Sunday, June 28, 2015
Siargao - The Philippines (Entry 1)
I finally arrived! Touching down onto Siargao Island was such a relief after the flight being cancelled the day before and having to find my own way for a night.
I should have started this post saying, I finally arrived and I'm alive!!! I could have kissed the ground when I got out of the airport transfer car and to Kermit Surf Resort. For a chilled out Island, they drive like crazy! The hooter is their favourite thing, I'm convinced. There's stray dogs wondering the roads, balls swaying to and frow if not the swollen nipples drooping down to the floor. Kids seem to think the road is their playground - in fact, everyone does. Be it on bicycles, scooters, tuk-tuks or foot, there's always something to dodge on those windy little lanes.
Arriving at Kermit I was shown to my room, equipped with full airconditioning, before enjoying this Asian style breakfast of fried rice with an egg on top. It was divine!
One of the guys that work their sat me and a couple of other new guests down at a bamboo table and told us more about the resort. I was then told I had my first surf scheduled for 1pm so I squeezed a nap into my schedule for a couple of hours (jetlag still mucking my system around a bit).
The Kermit beds are wonderful. They are also constructed from bamboo which adds such a rustic touch to the resort. When I saw the blanket I was a bit thrown back because it was a really thin little sheet and I'm one on those people that like to snuggle with a big blanket - but after my first nap I totally understand why they give you a sheet instead of a full thick duvet. It's SO humid - if you had more you'd be crazy.
By the time my first surf arrived I joined my instructor and we chose at my board, a rash vest and started to wax the board up. The board had a Go Pro mount stuck on it already which was great, so I scurried back to my gorgeous thatch-roofed room and grabbed my Go Pro.
My instructor and I took a motorbike down to Quicksilver and Cloud 9 surf areas, the surfboards stashed on the one side safely.
It's El Nino in the Philippines at the moment which means the climates change sporadically. This meant that instead of being the driest season in Siargao which it normally is, it was pouring with ran like they've never seen before. The roads were completely flooded.
Luckily the rain stopped as we trudged up to the Cloud 9 Tower and jumped into the water and onto our surfboards.
The surf lesson was great!!! I really did get assigned such a wonderful instructor who watched me closely and gave me the best surfing advice I've ever received. He pointed out all of my mistakes and helped me so much for way over an hour. The water was deliciously warm and full of surfers from all levels of surfing and from all parts of the world.
Philippines people are a bunch you just can't help but fall in love with. They are so so so so so friendly and welcoming and helpful.
Once I finally said 'Enough!' (all the paddling destroyed my shoulders. It's something I really need to work on improving. I've never been a strong paddler!) my instructor and I made our way back to the Cloud 9 tower where I'll be doing yoga tomorrow morning. We stacked the surfboards back onto the side of the motorbike and went to a quaint little shop across from the beach where my instructors brother works. They invited me for a light lunch that I didn't need to pay for - it was spicy noodles, grilled fish, steamed beans and carrots... it was just amazing! I felt so healthy and revitalised when we finally hopped back onto the bike and drove through the puddles back to Kermit.
Kermit's food has a pretty impressive reputation... it's honestly one of the (many) reasons I was looking forward to coming here.
Well - I can safely say that my first meal did not disappoint!
I ordered the Tortellini al Pomodoro:
It was incredible - like everything has been so far.
It's still a bit lonely here - everyone else has people to eat dinner with and relax with and I haven't really met anyone yet which is hard. I'm not great at just going up to people and chatting. It takes me a while to warm up to people. I don't even know where to start... so for now I'm just getting aquatinted with their happy hour white wine and vibey old school music.