Well, learned a thing or two last night: first of all: don’t be surprised if you are in Manila, nobody knows you here but your phone keeps ringing during the night. Might even be the reception desk night to ask whether you were the one who just ordered a taxi to the airport for today (looks like she called all rooms since other ones got woken up as well). Next thing is that when you get told that your pick-up is at 8:30 (that was the call which woke me at 10 PM just to confirm I knew the time) you better be ready one hour earlier…
Luckily I was just about to go down for breakfast when my phone rang and my tour guide told me she was already here. What the heck, it’s a quarter to 8?????? Of course I only THOUGHT that and was too polite to say it. My stuff was not ready so I had to made everyone else wait for me. Sorry guys….
Our tour were 3 austrians, another german and an italian. We drove two hours to Pagsanjan and it was fun seeing the driving. Reminded me a lot of India although it is not THAT bad. The Jeepneys (the Jeep-like public busses) are fun to look at as it looks like each driver designs it on it’s own. Some have names on it and most of them are full of colours. I like colours.
The area around Manila is very green. There are rice fields and a couple of mountains. A few of them are sleeping vulcanos. One is called the ‚pregnant lady‘ since the top looks like a pregnant lady lying on her back. She is connected to another vulcano which is supposed to be her boyfriend. The connection is the reason for a lot of thermal spa’s in the area. Funny thing that on the streets they sell the swim-rings (help) everywhere and our tour guide explained that this is necessary since barely anyone can swim on the Philippines (hey guys you ever realized you are surrounded by water??? 😉 ).
Then we arrived at the river and went into the boats. Since I speak italian the tour guide decided I would go in a boat with Dino while the others where split into pairs as well. The canoes were VERY small and luckily I brought a plastic back (for the laundry 😀 ) from the hotel. Going up the river was not so easy for the boatmen since we had to overcome a couple of rapids. But it was great. Great, beautiful landscape and it reminded me a little bit of my river tuginb experience in Texas (which I loved!). Unfortunately we could only go to the first fall and didn’t see the two bigger ones. But it was a nice one as well. They had the option to go under it but since I had already taken a shower this morning I refrained from doing that.
On the way back our boat got full of water again and I found it funny that the boatman took away my flip flop and started throwing the water out again. 😀 I did enjoy the tour on the river very much, the lush green vegetation was just how I had pictured the Philippines before coming here. After we got back (the way back went by way too fast… 🙁 ) we changed to dry clothes and then we had a philippine lunch. I wasn’t hungry though although I hadn’t had breakfast. It was too warm for me. I am not yet used to the warmer climate.
On the way back we saw two funeral processions. What was unusual for me was that the cars carrying the coffin were covered with white balloons. Most of the Philippines are catholic so this surprised me since white balloons are not really common for funerals.
Now I am back at the hotel and I can promise you that I will be ready for my transport to the airport tomorrow morning well in advance… 😀 😀 😀