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Day 79- 85: Being ill while traveling sucks!

Coron, back to Manila & Philippines Roundup- it's more fun in the Philippines!


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20 February to 24 February- Coron; well the little we saw of it!
After our failed attempt yesterday we were determined to put on a brave face and get on the ferry today. I believed the ferry was 3.5 hours and I was worried about that, I get travel sick easily and I was already feeling sick. Boarding the ferry, my worry all over the place; trying to locate toilets or sick bags. Five and a half hours later, some very unnerving moments and half a boat full of people having puked we got to Coron. It really did feel like an ordeal for both of us and I am not quite sure how I was in the half of the boat that managed to keep their breakfast down.

Off the boat the usual harassment from every trike driver in Coron started. Feeling the way we did we couldn't even be bothered to haggle even though we knew the price was again ridiculous. Once checked in to our hostel our mission was complete and we both collapsed on to our beds to remain there for pretty much solidly for the next three days. Feeling like I would pass out if I stepped away from the fan; nauseous and migraine added to the mix. Late afternoon we tried a stroll but had to head back not too long after. Early evening we plucked up the courage again and decided to try and go out for dinner. Andy was feeling better and I was feeling guilty he had to stay in with me rather than exploring but he insisted. With us both tenderly sharing a pizza (the first thing we’d eaten in 48 hours), we hoped tomorrow would be a better day. Walking up on day three (day two in Coron) still feeling awful but craving an omelette we made it out for a little bit of breakfast.

Something still wasn't right though and I just couldn't deal with being vertical. So again it was back to the hostel. We must have looked like such bums to everyone else but my body wouldn't let me do what I wanted. Although Stew seemed better he kept having little moments himself, probably due to the lack of food and fluids. We used our sick days to catch up on blog, tv shows and plan our South Korea trip (annoyingly after booking our fights and hostels we saw they have the virus on the rise- need to keep an eye on it and hope it calms down before the end of March).

Due to being cooped up all day and feeling peckish Stew wanted some dinner so made it to a Thai place, I had a bottle of water while he ate, then all of a sudden felt drastically worse. Out of nowhere, whatever had been making me feel sick came up. Now, I’ve been sick in the street before, however, you don’t realize how undignified it is until it happens when you’re sober! Amazingly, I felt instantly better, although skeptical it could just be a short relieve.

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Thankfully, walking up on our third day in Coron I felt a lot better but we decided to try and take it easy, just a little walk around the town and see the area. Andy managed to pick up a bracelet he had been eyeing for a few days from back in El Nido and he was pretty happy with his purchase and the price. Later after finding the perfect restaurant to watch the sunset we ate dinner. Although, the waitress ruined our moment by coming back twice to say what Andy had ordered wasn’t available, at the exact moment the sun went down. It was such a beautiful view too.

Having eaten our mediocre meals we went in search of a new bar to meet Patrick and Lizzy. The bar we ended in was decorated pretty cool with tree branches all of the walls and ceiling with dream catchers and the likes hanging down, and a band setting up to play. It was great to catch up with them both and compare El Nido experiences and just learning more about their lives back home.

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Our last day before catching the ferry back to Manila was mainly spent trying to download films for the ferry journey and packing our bags. Our ticket said we had to be at the ferry port 4 hours before departure!! This seemed crazy, especially since the other ferry’s we’d been on only had an hour prior to departure. We obliged, getting through security to a hot waiting room... that was empty, no one else had come so early. Getting annoyed we half watched some weird Chinese film they were showing, half continuing to catch up with the blog (it’s amazing how long it takes when you get a few weeks behind).

Finally half an hour before we were due to leave they started boarding (annoying we’d sat here unnecessarily for 4 hours). The whole process was strange, they forced everyone in to two lanes, male and female. Then you had to put your bags down and set away from them. We stood there for about ten minutes before two dogs walked between all the bags for security check before getting on the ferry. Once on the ferry, which looked more like I imagine a cheap cruise ship would be like, our tickets were taken from us and we were told we’d be checked in (we had a four bedroom cabin on this boat), twenty minutes later the guy came back and showed us to our room- a simply room, similar to a travelodge with bunk beds.

After putting our bags down went for a look around and find where we get our prepaid dinner from. Lining up for the canteen we waited another ten minutes before being told we had food in the premium dining room- fancy! Annoyingly our two options for food didn’t look as good as the sweet and sour chicken they were serving in the canteen. The service was great, bringing us drinks, soup starter, fruit salad desert. The food, as with the rest of the Philippines, was ok. Settling in for the night we watched a film, testing out how noise cancelling our headphones are. Turns out, pretty good! There was a band playing right next to us (Andy could probably stick his arm out and touch the guitar player) and we couldn’t hear a thing over our film!

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25-26 February- Manilla again
A decent nights sleep, although awoken in the night to someone sleeping in our room that shouldn’t have been (and they stole the duvet from my bed!), an announcement was made about 5.30am that we were getting ready to dock and to leave the cabins.

The process for getting off the ferry was just as strange as getting on, women had to go one way and men another, unsure where we were being led, they came out at stairs next to each other. The women had a human chain of about 10 men handing the women’s luggage down, the men on the opposite stairs had to carry their own. The sexist culture in this country is so strange to us, when we walk in shops they address Andy first, at a restaurant they will ask the money from Andy, at markets if I say no they will turn to Andy like he is the real decision maker.

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Back to Manila again, back to the same hostel again. We didn’t have much planned for the next few days, get our laundry done and get a hair cut for Andy. The city seems much nicer this time round, there isn’t as much pollution in the air and it’s not as humid. Right now, as I write this we have finally caught up on blog and now waiting for our 1am flight to Japan!! We look forward to what wonders await in our 4th country!

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Philippines Roundup!

So after five weeks in Philippines (and with this entry being pretty dull) we thought we’d share our favorites and dislikes with you:

Food- our conclusion Filipinos don’t know good food. All the meat dishes are made from bad fatty cuts and most dishes lacked flavour. We liked the pork sisig and the Adobe, both dishes we will try and make back home but on the whole, food was a bit dull. Also, the inconvenience of not having knifes in the country is just annoying. How do you cut up a fatty pork steak with a spoon?!? Also, everything has sugar in, why is their bread sweet?!

After three months away from home; I’m massively craving a Sunday roast (one like this bad boy we made for Christmas 2018) with some honey roast carrots, some crispy roast potatoes and some big fluffy Yorkshire puddings, with a cup of tea and a big dairy milk bar (or mums apple crumble!). Andy wants a greasy fry up!

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Islands- easy, Siquijor was both of our favorites, so much adventure and natural beauty and the best snorkel spots we’ve come across on the trip. Such colorful reef! On the whole, the island isn’t very touristy yet so it’s a nice way to learn about the locals life.

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Least favourite- again joint agreement that Boracay was the worst, with El Nido a close second. I think the expectation from social media vs reality is non comparable. Both areas are too busy, purposefully created for the tourists and generally nothing too special about either. Having said that, the big lagoon was incredible, just wish we had it too ourselves rather than sharing with hundreds of other tourists.

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Accommodations- we’ve stayed in some incredible guest houses and hostels and only one or two bad ones. When we first arrived we were unsettled by the lack of lockers for our stuff but came to realize lockers just aren’t a thing here, some of the places we’ve stayed you can’t even lock the door. It’s amazing how quickly you adapt to things like this and by the end you just don’t expect it.

Stew is torn between favorites; Antwet in Dumaguete for the vibe, the hostel itself was almost beyond basic but the bar area and the other travelers definitely gave the place a great feel. With his other favourite being the most recent we’ve stayed in Manila, Zula hostel. It was so good we actually stayed here twice; when we first got to Manila and on our return. It was a great hostel! Mine would have to be Villa Milanese Garden Resort in Port Barton (what a mouthful), just rows of cute little huts and hammocks to waste your days away in. Unfortunately we only spent one night here and couldn’t make the most of the place.

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Miscellaneous;
•We found the extreme sexism quite strange (as stated in one of our most recent blogs),
•We quickly adapted to arriving somewhere and haggling over 50p for a trike to take you to your accommodation. Throwing our bags in the back and cramming in the front of the side cart and off you go. The majority of them so old and rickety there was times I had to form a contingency plan incase it fell apart so i wouldn’t end up under the motorbike.
•Likewise when in a market, learning to haggle over a couple of pounds, mainly because it’s expected. Most of the products are cheap to begin with but a skill we’ve both become better at over the last five weeks.
•They simply don’t have sweets, they have shelves and shelves of different types of marshmallow but no sweets!
•You can buy rum for £2 a bottle!
•Roads simply aren’t built, just rubble which makes everything so dusty and dirty but adapt so quickly it’s strange being in Japan where they have real roads.
•There’s no communication with service, you just do what they tell you and go where they tell you when they tell you, without having a clue what’s going on (see our bus journey from Puerto Princesa to Port Barton)
•Hiring scooters from some random little shop, handing your passport over and riding off with a helmet unsuitable for a push bike let alone a moped.

In conclusion, we spent the last five weeks in Paradise, passing days snorkeling or wondering through markets or whizzing around islands on motorbikes, what could be better. We’re now super excited to be in the weird and wonderful Japan, although not so excited about how cold it is when we packed for 9 months of summer.

Cheers Philippines you've been great!!

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Posted by Bears on Tour 04:35 Archived in Philippines

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