November 21-22, 2007 (Prelude to Bantayan Trip)
11/21/07 - 11/22/07
Long before the drizzly Bantayan trip, there was a storm-ridden escapade in Camotes, Island. Looking back, i realized that two of the most memorable escapades i had was when we travelled during a bad weather. Worst, the first instance was even during the height of the Tropical Storm Lando. It appeared chancy to some of our friends but what can i say, we are viajeros gone loco remember? Nada impide que en nuestro camino! (...gracias google para el español...)
It is never a habit for D and myself to really sit down and plan an excursion. Often times, we leave for a trip whenever we feel like it - spontaneity is almost always our treasured credo.
About a week before we left for Camotes, we found ourselves talking to Mark Llanes of Sugbu Travel checking options for our birthday get-way.I remembered the gentleman said something like "you are planning way ahead for your trip on February!" and in response, we blurted out almost in jest "...then book us for this coming wednesday!". The next thing we knew, price was quoted and we booked the itinerary the next day. But we never took the itinerary seriously though, I am not sure why but we were probably too busy with work then. To make the matter worse, just a few days before our departure, news about a major tropical storm resonated from television, radio, and print. Mark was worried and he even tried to offer us a refund. But it was too late though, we already got bitten by the travel bug!
enroute to camotes, island
The itinerary that we originally booked costs us 1800php each. It already included our roundtrip boat fare (FASTCRAFT); roundtrip ground transfer; and one night acommodation with breakfast included. However for some apparent reason the boat that we were suppose to take, changed their scheduled departure from 10am to 5pm during Wednesdays. And upon Marks' suggestion, we decided to take the pump-boat from Oano Wharf, Mandaue City instead and get a refund of 600++php each on the agreement that we will pay for our own boat fare.
4:30am the 21st of November, we headed to Oano Wharf from Cebu City on board a taxi. We bought the tickets right at the port for 200php each. It was still gloomy and drizzling when the pump-boat glided through the mad waves of Mactan Channel. Excitement was drawn all over my face especially when i caught the sight of Marcelo Fernan Bridge from underneath. It was probably the troll inside me. (hehehheh) Within the following hours, the trip showcased a wonderful sight of Cebu's seascape as we cruised the northeastern part of Cebu Island. After 3 hours or so, we reached a certain port in Camotes. To our surprise, the gloomy mood had already left the island and the sun seemed to have stretched its rays among the lightly scattered clouds. Seeing our welcome signboard, we greeted the driver and he led us to our ride going to San Francisco, Camotes Is. We then traced both narrow concrete and muddy dirt road that offered a familiar sight of rural-living. After 30 minutes, we arrived at the resort (Masamayor Beach Resort). We then checked in to our room, ate breakfast, and enjoyed a bottle of sangria and a pack of cigarettes by the beach.
Troll Eyes' View of Marcelo Fernan Bridge
Breakfast with D: Masamayor Beach Resort
Camotes had indeed welcomed us with a delightful treat: a sunny afternoon, a relatively wide stretch of pure white sand, and crystalline blue-waters. We just can't help to ignore the wonderful sight that we even decided to have our lunch served by the shore. After lunch, we went for a swim and drenched ourselves in the cool waters and enjoyed the sight of the rich marine life. It was a great experience! The corals boasted variety of colors that D and myself took the luxury of naming some familiar shades.
Where's the Typhoon?
When dinner time came, we asked for directions from the resort's front desk personel to where we can find barbeque for dinner. Kindly enough, one of the staff brought us to the next block where we found a small hut that took care of our dinner preparation. Predictably, we ordered more than what what we can eat. It seemed like we were on our usual pig-out mood or maybe just mine. And after gobbling on about 20 skewers of pork, chorizo, and hotdogs and hardly finishing up 15 humongous puso we finally called it quits. With an hour rest, D and myself started our tequila night party. For hours, we struggled to empty the bottle of golden alcohol over chips and cheezy gossips. At about one in the morning we hoarded the bar; hoping to loot for a bottle of purified water to quench our scorching thirst. Unfortunately, even with much effort we considered the mission unsuccessful and ended up retiring the day dehydrated.
Sunrise in Camotes
As expected, we woke up with a terrible hang over. In search for antidote, we agreed to set-off for a new mission: find a fresh fish for tinola. We scouted the area and found a shabby hut that sells fish not too far from the resort. We got ourselves about 1/4 kilo of fish for 25php and hurried back to resort to have it cooked. Breakfast was served and it was one of the best! When we're all finally back to our senses we took advantage of the sunny morning. I tried riding the waves by skim boarding while D took a dip. Skim boarding was too frustrating for me so i ended up joining D and get into another name-the-color game. We spent the rest of the morning swimming and basking in the sun. And when it was about 9:30am we decided to pack, check out and left Camotes from the port of Poro.
What took place afterwards was a wild pump-boat ride back to Cebu- something that D had endured by reading a book and me by looking back to Camotes, enjoying the panoramic view, thinking how much i had fun on the island.###