An Alien in Spain - Visits Philippines (Malapascua)

Malapascua

My travel companion had made the arrangements and after breakfast a cab whisked us off to the airport for a domestic flight to Cebu City and for a cost of 45 euro Air Asia took 1 hour 30 minutes to deposit us ready for the private car to take us to the far North of the Island to Maya. Unfortunately, the car which cost 2,800 pesos was delayed by an hour arriving too late for us to be able to catch the regular ferry to Malapascua despite a valiant effort by the driver of completing the 4-5 hour drive in a little over 3 hours. Arriving after dark and with a squall blowing we spent a little time in a cafe trying Grilled chicken intestines whilst awaiting the arrival of a private boat (1400 pesos) to get us to the Island

The crossing took a little under an hour and was exhilarating to say the least and the piloting over the reef entrance to the harbour a lesson in seamanship and teamwork between the crew.. Arriving after sundown with all the lights on in the bars and resorts gave the Island a truly romantic feel and the accommodation at White Sands Bungalows, set on the beach was a two storey bungalow with a bedroom on each level and at 1400 pesos a night a bargain.

The Island is a dream destination for Divers and the walk along the beach had as many dive schools as bars and restaurants. A meal in a beach side restaurant with a beer cost about 600 pesos a head so affordable.

Day 2

After a good nights sleep my companion (a scuba diver) who was excited as this Island is one of very few where you can dive with Thresher Sharks, set off to sort out dives which worked out in the region of 1000 pesos. If you are looking to do an open water Padi course there are many schools that will teach you and all had courses in the region of 18,000 - 20,000 pesos.

I decided to explore the Island -The inhabited part of the Island is mainly in the south along Bounty Beach which stretches up the East side of the Island as far as Threshers Cove which is walk able, however, the west coastline is difficult to navigate due to the trees and rocky headland that makes it hard going and so my tour of the Island took me along the road/ track through the middle and then back via the east coast. The sun was up and the scenery was beautiful and although I didn't rush and even took time for a dip the whole route took me less than 3 hours.

In my humble opinion if you are a budding hermit or a scuba diver and want to dive with Thresher sharks this is the place to be, however, if like me you are more comfortable on the water than below and can discover all the Island has to offer in one day it is not for you.

After losing my companion to an all night session with fellow divers and an early (4 am) dive to see the Thresher sharks, I pondered the wisdom of my trip to Malapascua and decided to leave my companion of the last three days to continue to enjoy Malapascua while I caught the local 9 am ferry back to the mainland, this time for (140 pesos) and once on Cebu the local bus which is waiting at the dockside cost me 150 pesos for the five hour trip back to Cebu City.

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