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Published: December 4th 2012
Looking for shellfish at low tideKM 375
This was taken in the early morning hours just off the coast in the Central Philippines. While there were many people out on this morning, this boy had a certain intensity to him.
So far, the trip has been better than I expected. The food has been good (how can one go wrong with all of this seafood) and accommodations are much better than I thought (I read the wrong blog on Crazy Guy on a BIke in preparing for this trip). Roads initially looked good, but the last couple of days have changed that. I can only hope it changes again for the rest of the trip.
My second riding day got off to a good start for the first 55 kms. I knew I was going to have to climb today, but I didn't realize it was going to also be with bad roads. Much of the second half of the ride today was amongst construction with some roads in horrible condition. I actually nearly came off my bike once with some loose gravel. I also ran out of gas in my legs and crawled in for the last 40 kms. The headwind I had most of the day didn't help either.
The most random moment of the day had to have been the festival I stumbled across (this was a national holiday). The main attraction was a
cockfighting arena. By the number of people with roosters, it looked like this was a long day for the birds. The men (no women in these stands) were quite into it and you could see lots of money being wagered. There were also some gambling going on in coin-flipping circles nearby. I didn't stay too long, as I had left my bike unattended.
I am always amazed at when I come to Asia to see the number of children. It has been that way for nearly 25 years I have been visiting this region. The demographics are so different than back home for us.
It can take a week to get fully acclimatized with a new country. There is so much to learn, as nearly every country does things a bit differently. For example, I have been a bit frustrated with the menus here, as too many of the dishes are made for two or three people.
On my third riding day, I knew I had a light day from a distance standpoint, but by the time I started I still wasn't sure how I was going to get to the island of Inampulugan. It had been
frustrating dealing with all of the resorts on the island. Very few even have websites. You are lucky if they even have a Facebook page. I am not sure how you run a tourist business these days without a website.
I knew I was struggling again not far past 20 kms. The ride yesterday had taken its toll on me. I also had a headwind again today.
The Philippines are full of small bakeries. Every town seems to have at least one and they have become a staple of my early morning. The only problem is that the bread here is so sweet and many of them having fillings to them.
When I was within 5 kms of the port where I knew I was suppose to get to for a boat ride, my phone rang! This is the first time it had rang since I bought my SIM card. I even had a couple of text messages. It was Costa Aguada trying to get in touch with me to coordinate a boat ride over to the resort. The phone was finally doing for me what it was suppose to be doing.
Unfortunately, there is no
regular service to Inampulugan Island, so I basically had to charter a boat. A small boat with a crew of five showed up an hour later to pick me up. I am glad the waters weren't too rough, as I am not sure how safe I would feel in a boat like this in those conditions. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the manager and two security guards with shotguns… Not quite the welcome I was expecting. It was even a bit comical watching the security guards handle their shotguns while helping bring in the boat -- not very safe in my books.
The resort was huge but deserted… A better name for it would be the ghost resort. There were only six other people there for the first day and only me for the second day. This is for a place that had 68 huts. The resort had been built in 1990 for much bigger purposes. There was at one time a little zoo, vegetable garden, turtle pond, etc. I really wonder with all of the overhead here whether it will be open much longer. The manager, Vic, told me that they had planned to build a
small airport on the other side of the island, which would have made a big difference, as getting here is big ordeal -- especially if you are coming from the other side near Iloilo.
On my second day, I really didn't do much other than relax and sleep. My body needed it after that last few days on the bike. The meals were good, but relatively expensive. The staff were friendly and helpful. I even had a lady come down from the village to give me a massage both days.
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