Thursday, July 2, 2015

Siargao - The Philippines (Entry 4)


Day 4 - 1st July:

This was the best day on the island yet. It started with a 5am surf at Cloud 9.
The waves were staggeringly perfect, the water warm, the vibe phenomenal.

Even though I'm the furthest thing from a morning person, you can't help but be stoked when you're awake at 5am on a hot and humid tropical paradise, the suns already out and crisping your shoulders and nose, there's a handful of travellers and locals combined all trying to score the waves and cheering each other on.

After the surf I treated myself to a delicious cappuccino and an Asian spicy fried rice breakfast with an egg on top at Kermit resort.

When Georgie, Harry and Ellie woke up they had a quick bite to eat and we all got ready for a day trip to Sohoton Cove.

Things you need to know about your trip to Sohoton Cove:

  • It takes about 1.5 hours to get there by a really loud engined boat (travel expense: 5000 pesos)
  • While they do have snacks available there (the most incredible chocolate I've ever tasted / crisps etc) it's best to pack yourself a light lunch. We ordered sandwiches from Kermit Resort. 
  • The boat ride can be a bit choppy depending on the weather so if you suffer from sea sickness then it's best to pop a pill beforehand.
  • For the girls: Just a tip... wear your hair in a tight bun. I tried to plait mine loosely and it didn't last long at all. My hair was flying every where and knotting up - a headband isn't a bad idea either.
  • For the girls: Don't bother wearing a stitch of makeup - it's going to come off. The boat ride splashes water onto the boat and onto you - plus you'll be going swimming and jumping off caves into the aqua blue water anyway so save the makeup for another time. 
  • There's a fee you need to pay when you get there (and they don't accept cards). It depends on how many people you are but it's a couple of hundred pesos for the day at the cove. This will cover the boat trip you'll take with tour guides when you get there, a guided cave tour where you get to climb up to the top and jump into the water down below - petrifying but so worth it!!! It also covers your kayak ride, one kayak per person, to go and see the jellyfish sanctuary. The jellyfish don't sting so you're welcome to gently touch them.
  • There are souvenirs there, from keychains to fridge magnets. They're all very touristy but if I'd had the bucks I'd definitely have gotten something to remember my trip there. My favourite was a little fish keychain going for 80 pesos. Everything ranges in price though so bring a little extra for that if you want. 

It was a really amazing day trip and well worth the long ride there. If you ever find yourself on this incredible island then the Sohoton Cove is definitely something you can't miss out on.

When we got back we were all knackered, sipping sleepily on Happy Hour mango daiquiri cocktails, slurping up some amazing Kermit pasta and discussing our plans for the evening.
I could have easily gone straight to bed at 7pm. It had been a full day of activities - but the others were quite keen to go and check out the nightlife again so after a 20minute nap I joined them at Buddha.

Buddha is a bar you just have to go to if you're in Siargao! It's got live acoustic music, karaoke, giant jenga, swinging hammocks and tons of travellers flock there to enjoy the chilled out vibe.

Buddha - a great bar with live music in Siargao

We left at about midnight - bumping into my surf instructors brother on our way out. He asked us how we were getting home and we told him we have one motorbike. There were four of us so he offered to take two of us home to be safe. 

Our motorbike wouldn't start, the battery was dead so it was really lucky that we'd bumped into Eloy's brother. 

Instantly we had tons of offers from his friends, all offering to help lift us back home. 

(You never really know if they expect a tip afterwards or not. Some do. Like when I was in the airport in Cebu trying to catch my connecting flight to Siargao, someone offered to push my trolley and show me where to go even though I didn't really need help. 
They can be a bit pushy. 
Anyway, so he got me all the way to my gate and then said he accepts tips. I told him I had nothing which was the truth and he said he could take me to an ATM. Little did I know the ATM was ALL THE WAY out of the airport again... it worked out for the best because there really aren't many ATM's on the island (the closest to me right now is in Dapa which is a 20 minute bike ride away). So after drawing some pesos I had to go all the way through check-in and bag scans again!
Still - I wish people would help you out of the goodness of their heart. This guy in Cebu even told me how much to give him!!! I didn't even tip my massage therapist in the hotel that much! Cheeky bugger... It did teach me to be a lot firmer with them again in the future though.) 

Despite that, I can definitely say that over the past four days on the island I have completely fallen in love. I've fallen in love with the Philippines people, I've fallen in love with Siargao Island, I've fallen in love with Kermit Surf Resort and I've fallen in love with the people I've met along the way. My trip would have been completely different if the other travellers I've met hadn't been here - so I'll be forever grateful to those who have included me in their plans instead of me having to enjoy Siargao by myself. 

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  1. Great pictures! You guys look like you had a wonderful time <3

    xo Azu

  2. Jade, I'm happy for you... I've heard and kept jn the back of my mind when I travel... not to accept help from the locals, no matter how nicely they offer, unless I'm prepared to tip ♡

  3. Absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Waking up with the sunrise on a tropical island sounds like a dream! I'm glad you are having such an amazing time!

  5. Wow, what a full day! You found plenty to keep you busy and entertained! Sounds like a fun time.

  6. I like the part about wearing hair tight :) Stuff you never find in the guide, but actually they are so very important!

  7. Good advice! These are great photos and you look like you are having a great time. So glad you made some friends. x

  8. ooh looks like you're having a blast, Jade! that breakfast looks amazing btw! <3


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