Another Hell Bus

Puerto Princesa Travel Blog

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the 7AM bus

We decided to not do island-hopping in Honda Bay and go straight to El Nido instead. So, we checked out of Payuyo at 5.15 in the morning to catch the 6AM bus to El Nido. The San Jose Bus Terminal was pretty far from the city proper, so we had to commission a tricycle to take us there for P40, which is less than a dollar. Not bad.

When we got to the terminal, we found out that the first trip already left at 5AM, and the next one would be leaving at 7. So, we had more than an hour to wait before we start rolling. I tried to get some sleep but people started coming in, and with them came noises. Well, I'll just save the sleeping for later! I was starting to have a bad feeling about the bus, though.
ew just ew
I don't know why, but thoughts of the hell bus from Vientiane to Hanoi kept flashing in my head.

After the bus was filled with people, and its roof with baggage (backpacks, boxes, rice bags, you name it), we started moving. Oh boy, I'm not gonna enjoy this...

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Seb and I were seated next to 2 beautiful girls, Tessa from Holland, and Jen from Ireland. So, the four of us alternately chatted with each other (whoever was awake), and I guess we helped keep our sanity for the 8-10 hours of travel ahead of us.

The first few hours were pretty good, actually. Paved road, spectacular views, cool breeze, fresh air. I loved it! On one side was Honda Bay, and on the other were thickly-forested mountains.
Seb et moi
The views switched places every now and then, the island being narrow. Then came the tough part - for the next 5-6 hours, were treated to unpaved, dusty, pothole-infested, winding, bumpy road, which rose and fell steeply in many parts. We also miraculously crossed narrow wooden bridges over shallow creeks without toppling over. Miraculous, indeed.

However, despite all of these, and unlike in that Vientiane hell bus, I didn't feel harassed in this one. Maybe because I was in my turf, and that I could understand what the people were talking about? Yeah, that must be it. Made things a bit better for me, but as for my European friends, it didn't make a difference, of course. Poor people, I'm sure they were asking themselves what they're doing there. But I think, like me, they know the delicious price that lay ahead.
take me home, country road
With that in mind, we survived.

From time to time, the bus stopped to drop off people and cargo, which were quickly replaced by more people and cargo. No wonder the trip took longer than it should. We even had a flat-tire incident, so all of us had to get off the bus, in the middle of nowhere, while the men replaced the tires. All guidebooks mentioned how tough the road can be, and that getting stuck in the mud (during rainy days) or getting a flat tire occurs regularly, so of course it had to happen to us! Who are we to be exempted from the fun? Still, it felt surreal.

Finally, after 20 minutes, we moved on. No more flat tires, please!

JeAr says:
oui, c'est vrai... j'espere que il a beaucoup des photos que je peux partager ici...

desole, mon francais est mal :(
Posted on: Nov 27, 2008
bernard69 says:
Thanks for sharing,we are waiting for your pics,mais j'ai cru comprendre que c'├ętait ton copain Sebastian qui les avait!:)
Posted on: Nov 27, 2008
JeAr says:
Apo: Ay don't worry, tapos na tong entry na to hahaha!

James: Yeah, those girls rock!
Posted on: Nov 27, 2008
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the 7AM bus
the 7AM bus
ew just ew
ew just ew
Seb et moi
Seb et moi
take me home, country road
take me home, country road
dusty road
dusty road
dusty feet
dusty feet
uh oh, were in trouble
uh oh, we're in trouble
the solution to the crisis
the solution to the crisis
its so... tiring
it's so... tiring
uhm, house?
uhm, house?
uhm, house?
uhm, house?
Puerto Princesa
photo by: tj1777