Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Not so Beautiful Boracay

Our unplanned destination, Boracay, is a monument to overdevelopment. Hotels, bars, tacky shops and restaurants line the beach without a break. 4km of buildings! We were there in the low season and still the place was heaving. There were people everywhere! The photographers must have been up at dawn to take a picture of an empty beach for the postcards - which must be photoshopped as the sand is not that white or idyllic.

I know this sounds like a rant, which I guess it is, but there are a couple of good things about Boracay. Bbq fish, mango shakes, a couple of chillout bars with live music - so us girlies still had a good time - but I won't be rushing back there.
The fact that the police patrolled the beach on foot and on buggies also didn't endear me to the place any more. You have to wonder why. However, Lynsey did enjoy her lift home on one!

Perfect Planning

For the half term break I headed off to the Philippines with the girlies. After a night in Manila our destination was the island of Paluwan. Having studied our lonely planet and the map our plan was to fly into Roxas, travel to Port Barton for some snorkelling, diving etc then down to Sabang to see the underground river, before flying out of Puerto Princessa. Simple.

However, when we landed in Roxas our requests for a Jeepney to Port Barton were met with puzzled looks. We took out our trusty Lonely Planet to show them where we wanted to go at which point they started rolling with laughter. Never good. Apparently there are 4 places called Roxas in the Philippines and we were not on Palawan at all, but on the island of Panay instead.

After studying our trusty guide book we realised that our only option was to change our flights (we weren't going to be getting to Puerto Princessa) and jump on a bus then a boat to Boracay. Oh the best laid plans.....