The overnight ferry was not too bad and although we had set off behind schedule we must have been travelling on some downhill portion of the sea as we hit Manila on time – hoorah! The young guy from our cabin asked if we wanted to share a tuk tuk to the main post office which almost went to plan, that is until the trike actually ran out of petrol just a street away from the building we wanted.
Regular readers may remember that due to some earlier shenanigans involving Air Asia (Boo) I had managed to have my card cancelled so had to have a new one shipped out to the main post office in Manila – easy eh? Well first we had to set up a PO box there before we left it the first time we visited, now it should be full of my card and more birth control pills for my Chicky (Hoorah [again])! It was with great trepidation that we went down to the cellars where the PO boxes were and, bear in mind if our parcel had not arrived it would mean that we would have to come back early from our trip up north to Luzon to check the box out again OR the parcel to us had not been delivered – even worse! However, our fears turned out to be unfounded as the box was full of our loot – hooray for post offices and post-people everywhere and thanks to Ma and Pa in-laws for their valuable help!
Now we just needed to get to Vigan the next stop in our journey which, if we could now get to the bus depot in time, would ‘just’ mean a journey of ten hours. We needed a taxi fast and our flagging down techniques obviously did not look rich enough for the Manilan taxi drivers as they kept passing us by. We finally managed to walk a bit further along and at last got one to stop but he was a slowie and time was a ticking. That said, we still got to the depot by the skin of our teeth only to be told that the bus we wanted had broken down and was presently being fixed so only the mid-afternoon bus was available, this means that if we were lucky we would arrive at Vigan midnight – argh!
We now had some time to kill so had a very cheap bite to eat at the diner in the bus station which did a fine line in fine dining – NOT. No but what the food lacked in flavour was more than made up for by the rustic charm of the place! We then camped out in a nearby Jollie Bee as they had free wifi and made a couple of cups of tea last for ages, testing their patience and our resolve methinks.
It was finally our turn to board the bus so we shuffled back to the station and boarded and although it was not one of the most comfortable journeys we had been through worse. We were looking forward to Vigan as it had a good reputation as being a picturesque little town full of Spanish-style houses. On the journey out from Manila we saw quite a few volcano shaped hills in the distance as we travelled by coach, they surely do not have volcanoes to put up with along with typhoons, hurricanes and the like!
I would love to say that the journey stood out in my mind but we were absolutely knackered so you tend to be in some kind of living dead state in which various shapes of things pass the windows by you but you struggle to understand what you have seen. Therefore, on our bus trip I do not remember much but I do remember a long bridge and us stopping near a place which seemed to be doing midnight surfing – or perhaps midnight starving lol but this was probably just my delirium setting in! We did, after this very long long journey, finally reach Vigan and it was yet another one of these situations where the trike driver is caught between telling you a massive fib, for which being Catholic he shall probably go to hell and the need to extract money from you. We paid slightly over the odds for our shortish ride to our hotel but not by too much, soap bit of a result there. More worryingly however was the fact that the hotel was in complete darkness – not even the sign was on outside the place! We had to do quite a bit of knocking to wake the young lady up who appeared to be asleep in the breakfast room on the floor. They certainly are committed these girls or perhaps very poor and need the work, not sure which. Once in our room we dropped onto our beds in a nice enough looking room ready to attack Vigan tomorrow when we awoke.