A ‘Grueller’ of a trip and bad news from back home – Day 128 – 26 May

We had a bit of an early start this morning as we had to walk from our guesthouse to the El Nido ferry terminal to catch the boat that would take us over to Coron. The walk was not far but our backpacks made it seem a good deal further. We knew the trip would be hard work (a grueller) as we had been told an estimated travel time of between six and eight hours. The terminal was quite small and again the ‘luggage’ that people were transporting was quite different to back home – more roosters and other ‘live’ goods.

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One of these is the ‘Rock’ we actually climbed! I was still shaking the next day!

The terminal was one of those places where you have a feeling that you would be a lot better informed if only you knew a little of the local lingo, as it were. Shouted instructions were being issued by the staff resulting in people clutching tickets moving around at a great pace but nothing seemed to be aimed at us. We even tried asking the ladies behind the counter but unless they actually want you, they are not really all that communicative. I think they impart information on a ‘need to know’ basis and until three seconds before we needed to get on the boat, we did not actually fall into this category.

The boat was not exactly luxury but at least there was plenty of room on board. We had no safety talk but we had so many lifejackets that we were able to each grab a couple and use them as makeshift bedding. We needed to as the trip was mainly sea with the odd island to view but although however it was sunny and calm just not that interesting so sleep was the best alternative. When it fell upon us though it was in fits and starts. The journey time was just over the eight hours expected and during the voyage our boat seemed to be labouring along somewhat so we spent much of the journey time hoping that it would not break down – even in out dreams I expect.

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Me dreaming of being ‘all at Sea’ – which I was!

After seemingly approaching several islands to confuse us we finally reached Coron – hoorah! We soon disembarked and a tuk tuk driver who also offered to be our guide for the next year or so, took us to our hotel. Here we had already been downgraded from our room ‘the Delux’ to a different room ’the Standard’ but only for one night – if you read any more of my blog just remember this was the first room we stayed in (hint).

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The ‘civilisation’ that is Coron – top place to take your pigs out for a drive!

Arriving at Coron and ‘civilisation’ also meant that we had returned to the realms of being contactable and it turns out my sister Bev had been trying to get hold of me, so first things first I thought I had better ring her and find out what it was she was after. Bad news I am afraid, my father had died. It sounds a bit tragic and I suppose in some ways it is. He left us a long time ago and had very little to do with us after leaving as he had continued his relationship with ‘the bottle’. He was an alcoholic and as a family we all knew that at some point the drink or smoking would probably kill him. Now I write this as part of my blog with mixed emotions as he was and always will be my Dad and in that department he was a bit of a failure but on the other hand he was also an anti- role model in some respects and I think in some ways he has made me a better person. I am probably doing the amazing things I am in part due to not wanting to be like him. So I feel everyone has a part to play somewhere but sometimes it just takes that little bit longer to see it, so rest in peace Dad wherever your are!

It was bad news but then I had not spoken to him for a very very long time so I am not sure whether I went for a haircut and a couple of beers to just ‘carry on’ I suppose. Now it may seem a bit unusual at this point but the haircut does deserve a special mention as it was carried out by a transgendered person – man to woman – how could I tell, well she was 6ft and had the biggest hands and feet I had seen but also a slightly gruff voice as well but you cannot fault her/him – be whatever you want to be and to hell with the consequences I suppose and perhaps that was my Dad’s motto as well eh!

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