Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bits of Boracay

Welcome to White Beach

 To sum up 15 days of vacationing in Boracay would take me pages and pages and pages. I don't even know how to break it up into smaller posts. I guess I can start with just a quick overview. The island of Boracay is beautiful. It was much bigger than I expected and had lots to see and do on it. Most of my past island hopping in Asia has left me on smaller more remote islands like Koh Tao, Thailand, or Gili Trawangan, just off Bali in Indonesia. Boracay was similar but different. It had a small island feel to it but lots of selection in accommodation, restaurants and things to keep you busy. Usually I am content on a beach with just a book, my bikini and the odd drink. Unfortunately this was not so on this vacay. In Boracay, there were typhoons, and cyclones and tropical storms while we were there. It rained heavily and daily. Welcome to the rainy season in Asia.

The first few days we got there the temperatures were really hot, in the mid 30's and beautiful. World renown White Beach was calm and the waters were sparkling baby blue. Once the weather hit, the waves got bigger and bigger and spat up lots of gross things on the beach. There were days where the weather was so bad, there was no beach, the tide just stayed high. Luckily the temperatures were always high and the water always warm so the beaches were still littered with people. When we could, we hit the beach, but with the weather as it was we spent a lot of time trying to amuse ourselves. Drinks, food, music, cards and books, in no particular order were how we spent our time.

Food was a big one. We spoiled ourselves with the food there. After 10 months in Korea, I was pretty much ready for a change to ANY kind of cuisine just to shake it up a bit. I was interested in Phillipino cuisine and what it had to offer, but to be honest we indulged in all the authentic and delicious international food that was there on offer. It was so unlike Korea. Korea does Korean food and the occasional knock off Italian restaurant or Mexican place. On this tiny little island, we had everything! We enjoyed Mongolian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Hawaiian and Italian food (ooooh, the Italian food was amazing- homemade pasta and thin crusted pizza made in a wood burning stove!). Breakfasts get a whole category of their own because, again, this is something Korea does not understand. A greasy breakfast with eggs and homefries, bacon or sausage and toast is only attainable in my own kitchen in Korea and even then it's tough cause the supplies aren't always there. In Boracay we had every manner of breakfast you could dream of! It wasn't great for the bikini body but breakfast is one of my favorite meals so it was a welcome addition to the menu!

Another food indulgence was our own little set up of wine and cheese and salami. More things NOT readily available in Korea. We would buy mammoth avocados, a chunk of cheese and salami sliced for us at the local delicatessen, some wine, and off we went. Heavenly. Garry and I were both used to this being a staple in our diet and social lives at home and I can't begin to explain how much I miss it!

Ok, one last food bit. Mango shakes. Korea is not big on importing food stuff. If they don't grow it, it's usually not available (without a ridiculous price tag attached to it anyway). So the fresh tropical fruit there was amazing. Fruit salads took on a whole new dimension, as they do in the tropics. Mango shakes were definitely a highlight! No more food talk as I sit at my desk at 4pm after a lunch of kimchi, soup and rice. Just to clarify I really do enjoy most of the Korean foods here, they are just very repetitive and I miss all the other foods that used to make up my diet.

Scuba Diving. A bonus about diving is that even when the surface weather is rough, as soon as you submerge under water a few meters, things drastically calm down. Garry went on his first dive in Boracay and although the site wasn't as thrilling as I hoped it would be, he did get to experience the whole underwater world, and loved it. I did a small handful of dives and I was initially disappointed because the Philippines is known for good diving, but my last dive of the vacation made up for it. I went on a dive with just myself and the Dive Master and we dove a site called Camilla Wreck. It was a huge shipwreck and just off to the side, on the sandy bottom, we got to watch a gigantic marble sting ray. It was about 4 meters wide and I probably couldn't have wrapped my 2 hands around the diamter of its tail where it met it's body. It was huge. We watched until it eventually shot off and for a creature its size, it was out of eye sight within seconds. Truly amazing to witness. Then to the total opposite scale, nestled in fan coral, after 10 minutes of searching, we spotted 2 miniscule pygmy seahorse, a first for me. Not only was the wreck a beautiful dive filled with different types of fish, but we also spotted some pretty rare creatures. I was impressed.

Towards the end of our vacation we discovered a new beach on the other side of the island called Pukka Beach, but I am saving that for its very own blog entry. Like in most Asian vacation places the island was teaming with people offering massages and hair braiding and henna tattoos. Most of these are nothing but an annoyance but I am sucker for a massage, and when they're that cheap its hard not to concede. One more highlight was the sunset sails. Because of the clouds the sunset was usually hard to spot but being out on the catamarans, for less than 10 bucks an hour was a great way to kill time.

All in all the vacation was a hit. It was a beautiful island, and even with the so-so weather, we had a blast. Another fun part and actually a highlight was where we stayed but again, I'm saving that for another blog, so read on for more...

For now a sample of some photos of the things we saw, the places we went, the food we ate and people we met.

On our merry way to Boracay

Beach Bumming. I was made for this life.

Philippino Sunsets

Garry meets the underworld.

Drinks, music and cards.

Kicking his butt in crazy eights :)

Beautiful White Beach

Happy Feet

Wine & cheese = Happiness

Yum Yum Pop

Tropical Fruit Salad


1 comment:

johny said...

I have lived on Boracay apartments for 15 years and loved the place so much i built cohiba. These are the Biggest and Best value for money apartments on the island period ! Every apartment has stunning sea views and 30m2 to 40m2 balconies with which to enjoy it. We are overlooking the windsurfing / kitesurfing bay where the season goes from November to april. Its either a great sport to participate, or great to just sit on your huge terrace and watch.
Boracay apartments