We finally got on the boat the next day and it turned out to be an interesting experience. Instead of 3 hours (like the ticket guy told us), it was 7 hours in a 13-person banka. The banka was quite ok, but when it started raining the trip became a really wet experience. But the only option of getting to an airport is either taking the “bus-from-hell” ride back to Puerta Princesa, or take the 7 hour banka ride to Coron.
After 7 wet hours on the boat, we arrived Coron.
Coron is a sleepy town but well known for the many Japanese ship wrecks. So a lot of divers come here all year around. The wrecks are from 25 to 45 meters, so a little too deep for me yet. But hopefully I will return one day for diving here. We arrived in the afternoon and tried to find some accommodation. But it was really hard to find and we had to go for a cheap and a little noisy room. But it was only for one night. Dinner in the evening was quite an experience as 2 motorcycles crashed just outside our restaurant. No helmet, no lights, maybe some alcohol onboard... it had to be ugly... Later that night, we were told that all the flights to/from the airport had been cancelled due to the bad weather. So I checked the weather forecast for the next day and it was not supposed to be good. We therefore went to the airport early to try to get an earlier flight. Sure there was an earlier flight, but they wanted 12.000 pesos in a rebook fee (the original tickets cost 3000). It’s an expression saying “You pay through your nose”. I have a big nose so I guess that’s why they presented me with this rip-off price.
So here we are now at the airport, with 4 more hours to go before our flight. The airport looks like the parking lot at a supermarket (no very big airport...). The security was all out showing the top of your bags, no x-ray or scanning whatsoever. So if you want to hijack a plane ��" this is the place to do it.
After hopefully getting to Manila this afternoon, a room at the Peninsula is waiting. Yes, sometimes I really like to spoil myself. On Sunday Yeng is going back home. I will stay in Manila for a few days more because I have to work. Some customers need my programming skills and sometimes this happens on vacation as well. On Thursday I go to Taiwan, visiting an old friend who has been to Norway 2 times before. So that will be a great weekend!
I’ve been 4 weeks on the road now, and I finally feel relaxed and not tired.
Every time I go on vacation it takes some time to relax my stressed body. But 1/3 of the trip is already over, and I feel like it has just started! So all in all, 3 months is not actually that much when you travel. The days are running fast, and I’m already considering skipping Vietnam in the end if my trip. Covering Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in 3 weeks is just too much. I’ve been talking to several backpackers on my way, and they all say I need more than one week in Vietnam going from the north to the south. But I can go to Vietnam another time.
So that’s it for now, I’ll write more when I go to Taiwan!