Christmas Break part 3: Boracay

Our third week of Christmas break was spent in a small island in Visayas – Boracay. This little island has been in the traveler’s spotlight for a while now – and has gotten a lot of buzz in the past couple of years. With buzz comes tourism and development, and with that places sometimes become less than desirable to be in for people who vacation like we do. It also usually means the nature is not going to be so natural and things will be overpriced. Much to our pleasure, Boracay still maintains some of the island charm that made it famous, despite the hoards of Russian tourists parading White Beach these days.

To get to Boracay we had to fly from Manila to either Caticlan or Kalibo. We chose Kalibo because it would save us about US$200, plain and simple. The airport is bigger and it actually accommodates international flights. (That doesn’t mean a whole lot, it’s still a pretty tiny airport). Flying to Kalibo does mean that to get to Boracay you have to add a 2 hour bus ride to your 10 minute boat ride.

We were flying PAL Express and could not find any indication on our plane ticket of where we needed to go to catch our flight. We couldn’t check in on the website either. What we had seen of the Manila airport looked small enough, so we assumed it was only one terminal. We headed there, only to find out that our flight was departing from Terminal 2 (according to a lady who looked it up on a record book – as in hard copy. Not a computer). The next natural question is “how do we get to Terminal 2?”. “You have to take a taxi”. Okay. We step outside and are told Terminal 2 is about 6kms and it would cost us PHP800 (“Whaaat? We paid PHP250 to get there!!!!! From the city”!!!!!). We finally find a metered taxi and off we go to battle Manila noon traffic. Our boarding time was slowly approaching.

We arrive to Terminal 2 and – get this – are told at the door that our flight leaves from Terminal 3. That’s right – we must take another cab. At that point we didn’t care a whole lot – we just wanted to make the flight. We find a taxi willing to work his meter and he gets us there about an hour before boarding.

Guess what? Our flight was delayed two hours.

Bottom line, we made our flight (one hour from Manila to Kalibo), get our bags, buy some bus tickets, and off we go on a Dominican style packed bus to Caticlan, to then catch the boat to Boracay. We got there pretty late in the end.
Luckily, directions to our hostel were not hard to find, so we unloaded and headed to the beach to find some food. We settled for some Thai.

The next couple of days basically consisted on sleeping in, grabbing some breakfast at Zest (they had real bacon, a rarity for us here in China – what we normally get looks more like ham), a little restaurant around the corner from our hostel (you can’t say no to PHP150 breakfasts!!), finding a spot on the beach, reading, going on the water, taking pictures, eating, drinking and relaxing.

There’s not a whole lot else to do.

The island has beaches for every taste – some with no waves (Diniwind), some others pretty rough (Puka). There is also Bulabog Beach for the water sports enthusiasts (especially the kiteboarders).

Here are some pictures. I have to find the rest on Cameron’s computer. The sunsets were spectacular.

We had a generous break over Christmas that we enjoyed very much. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to travel and explore the world. Thanks for following our adventures.

       
Yes, the water is that color pretty much all the time. And yes, I was very happy after 6 months of no ocean.                     

We’ll be sure to include some Boracay sunset captions for you. Cameron had a lot of fun playing with the camera on those. It made us realize he has outgrown his camera. Maybe.

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