Thursday, August 14, 2008

Headed to Paradise

Boracay is located off the island of Panay. In order to get there we had to fly from Manila to Kalibo in the Aklan province (where my family doctor is from) then take the bus to Caticlan. Then take a boat to the island and then a shuttle to the resort. It was an hour flight to Kalibo
We were staying at the Boracay Regency. It's one of the top two resorts on the island (the cheaper of the top two that is:). The flight was short. We went on Cebu Pacific Airlines. Kurt says it was on an Airbus. All I know is it was spacious, clean, and new looking. The flight attendants even had a little game show for us before we landed.

Landing in Kalibo was quite the experience. I could see rice paddies and river beds as we were coming in to land. It must have been low tide. I could see water buffalo and people working in the paddies. This is the kind of airport where they could be flight delays due to goats (or children) on the runway.

We had to walk off the plane onto the tarmac. We found the guy holding a sign with our name then we were immediately accosted by a porter who went off to find our luggage. A guy slapped a sticker on us. The sticker was to let the people know where it was we were to go. I felt pretty disoriented.

The bus ride to Caticlan was about 1.5 hours. We went through the fields and then up and down over two sets of mountains. Then we drove along the coast for while.
They made us get off the bus, get our luggage out of the hold, and then get back on the bus. All other passengers except for three got off the bus and stayed off. We were driven another quarter of a mile then told to get off the bus. More porters.

We were led down to the waterfront and escorted onto what I would call a dilapidated boat. It was a short ride over to Boracay. Then we were again accosted by porters and shoved into a van. It was hard to believe that we were in one of the world's top resort areas. After 5 or 10 minutes of dirt roads, chickens, goats and dirty children we turned off the main road onto another dirt road with a tree in the middle of it. Kurt looked at me incredulously, “tell me this isn't where we're staying!” I replied that I thought it was further ahead. I was feeling a little anxious at this point.

We pulled up to a nondescript entrance. Then we walked through the double doors into a beautiful lobby that open onto a gorgeous pool area.

We quickly got checked into a great room with a balcony overlooking another pool and with a view of the beach. The bed was soft. In order for the room to have electricity we had to put the key card in a little holder by the door. It had a chip in it that activated the power. Except for the fact that it meant the A/C went off when we left the room it was pretty cool.

We decided to walk around and find some food. Our package included the room, the transfers and breakfast and dinner, but no lunch. We walked out to the famous White Beach. It was gorgeous. The sand was soft and velvety. The water was aqua blue green and very clear. The beach was immaculate. People were sunbathing, para sailing, kite surfing. The was no pollution. Definitely paradise.

We ate at an outdoor place. Initially Kurt ordered Bangus, but then said “no” and ordered the shrimp. I ordered grilled squid. When it arrived we got all three. They must have thought what big fat piggy Americans we were. Good thing we got the bangus, I didn't like the squid. It had some horrible red sauce on it. Bangus is a fish. It was a flat fish. It tasted like steak. It was fantastic! I've been told it's a type of grouper.

After lunch we changed into our suits and hit the beach. I spent a lot of time in the water and poor Kurt tried to nap. He hadn't had a chance since we had to leave for the airport as soon as he got off work. Plus he had been fighting a cold/sinus infection for a few days.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing. Then we had dinner at the hotel's buffet. There were a lot of choices but neither of us ate much. A storm was blowing in during dinner. After we ate we went back to the room and called it an early night

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