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Published: December 3rd 2012
We have been on the road exploring the world since August and quite frankly, we are tired. Mentally and sometimes physically we have extended ourselves for days on end, rarely staying in one spot longer than two or three nights. We did stay in Berlin six nights and truly enjoyed it. We do not seek sympathy, but only to provide a state of being as we begin the next segment of our adventure. It has been simply grand. All the fabulous things that we have seen and done sometimes surprise us. But it is now time for us to rest and relax before we re-enter the real world and go back to work, so after spending a few days in Manila with friends we headed to the islands to do nothing …….very slowly.
We want to slow our travels down and emulate taracloud
who seem to spend extensive time in an area and get to know it well. Always good to have role models.
A couple of things occurred while we were in Nepal that helped shape this portion of the trip. We had inferior Internet and when we were
making an attempt to book accommodations in the Philippines we were unable to get the web pages to open before we grew years older. So we knew we needed to take a different route. Plus after our illnesses in Nepal and Bhutan we decided this portion of the trip needed to be dramatically upgraded. We were feeling old, bruised and battered at the time.
Fortunately for us we have the world’s best travel agent in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania so we sent her a quick email outlining what we were looking for. The words comfort and luxury appeared several times in our email. A few days later when we had Internet again we logged on to find her suggestions. We quickly checked them out and approved. Angeline and her husband John always, always find us just what we are looking for! If you need a good agent send us a private message and we will provide you contact information. With the health issues we have suffered on this trip we wanted to know we had a spot on the beach waiting for us. Angeline did not disappoint. We were off to Malapascua Island.
We selected Malapascua
Lovely sea horse
Very big! 7 or 8 inches
Island as it is not on the tourist circuit and it is a bit of an adventure to get there. We flew from Manila about an hour south to Cebu, then took a taxi ride three hours north through the countryside to a tiny boat dock where we boarded a ten-foot boat that took us to our 45-foot boat. Thirty minutes later we are walking up the beach with our bags. The Tepanee Resort was to be our home for the next five nights. The use of the word “resort” is a bit of a stretch, but the digs were clean and comfortable. We had our own little hut facing the beach. The beach view is obstructed a bit by the swaying palm fronds but who can complain about that, given the soft breezes that float through them.
There are no cars on this island and with the size of the island there is no need. A scattering off bicycles and motorbikes seem to be all the transportation necessary. In all likelihood, you could walk around the entire island in a few hours. This is exactly what we needed!
our first two days glued to a beach chair staring at the Visayan Sea. We had two small islands to stare at and an occasional dive boat and fishing boat. We were in heaven. No schedule, no time line, no commitments.
We swam and floated in the sea for hours talking about past, present and future. We are water people. Our “resort” had eight beach chairs and umbrellas available for guest. They were rarely full so we felt like it was “our beach”. Other than a few construction noises, which were not bad, it was peaceful.
We’ve enjoyed talking to a variety of visitors to the island. We’ve made friends from Holland, Germany, Sweden, England and Australia. From our Australian friend we have learned that accommodations on the island go for 1,000 pesos to 7,000 pesos. This roughly equals $25 to $175 U.S. dollars. We met a couple of guys from England who have been on the island for a month. They leave tomorrow and are happy because they are a bit stir crazy.
We even got off our beach chairs long enough to do a little scuba
look closely, there are two.
diving. The Thresher Dive Shark shop took good care of us. They run a good organization. They have a dive master for every four guests. The dive masters spend a lot of time pointing out all of the fish and corals under the sea, which is always appreciated. We have to be honest. We are tired so we only did two dives, the shark dive and the lighthouse. Both were very nice and you can take a look at the photos. Normally we would dive a whole lot more, but these two dives were quite nice.
We’re thinking we got your attention in the title discussing “fish fornication.” The Lighthouse is a shallow night dive with two main attractions. The Mandarin fish come out as dusk presents itself and if you watch long enough you will see a mating dance. We were voyeurs of the sea and enjoyed this ritual. The other big pull for this dive site are the sea horses. We’ve seen them in the Caribbean but certainly nothing like this. These sea horses are LARGE, seven to eight inches. They come in yellow, green and black. We must have seen close to ten. It
was very exciting.
In the interest of full disclosure we did not take the underwater photos. They were taken by a gentleman from Denmark, Uwe Jacobs, who gave us permission to use them in any way we want. They are excellent photos so some of these will end up hanging on walls in our house….when we buy one of course.
Our favorite place is the “ Blue Coral Hotel Bar” for sunset. Happy hours are from 3pm to 7pm and the view is ……..well make up your own mind when you check out our sunset photos. San Miguel beer in bottles is only $1 during happy hours. This of course can make the view even better.
Seems every night is “happy hour” at the local watering holes. There is a floating party barge in the bay so we took a quick boat ride out there during happy hour. The music was loud and not really to our liking so Dave managed to get them to use songs from his Ipod and we listened to some Bob Marley. One quick drink was enough for us but when in Rome….check
out the local scene. The barge was about 30 feet by 30 feet and not crowded at all.
We were fortunate to have an excellent Italian restaurant next door to where we are staying so we had some new taste treats while we were here. Real Italian cuisine. Nice departure from the food we have been eating. The quality of the food was quite good.
There are several dogs running free on the island but as animal lovers we are happy to report they look clean and well cared for and a couple of them have on flee collars.
Fortunately for us the roosters on the island are not near our hotel so they do not wake us. When we got up early for the shark dive (445am) we could hear them singing in the distance. Not sure why they were singing that early when the sun had not started to rise. Guess they just wanted an early start to the day.
We have read other favorite travel bloggers like Donna and Neil
who have visited this island in years gone past and understand that it is more developed than
when they were here. Since we didn’t see it in those days we can’t comment but will tell you we really enjoyed our time on this island. It gave us what we were looking for and we felt isolated. We were happy with the diving. Uwe did thirty dives while on the island this time and feels the diving on Malapascua is some of the best in the Philippines. We can’t attest to that as this is the only place we are diving but you may want to check it out.
If you are looking for peace and quiet this island should be consider.
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