws here about how many people can ride on a motorcyle, helmets, small children. It is very common to see 5 people on one motorcycle, no one with helmets on, and one is carrying a newborn! Crazy! Rob got pretty good at turning and shifting on the motorcycle by the end of our trip and I got more comfortable riding.
Then was time for our long trip home. We went on the boat back to the main island and got on our first bus, but it was full and there were no more seats! Rob and I were no very happy because we did not want to wait an hour for the next bus. As we were about to get off, we hear a bunch of people talking about extension. And of course being the Americans we were, we had no idea what they were talking about. Finally this man comes with these wooden boards (it looked like a peice of a 2x4) and he puts it in the aisle between the two seat for us to sit on! Oh it just cracked me up! So, Rob and I got the extension seats for awhile until some people got off the bus.
What a trip, after the 2 12 hour bus rides, being attacked by Philippinos, and our nalgene water bottle and motorcycle helmet being stolen, we were glad to be home! We did have a good time on our trip and quite the adventure! It was great. But I don't think we want to do long bus rides for awhile!


Anonymous said...

We are so glad that you are taking advantage of all there is to see and do.I am so jealous.We love and miss you.


Renee said...

Sounds like a huge adventure! Thanks for sharing the pictures and experience. It's great that you could have such a nice vacation for such a great price. Just think of how many Americans have ever been there? I'm so glad you got a break from teaching. I pray that you are refreshed and ready to get back to school! Love you guys!

Andy said...

looks like fun. the pics are beautiful. it reminds me of fiji. oh how i miss it there.

Anonymous said...

Does look like you all had a great time, even though the motorcycle trip scares your Mom. It looks like a beautiful place to relax and be refreshed. I love and miss you both so much!

Mama Daspit