Published: May 8th 2011April 22nd 2011
What better way to start the Easter weekend than get on a plane an head to a tropical island. Yes that is what I did. After a flight to Manilla and a car ride south, I took a one hour boat to Puerta Galera on Mindoro island, to spend a week next to the sea in a beautiful villa with my new flatmate and her parents.
The villa had bedrooms with large windows overlooking the sea on the lower level, and upstairs was a large balcony that looked over the pool and across to the ocean, and the doors opened right up so the whole villa was in the fresh air. The villa overlooked the small pool on the level below, which overlooked the bay of Sebang, looking out towards the mainland in the distance, tropical palm trees to the left and right.
Puerta Galera is a good place for aquatic activities, so we made the most of the clear waters and went on two nice snorkeling mornings, hiring a boat to take us to some good spots. Our favorite was 'coral garden' because some of the other spots had too much dead coral which was a shame. We
saw some good fish, sea worms/caterpillars and bright blue star fish.
Upon our explore of Sebang we found restaurants, small shops and little dark wood shelved markets. Gradually the quality of the supermarket shops improved and we managed to find a decent store to buy some breakfast supplies for our villa.
In the evenings we would go out for dinner in Sebang, and then enjoyed the comforts of the villa and an excellent movie library! One night there wad a power cut and we could see an unbelievable amount of stars from the balcony, with no artificial lights around.
One night I enjoyed a low cost but high quality massage as if I wasn't relaxed enough already! Followed by a pedicure, it was a nice treat.
We added to our aquatic adventures with a sailing experience. Puerta Galera yacht club hold "Wet Wednesdays" which meant we could hire small dinghy boats for cheaper than usual and try our hand at sailing. Sailing a dinghy in the bay was interesting at first because we were allowed to climb in the boat and set sail without any instruction. It was a memory jogger from the last time I
sailed a small boat about ten years ago! It was highly entertaining and I loved being out on the ocean, getting up speed at times. It helped that it was a beautiful location to sail in as well. Picture if you will two city girls in a dinghy with limited experience against the ocean waves and unpredictable winds...it was highly amusing and I thoroughly enjoyed it, my fellow sailor found it a little stressful but entertaining!
Still enthusiastic about the water, we undertook a Padi discover diving course. We had a briefing session beforehand (more than can be said for sailing!), and then we were suited and booted...quite literally. We each had a wet suit, boots, fins, a weight belt, a mask, a buoyancy jacket and a cylinder with the regulator (air supply) on. In the shallow water, we tested out the equipment and tried a few skills such as emptying our masks if they filled with water, and releasing the regulator and finding it again. Tasks completed, we then went out further into the ocean following our instructor. The fish and coral were great, and it definitely gave me a good taste of diving, and the enthusiasm to
go back for more!
Overall, my holiday involved a lot of relaxing by the pool, reading my book in the sunshine and unwinding..as well as active aquatic mornings! A perfect balance, and a great break from the fast pace of Hong Kong. Feeling refreshed and unwound, I'm ready to get back to the action!
There are more photos below