There has been one thing missing during our Scuba diving trips into the sea and that is photos of beneath the waves. I had done a lot of recalculation of our budget and come to the rather giddy conclusion that we could afford to buy ourselves a GoPro thus ensuring a photographic record of our Scuba and Snorkelling trips as well. Everyone seemed to have some form of camera and we were to join these masses by buying one before our flight out.
Thus we found ourselves running to a shop not too far from our hotel to go and buy the said camera before then grabbing a taxi and hightailing it out of there to a new island – Palawan and its capital, Puerto Princesca. When we got to the camera shop we were actually too early as it had not yet opened. We were sure there was someone inside the shop but not someone interested enough to take our money this early in the morning after all there was still a whole 5 minutes until the shop was officially open! We popped over the road to the shopping mall to get some money and then came back to the shop to spend our money – life can be a bit like that really. So it was in one hand and out the other after our visit to the now open camera shop. Relieved of our money we sped back to the hotel and got them to call us a taxi which they duly did. Our first trip to Cebu we had a guy who was a frustrated racing car driver, this new guy was simply frustrating and at first in his car the traffic seemed to be coming to standstill then actually appeared to be moving in reverse and time was ticking for our flight! It got so serious at one point Liz asked him for assurances that we would reach the airport on time – I have realised a long time ago that getting people in hot countries to commit to responsibility is at best a fruitless exercise.
Needless to say, after much gnashing of teeth and cursing under our breaths, to which our taxi driver apparently being oblivious to it all – as well as much of what was going on on the road or so it seemed – we reached the airport and relaxed. Our flight was another one of those which was not too long and quite nice as you never reach altitudes whereby you cannot see the scenery below – an all round nice trip.
It was even better when we got off at Puerto Princesca as there was a lady holding a board up with our names on it and our new hotel – The Jungle Flower Guesthouse. Strange isn’t it just how seeing your name suddenly makes everything all right, now I know how luggage must feel when it is one of the last on the carousel and finally someone pops up from the crowd and claims it as their own! The lady went and grabbed a Tuk Tuk – none of us lugging around our backpack here, and we sped off towards our digs.
Our hotel was a bit off the usual tourist tracks as it actually seemed quite a way out of the town but as the things we wanted to do were in other parts of the island this would not be a problem. The first impression of our hotel was good, lots of colourful flowers and trees – a very nice Jungle Garden. Nearby were the usual neighbours the roosters but we were used to these by now (no we weren’t). The lady who showed us our room was very nice and explained how they sometimes had water shortages and power cuts but we were not to worry – our training at All Hands would come into good use here methinks!
As evening approached and the weather took a somewhat ominous turn, we took a wander along the track to the beach. This turned out to be quite a trek but a nice way to work up an appetite as we ended up at a beach hotel on the seafront.
We went for a short wander on the beach and saw an old lady collecting things into her bucket – for tea, I suppose.
The walk and the sea air had worked their wonders and we were getting hungry so we ordered and watched the local wildlife. This composed of older men and much younger Asiatic looking ladies an intriguing match. We were torn between watching these goings on and the sky which was starting to look quite threatening so after our meal and desert we decided to make our move home just in case the heavens opened, as when the heavens here they tend to throw everything at you. Our way was very dark and our room when we got there was very much the same due to a blackout but these things have to be expected every once in a while I suppose.