Monday, February 16, 2009

Iloilo

It's not always fun and games out here still. I have sunburns but believe it or not, it rains most days and has been quite cloudy. The sun just burns you fast when it comes out.
We were a little ambitious in our plan to get all the way to Iloilo city on Panay island from Panglao in one day. It was a rough day, made worse by our headaches (probably from diving) and lack of sleep. We had a choice of going via Cebu or via Dumaguete and chose Dumaguete simply because it would involve fewer changes of transport and a longer line on the map :)
We had set up a schedule with a tricycle driver to meet us in the morning at 6:45 to take us to the ferry terminal. The guy never showed (as I suspected he wouldn't) so we had to charter a small jeepney passing by and only made it onto our ferry to Dumaguete (the only one of the day) because it was running a few minutes late. Talk about stress. Why they play a movie longer than 2 hours on a 2 hour ferry ride I do not know. All I know is that you can't see the end of it.... Right after getting off the ferry, we jumped on another trike to the bus station and had just sat down on the bus when it took off on what ended up being a 7 hour journey through some pretty but very windy mountain roads. It seems like everywhere we go now they are doing road repair or construction and my butt is getting quite bruised from all the bumping around on hard seats.
The problem was that we were taking the bus to Bacolod where we would have to catch another ferry to Iloilo. I'd expected the bus to take only 5 1/2 hrs and we'd be able to catch the last fast ferry of the day (my biggest complaint of this whole country still is that the transport ends too early in the evening). We were dumped in the city and quickly rushed to the port by tricycle only to have missed the last fast ferry. Grrr.... By this point the sun was setting and we were rushed onto another boat, this one a car ferry heading to a port town near but not actually in Iloilo. I was another 2 hours and upon landing we learned that we were more or less stuck in the middle of nowhere.
A tricycle ride into the little town didn't help us much because nothing other than the police station was open. A little luck seemed to be with us though because the police turned out to be quite nice and took us under their wing to say that there was not only no transport leaving town but that there was nowhere to stay there either! We had a host in Iloilo that was trying to help direct our movements but it did seem we were left with the only option of an expensive and long taxi ride to the city. But that is just unacceptable so after a prolonged conversation with the police, they offered to take us half-way in their car to another police station where we would be able to find further transport. So we leapfrogged along and eventually, after 16 hours, finally got into Iloilo.
Our host family in Iloilo was great and once again we were treated to the excellent hospitality of the Philippines. We spent the weekend in Iloilo, not doing a lot other than visiting with the family and wandering around town a bit. We continue to get lots of rain and everyone seems confused by it because it is supposed to be the dry summer season right now. At least it's still warm.
We have since moved a couple of hours further west along the coast of Panay to San Jose where we have reunited with Bianca, an HC member we met in Manila who has come here to her family home for a short vacation from the big city.
Ammon

2 Comments:

At 11:04 PM , Blogger giting said...

My brother Jun from Iloilo told me about your blog. Your travels and your accounts are amazing. Safe travels!

 
At 4:51 PM , Blogger The Bear said...

Okay, so now I feel better. I mean why should it be sun surf, and sunburns alone, I smiled a mean smile and enjoyed the description of the latest adventure.... sorry, but it's cold here, and I have only one day off.... ya ya I know. Glad to see you are still on the move down there. The trip truly sounded horrific, just too much time being shuttle out of control by others. My little OCD heart would burst with high blood pressure if I as to attempt that. Hey have you found this amazing seafood noodle dish they make there? I used to work at VGH witha guy whose wife was from there, and made this truly amazing dish.... okay now I'm droolling. Trust me on this one you got to find this, beats the holy grail.

Love and Big Bear Hugs to all
The Bear

 

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