Philippines: the halfway point

Mactan, Cebu, 28 November

The bus from Moalboal will bring us back to Cebu city for a third (and hopefully final) time, marking the end of a great visit to the islands of Bohol and Cebu.

Having been on the road for a few months now, lately I’ve found myself daydreaming about extending our travels beyond February 2020, but, impracticalities aside, today dishes up a gentle reminder that travelling isn’t always as magical as it appears.

This morning we’re subjected to an interrogation by the owner of the hotel in Moalboal on how to get her alcoholic husband to be deported back to England. The last few nights this guy’s been keeping us awake with his repeated playlist of the same three Eminem songs, along with his ranting and shouting at other guests, so, surely, we don’t mind weighing in here a bit with some honest relationship advice. (No one messes with our sleep!)

After three hours by bus we arrive at the Southern Bus Terminal in Cebu. Tomorrow’s flight was originally scheduled to leave at 12.45, but it got changed to 6AM, so we’ve booked ourselves in somewhere near the airport. The right bus is easily found, but doesn’t leave for another hour.

Our initial excitement to finally be on the move quickly ebbs away when we’re stuck in painfully slow traffic for most of the journey. When we’re at our stop it’s 4PM; it took us three hours just to travel 15 km.. Yah.. There’s still a little way to go to the hotel, but surely a taxi won’t be hard to find in this busy city, right?

So.. The first car that stops isn’t actually a taxi.. The second one is, but when we get in, immediately, the driver takes a deliberate wrong turn onto the bridge leading right back to the traffic congested town we just came from, for a long and costly detour. I’m tired, I’m hungry and in no mood for his shenanigans, so the poor guy gets it in the neck from me while we’re swiftly getting out of his vehicle. The next taxi pulling over makes it third time lucky; not much later we arrive at the hotel.

Now when I mentioned it’s close to the airport, I didn’t imagine we were quite literally right beside the runway, but here we are, it sounds like we’re being invaded by the Luftwaffe. In all fairness though, as I’m writing this, the noise of the planes *does* drown out some of the church choir practicing upstairs. Not completely bad after all.

Also, we have dinner. A fine meal produced by our local Jollibee, a Filipino fast food restaurant chain, which is like McDonalds, but edible!

So really we’re doing just fine, about to continue our travels through Philippines tomorrow on the beautiful islands of Palawan, which is something to look forward to! We’ll keep you posted.

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