Day 5: We got up really early to head out to Santander, which is where we could catch a boat to Negros Island. Our trike driver didn’t show up to our hotel, like we had lined up, so we had to lug our bags over to the other side of the resorts. There we no trikes so we just piled us and all of our luggage onto the back of two motorcycles. I was proud of myself for starting to get some balance without hanging on tight to the guy in front since I had 3 bags I had to hang onto this time too.
We once again we rented a V-hire and enjoyed the view of the coast the whole way down.
This is the boat we took over.
Negros is know for being nice and clean and it was. We landed in Sibulan and then had to take another V-hire up to Bais.
I will never be able to adequately describe what it is like to be on the roads there but this is the best video I got of it, although we weren’t passing like crazy in the wrong lane – which was completely normal!
We checked into the La Planta hotel which was beautiful! Because we left so early that morning we got there by 10:00 in the morning. We spent a little time at the market and this was the first day we really felt the heat. It had been overcast and we had been right on the beach the other days so it hadn’t felt as hot.
John was actually in Bais when the old Mercado burnt down and I loved the new one. It was huge and clean. I cant believe I didn’t take any pictures of it. I bought myself a fan and it saved the day. We also bought a pineapple and lumpia that was amazing! We took our laundry to find Johns friend Alma. She use to wash the missionary’s clothes and we were going to pay her to wash our clothes since we were all out of clean clothes by this time. Unfortunately she wasn’t there but her neighbor was great and she took our laundry job. Danny (Alma’s husband) also came home. He was the best! He is someone you meet and immediately like! We arranged to go dolphin watching with both of those families the next day and then we headed up into the mountains to find some of Johns friends.
It was amazing and so pretty up there! That is until the bus dropped us off at the bottom of a really steep hill that we had to climb in the hottest weather I have ever felt. No joke, I felt like my skin was melting off!
It was so worth it though to find this family! Its so fun to show up and surprise them since they don’t expect to see us at thier door! Her response was one of my favorites! John baptized their family and they are still so strong and her son Elmer just returned from his mission. Unfortunately he wasn’t there so we arranged to come back up the next afternoon.
We got back down to the road and then waited for a truck to come by that we could hitchhike on. A huge truck with a ton of logs stopped and we were going to have to climb on top of everything until a nice little pick up pulled in behind him with an empty back! Phew!
John was standing in the front to cool off while I sat in the back.
My poor feet were so dirty as well as my leggings!
If you ever want to feel good about yourself this is the perfect way. Since they don’t see many white people, I caused quite a stir. Men would run out in the street and blow me kisses. I had my Miss America wave down perfectly! It was actually a lot of fun because the kids and women would light up too when I would wave.
On the road down the mountain.
Then we headed over to the boat harbor where we had chartered a private boat to take us and some of our friends out to go dolphin watching. The earlier you go out, the better your chances of seeing the dolphins, so we met at 6am at the docks.
|Homes on the beach|
We saw the dolphins from far away and I expected that by the time we got there they would be gone. But this pod of dolphins had hundreds of dolphins in it. Danny and I both agreed that we thought it could be up to a thousand of them. You could see them jumping out of the water in both directions for a couple of football fields.
I thought they would swim away from the boat but when they drove our boat into them they swam with the boat!
It was so temping to jump in and swim with them! Seriously one of the coolest things Ive ever done. If you watch the video you can tell we were so close (and there were so many) of them that you can hear them.
Alma and Danny are on the left in this picture. They made sure after our dolphin adventure that we went to the sandbar.
It really is just a huge bar of sand that comes out from the shore. Its huge! When the tide is out you can walk and play volleyball on it. The tide was in when we were there and so the water was about 1 1/2 ft deep. Crystal blue water and perfect white sand!
When we started looking around with our masks on we saw that we were surrounded by starfish and sand dollars! The little kiddos with us were so cute and kept running up to me and saying, “sister, sister” and would hand me more. I had to cut them off when I had about 20 starfish in my hands. They were everywhere!
Then our boat took us over to the shore to the corals to do some more snorkeling.
It was amazing once again! We also spent some time swimming. John and I got fried despite putting sunscreen on twice!
We docked around noon and we headed back to the hotel to shower and I was so sunburned! The combination of that and feeling queasy in the morning and I didn’t dare head back up into the mountains with how hot it was. Especially since we would also be hitchhiking and driving on windy roads. So John took off and left me in the hotel to be bored for 6 hours 🙂 It actually was nice to relax, write in my journal, and watch some TV. This is also when I heard about the Tsunami warning in Asia – umm yeah I freaked out for a minute or two!
Check this out – the hotel had curtains made from the same materials my old drapes were made from. How random is that!
John had a good time up with Elmer. I think it was good I wasn’t there so they could talk missionary to missionary. Elmer was nice enough to come back to the hotel to meet me though!
Day 7: Today was a big travel day again. We headed out from the La Planta early in the morning and caught a bus down to the Santander Express and went back over to Cebu.
|My fan – lifesaver!|
From Santander we took a bus up to Cebu city. It was a long windy road on the coast and we both were feeling motion sick. We took some Dramamine and then we knocked out. This is one of my favorite pics from our trip.
It was so fun to be off on this adventure – just the two of us! In many ways it wasn’t a really romantic trip, although there were definitely romantic moments. Rather it was a comfortable, fun, and relaxing trip. It was like a road trip with my best friend when I was in college. Maybe that’s the reality of 10 years of marriage. Gone are the dramatic romantic dreams replaced with the peaceful comfort of true companionship. It was the best!
It took us 3 hours on that bus to get to Cebu City. Then another 30 minutes in a taxi to get over to Lapu Lapu Island. There are 2 bridges that connect Lapu Lapu and Cebu so it was easy to go from one island to the other. The city seemed much more dense and in many ways felt poorer than the rural parts of the Philippines. Maybe it was because it was contrasted against the new and modern, plus it was much more populated.
We checked into the Maribago Bluewater. It was a beautiful resort! Very comparable to what you would find in Hawaii. It was made for tourists (most come from Japan and Australia) so they spoke English and it was very modern and clean. The staff loved finding out that John could speak Visayan! He was the hotel darling for a couple of days!
|The Lobby. No walls at all.|
|The shark pool. It was one of the many decorative ponds around the hotel.|
|Pool 1 – this was my favorite! It was a huge circle and I loved the big water platform around the whole thing you could sit on. John loved the slide! It was nice to swim in the ocean and then come jump in the pool!|
|The rest of pool 1|
|Pool 2 – This one had a big waterfall on the far side and the circle part on the left was a cool kids pool that was shaped like a bowl, only it didn’t get very deep in the middle.|
|The hotel’s private white sand beach. We did more snorkeling but this beach was really different since it had tons of huge crabs! I also saw a lobster here. It was in a cove so there wasn’t coral.|
|Our room is the one lit up|
|Each area leading to rooms had a big pot of water to wash the sand off your feet|
The we went and sat by the pool, sipping mango shakes and Pina Coladas for dinner while watching the fire dancers.