The last leg of our trip began somewhat haphazardly. After our backpacking trip (which had been preceded, remember, by 5 days of camping in the woods and bathing in streams) we were a hot, smelly mess. But we had places to be, so we bucket-showered in the bathroom of a restaurant and hopped an overnight bus back to Manila in order to catch the cargo ferry south to Palawan. As it turns out, our driver was so speedy and reckless on the road that 1) J almost had a heart attack, and 2) we arrived in Manila at 3:30am, 2 hours earlier than expected. So we spent the night sleeping at the bus station for the second time in our saga, no biggie.
When dawn finally broke, we ventured to the pier only to discover that all of our online research was outdated or just plain incorrect and our ferry actually didn’t depart for another 48 hours. Quick change of plans, we decided all we really wanted was some island hopping and some hiking, and it didn’t so much matter where, and we found some wifi, changed some plans, and by noon were busing south to Batangas to hop another ferry to Mindoro. Flexible travelling for the win!
Then we spent 5 days hanging out on the beach and hiking the hills. It was pretty awesome.
What d’ya mean it’s less than a dollar??
Just napping in some grass on a mountain in the Philippines. Y’know.
You can’t tell from this photo, but she’s eating rice with salted fish for breakfast. Filipino food was best described to us as, “An interesting blend of Asian and island food, plus a whole lot of extra sugar, salt, and oil.” Its more complimentary to say it’s comfort food. We found some delicious dishes, but it was a pretty mediocre culinary experience after spending so much time in places like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
We returned to Manila and the Fischelis family, where we arrived after everyone was asleep and quietly set up our camping pads in the playroom, happy to have a bathroom and a fan. Until the next morning, when we discovered they’d set up mattresses for us with sheets in the other room. Damn! Alas, it was also our last chance to sleep on a real bed, as we now find ourselves in Perth, Australia, sleeping in an orange van in the backyard of a traveller’s commune we discovered through couch surfing. It’s actually quite comfortable, and gives us a chance to use our sleeping bags at night, as it’s chilly way down here!
We’ve now begun part three of the grand adventures, which will soon include buying a hippie van of our very own and finding ourselves some sort of employment! In the meantime, we’ve really enjoyed Perth as well as rediscovering things like speaking in English and white people with no us-them mentality. Also, $4 bus fares and $10 beers. Cheers!!