We arrived in Calapan today after a two-hour Jeepney ride from Sabang (one Jeepney change in Puerto Galera). The road was okay but had some rough dusty bits and was very windy.
I was feeling a little car sick when we arrived and it was the hottest part of the day, siestas time it was. After our nap we headed out to explore Calapan. Started walking to the Pier but it turned out to be further than expected so we got a tour of the town on a Trik.
Calapan is the capital of the second province on Mondoro. The main town is away from the pier and is just another city. No beaches to speak of. Just another city.
We stayed at the Ricelands II Inn just off the main drag. Was okay with a nice restaurant with good food. We scored a room with air-con, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. Luxury…..
So tomorrow we have decided to head straight for Pinamalayan ready for the Thursday morning Bangka to Marinduque Island and more beaches.
Decided to take an air-conditioned mini van to Pinamalayan over the Jeepney. Cost was only 20PP (50 cents) more in the van so a no brainer. We were stuffed in the van like sardines but at least it was cool. Arrived at 12:30pm so off to the local café for lunch and back to the room for siesta.
We are staying at the Blue Waves Hotel (no air-con or TV just fans) on the beach just down from the pier. We are on the first floor with a little balcony overlooking the beach and it catches the cool sea breeze nicely. Also the Trik man gave us a free ride to the hotel. When we told him where we were going said why go there, as there is nothing there. That was music to our ears as this is what we are looking for.
The beach here is the black volcanic sand so very hot during the day and also makes the water quite dirty at the shoreline so not good for swimming. But at about 4:30pm all the locals arrived for the cool sea breeze and stayed till well after dark to eat, swim and just chill.
Pinamalayan is a largish fishing village with two Bangka’s that go to Marinduque so is our kind of village. We walked round the town and it has everything including a couple of ATMs so we are all cashed up for the next few weeks now. All we want is a Pinamalayan with a white sandy beach. We are getting closer……
There was also a festival down by the pier tonight. Had a DJ for all the local young kids. Was great to watch and seeing everybody having a great time. The Philippinos like do like their dancing and Karaoke. Oooohhh and their food. Haven’t had a bad meal yet.
Early start tomorrow as the Bangka leaves at 8:00am ish. When we arrived at the pier today to checkout the Bangka the crew offered us the night on the Bangka for free if we wanted it. Let me tell you the only way I would be sleeping on that boat would be in a dry dock.
Well we made it on board the cargo Bangka with all the chickens, rice, salt, Bananas, Mangos, wedding presents & dress, other stuff and all the other passengers. You had to get aboard via a dingy which ferry’s you to the Bangka and you then climb aboard with all your gear. Guy tested the boarding process with a bit of twirl as she boarded which had all the Bangka boys hauling her aboard.
Leisurely 3 hours cruise across the bay with the occasional flying fish showing us a display of their talents. These fish are amazing. They come up out the water and glide a foot or so about the waves for a 100m or so. They also bounce off the waves to keep going. Quite entertaining.
Arrived at Gasan and the chaos of unloading continued. All these tiny Bangka’s pull up next to the boat and you throw your gear in with yourself and off to the wharf where you have the boys haul you and your gear up the 5 foot high wall. They even managed to get two new 175cc motorbikes on and off the Bangka with this process.
Guy had a good chat to two locals on the way over and we got some good advice on the island.
Today we meet up with Charlin and her husband Joseph (he’s American) who are staying at the same hotel as us. The story is that Guy started corresponding with her via the Internet via the Marinduque website. Her and hubby work in Seoul, Korea, but own a house (where her mum & dad and two brothers and sister live) just down the road from the hotel. As there is a festival in town (see the pic) the tradition is to watch the parade and then have a big cook up and share all the food with friends and family.
Charlin was very gracious in inviting Guy and I along to meet all her family and enjoy some fantastic food. Once again I can’t say enough on how friendly and sharing the people are here. But Guy said that it is traditional hospitality that is being shown to us by the locals and something that happens everywhere in the Philippines.
Well a bit of a sleep in today. Got up at midday, had breakfast in bed (nuts & Polvoron (local thing)), sent this email, then time for siesta till after 3 ish.
Going into Boac later to catch-up with one of Guy’s friend’s husband who has arrived for his school reunion. Also checking out the local tourist centre about home stay on the island (Like B&B in Aus).
Well siesta time.
Take care all.
From a very relaxed Trevor & Guy.