Preparing the fields
this point I have been on sort of the tourist trail. But no more. The town of San Jose is not full of
European tourist which got an unfortunate effect on the selection for breakfast
at the joint we find to have breakfast at. Up to this point I have been able to
avoid rice as part of my breakfast diet. But no more - there is no way around
it today - if I want breakfast I need to have rice as well. And come on rice is
ok to go along with your dinner and even your lunch. But breakfast!! There is
no way that a rice as part of the breakfast meal can be a part of a healthy
diet - I want some bread, cereal or maybe even yogurt. But no rice.
breakfast place does not comply with my wishes. I have to go with rice an egg
and some pork of some sort. Jordan
will skip the port being vegetarian.
VEGETARIAN. What is wrong with those
stupid Americans why won't they just grow up and eat proper food like the rest
of us? You need meat to survive. Well we get the rice and the eggs. My pork does
not arrive. After a few minutes I realize it is not likely to arrive and
instead of complaining I go vegetarian as well.
heading to the bus terminal we need to stock up on cash. It is really annoying
travelling in Palawan nobody takes credit card
without a huge commission and there are no banks where you can get cash. In
many places the only place you can change money is at the pawnshop and the
exchange rate they offer at the pawnshops make there 1 percent per week
interest on loans seem like pure charity. But San Jose is the big town in this part of the
world and it got a bank so we can take full advantage of the ATM.
manage to be at the bus terminal way before the scheduled departure time of 8.
And hey everybody knows the buses in this part of the world will not depart at
time. We get in the bus and await the 8.30-8.45 departure time. At 8 sharp the
bus leaves the terminal. Third time in a row I am on a bus leaving at the scheduled
departure time. Is there a pattern to this? Nha it gotta be a strange
coincidence no pattern here. Just after the bus has left the terminal and gone
like 20 meters
down the road we stop to pick up the first extra passenger. I mean why would
you go all the long long way to the terminal when you can just stand 20 meters from the
entrance to the terminal and flag down the bus when it leaves? A few more stops
as we go another 30 meters
down the road and then we start making progress to get out of town.
North Pandan Island - home sweat home
As we go we
can see all the different rice paddies along the road and the preparation to
plant the next crop of rice for the year. I spend the time hanging out the
window trying to take a decent picture of the many kolabaws we pass along the
road. Considering the number we see it should be an easy task. But it is not it
is really hard to get the timing right and get a close-up shot of one of them. I
make a countless number of failed attempts.
go on only interrupted by a single comfort stop. Until we puncture. I am not
too bothered by this - after all on my previous two trips in buses in the Philippines
they managed to get three punctures. But Jordan is at first a bit concerned
given it is his first time in a local bus.
But of course they just change the
very old punctured tyre with a tyre which seems to be even older.
We get to a
town. It seems like a big town. The conductor has not mentioned anything about
this being our stop so we assume we are supposed to continue. And Jordan says the
bus goes straight to the pier. This is actually correct. The bus does go
straight to the pier - unfortunately it is the pier with the boats to Batangas
and not the pier in Sablayan where we need to get of. Just to double check we
ask one of the passengers where we are. Sablayan. Ok we better ask the
conductor as well. And sure this is our stop. We get our backs quickly and get
out of the boat to go to the pier in Sablayan.
Strings around the rotor.
finally at the last leg of the journey to get to North Pandan
Island the main hopping
of point to go to Apo Reef. We have been travelling for a day and a half to get
here and yeah we are a bit excited about the prospects. We get on a tiny boat
which got some severe engine problems and the engine manage to die there times
on the ½ hour trip. But no worries our boat man got it all covered and no just
which strings to pull to let in a bit more air or gas or whatever it is he need
to let into the engine. And the rotor of the boat is a piece of work as well. It
is just another string going round a block of wood connected to the steering
wheel which appears to be taken from an old beat-up car. Fortunately the inspection
of ships in Sablayan is not too strict because there is no way this boat could
pass any kind of seaworthiness test. But we do make it safely across the water
to North Pandan Island
where we may have got a reservation - or maybe we don't have a reservation - it
is not entirely clear but it is low season so we will be ok.