06.01.2009 28 °C
We got up at 6am yesterday after another restless night. Our boat for Port Barton was leaving at 7am for the 2 1/2 hour journey up the coast. We turned up at the wharf at about 6:30am to the usual chaos.
"Jeepney being loaded with motorcycle at the wharf....they just threw it up there"
It became pretty clear we weren't leaving at 7am, but by 8am we had boarded a boat with 4 rotund Swedish guys, a German guy and a German couple on their honeymoon. If there were ever stereotypes of those two countries they were on our boat this morning. As the German's tried to crack jokes in broken English and chortle to themselves, the Swede's loaded there crate of beer on and proceeded to bask in the sun and drink it. I half expected them to break out their collapsable sauna. They were a nice enough bunch though.
Once we'd all boarded and wedged ourselves in...the guy next to me asked the driver if we were going...all I heard was we're waiting for 6 more (there wasn't room for one more let alone 6)! As the 6 turned up on the wharf a general standoff occurred with the 7 of us on the boat determined not to let anyone else on and the 6 on the wharf determined that they be given another boat. At this point it got really complicated, as between the 13 of us we were going to 3 different destinations, so they wanted some of us to get off and get on another boat (which as of yet, wasn't there) and some of them to get on this boat etc etc. After a few moments of stalemate between us, the 6, and the boatmen trying to sort it out...they wanted Kim and I and a few others to get off and onto the non existent boat but we weren't moving as it was bound to mean another few hours wait.... I suddenly realized that the situation didn't need to be complicated at all, and I think the guy next to me had the same revelation. As I shouted "well I'll just have my money back", he simultaneously said "I think we need to talk about money then" and suddenly the engines started and we were on our way!
I thought about feeling bad for the 6 left behind, but then they shouldn't have been over an hour late.
The crossing was...well...wet. The boats are just small outriggers and the seas are pretty choppy offshore, so ever few seconds a wave comes over the side. After 2 hours we pulled into a bay on an island, Cacnipa, just off the mainland, with one small resort, Coconut Gardens, nestled just back from the beach. It's very desert islandy. The 3 Germans were staying here. As we jumped off onto the beach for a pit stop, Kim and I were approached by another Swedish couple who had been staying there. They gave us the low down that Port Barton was very like Sabang, and that they'd immediately left there and come to this island. They said it was a lovely resort with great food, so Kim and I didn't take long to decide that we were going to stop for a few nights.
We have a nice, airy little room on the beach front, with a flushing toilet and cold running water! ahh the luxury of it! And it's only something like $11 a night. There's even a little electricity on and off throughout the day. It's still pretty hot trying to sleep in there....no fan/air conditioning etc....but it's a huge step up from Sabang. The resort seems pretty full, all Westerners, no locals. This also backs up my theory so far that it's the locals who are mainly ruining this country...there are none here as I said, and this is the first place we've been since arriving in the country that is pristine...no trash, everything in good order and well kept.
The food is not bad at all. You can get some nice eggs for breakfast and they bake their own bread. For dinner you have a choice of maybe 10 items that you order during the day and then it's all cooked and ready for you sometime between 6 and 7pm.
I'm not sure how long we'll stay here, but neither of us feels like moving on at the moment. I suspect we'll stay here until the 1st Jan and then head on to El Nido in the north.