BarbSquared in the Philippines 2014 travel blog

Entering Sebang by boat

View from our room

Private beach

Last night we left Banaue in a pouring rain, taking another 9 hour bus ride to Manila. Barb and I are getting to be pros at this - armed with blankets and pillows, we look like vagrants but had a much more comfortable (?) journey. We arrived in Manila at 4:30 am and had to wait for the ticket office to open at 7 am to obtain bus/ferry tickets to journey off to Puerta Galera, where we were hoping to find sun and sand. The passage was a bit dodgy with swells and gusts. At one point the entire crew dashed out of the forecastle (or they wherever were hanging out -- not sure a enlarged canoe with pontoons has that sort of thing)and scrambled to pull down plastic window sheeting. We thought this was odd until waves stated breaking over the side. You could see the spray cascading over the translucent roof panels. Unfortunately, the plastic sheeting was remarkably ineffective in keeping the sea spray out of the passenger benches and we were all a bit wet. The crew then dashed around with wet towels, wiping down the seats until the next wave hit. It was a bit like watching the Keystone Cops in action.

Then we arrived in sunny Sabang, where all of the other passengers disembarked. All of them - there was Barb and myself and crew left on board. We were wondering if this was a rats deserting the ship type of thing, and the crew was politely looking at us as if to say "what are you guys doing here?" We made enquiries about whether this was in fact the boat going to Puerta Galera? and the very amiable captain said that sure, he could take us there. Not as in "yes the boat is indeed headed there next" but more like "yes, I would be delighted to take this ferry to a completely different location today." Barb and I are still uncertain as to what the scoop was, but we got a private ride into Puerta Galera. It has been gusty and lightly raining, but we are hoping for sun tomorrow. We are staying at a little place on the water with it's own private tiny beach. Tonight we are sitting on the veranda, listening to the surf and drinking a beer. life is good.


Puerto Galera, the final destination of our trip. We are looking for sun and white sand to finish our vacation before returning to Seattle. So much to ask for?

With this in mind we boarded the 7pm bus to Manila, yet another sleepless night, arriving in Manil at 4am. It's like being in a cacoon riding the night bus. Every one is wrapped up against the incessant aircon trying to sleep in a narrow, uncomfotable seat. Barb and I brilliantly bought a blanket in Banaue remembering the last bus trip and added to our next trip list duct tape to cover the air con vents in the bus. I wanted to sleep, but my eyes were drawn to the lights flashing by especially when we rode through a town where there was activity. In Manila we took a cab to the City StateTower Hotel in the Ermita section of Manila and stretched breakfast from 4:30 to 8:15 when we boarded the bus for a trip to Batangas and then the ferry to Puerto Galera, on the island of Mindoro. We boarded a larger version of our boat in Palawan for the crossing which became somewhat rough with spray over the boat and whitecaps. We made port in Sabang where everyone deported but Barb and I. We still aren't sure if the handsome captain took pity on us for boarding the wrong boat, or if the call at the port of Galera was scheduled. It was very confusing that we were the only passengers at Galera. We are exhausted.

Our hotel is 2k out of town on a beautiful bay with white sand beach and palm trees. The Encenada Beach Resort is a bit worn, but has hot water and air con. There has been a bit of rain but it looks good for tomorrow. I envision a blanket in the sand and lots of reading and snorkeling. We are being entertained by the music of a wedding reception and will turn in early tonight.

Side note...for those of you who have written on Trip Journal and understand the vagaries of the program, Barb is sitting across from me thinking good thoughts as she has lost what may have been the best writing of this trip and is hoping to recover it. We are reminded of a story about Hemingway having lost a manuscript on a train. Never recovered. Probably a masterpiece.

Good night from from the Port of Galera


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