The motor Tricycle turned up on time at 9 am to drop me at the ferry for which I had bought my ticket the night before for 800 pesos (12.56 euro) and was soon through the queue and in my air-con seat next to an american girl called Rachel and we passed the 2.5 hour journey, chatting and discovering we would be staying at the same resort in San Juan "Charisma Beach Resort" and decided to share a ride on landing.
At Larena Port there are many Motor tricycles and taxis plying their trade and together with an English girl called Gigi, also staying at Charisma and a fourth girl we managed to secure the services of an air-con van for 200 Pesos each for the 30 minute ride to the resort.
After settling ourselves in and a good meal from the kitchen the girls stayed at the resort while I went off to find Motor scooters to hire for the following day which proved quite difficult as all the local bikes had been taken. After a lot of walking I was lucky to find another backpackers resort with two bikes which I hired for two days and returned to Charisma with the news. As Gigi had managed to find a bike, Rachel came with me to take the other and we managed to get a deal at 250 Pesos (3.92 euro) per day per bike.
Rachel had heard good things about a place to eat called Bar Baha so we headed out to eat and talk about strike lucky as it was a once a week BBQ Buffet Night with Pig Roast and Fish with other food, as much as you could eat for 450 Pesos (7.06 euro) which we made the most of and on top of all that there was a band playing until 10 pm after which we made our way back for an early night ready for the bike trip.
Luckily Rachel had a list of sights to visit and so Gigi and I were happy to go along with her itinerary with the first stop at Lugnason Falls, a beauty spot with numerous waterfalls and a pool at the bottom to swim in. The journey took us along the coast road and then we had to cut inland on rough dirt tracks deep into the jungles but made it to the falls without any major difficulties.
Now the Lugnason Falls are about 30 feet high but are set at the bottom of 12 cascading falls each one named after a Zodiac sign and collectively known as "The Zodiac Falls"- There are two trails down an"easy" and an "Adventure" and although we started off on the easy without knowing how we ended up on the adventure trail navigating the streams and the falls and for the girls the presence of an enormous spider threatening to drop on their heads until we arrived at the Lugnason and took a well earned swim to recover.
Refreshed and ready for the next stop we headed off along dirt tracks in the jungle when an unexpected break was called for while the girls decided they had to play with three cute puppies belonging to locals they both fell in love with and I had to say NO when they were offered one by the owners and they actually thought about it ?????
On our way once more and we made our way out of the jungle and back on to the main coast road where not too far we found "The Century Old Balete Tree" open to the public by the side of the road and with a surprise as at the base of the tree is a pond with the flesh eating fish that you find in the shops that take the hard skin off your feet free for the brave or foolhardy. Hmmmmm not sure which I am??
Ok we had seen the tree and fed the fish even if it was with our own flesh so time to eat something ourselves so working on Rachels theory if we head down the tracks towards the beach we should find a place to eat. Well Girl Logic or intuition after a while driving along deserted roads we found a sign for Lazi Beach club and yes they did serve visitors so we settled down to a well earned meal and a lunchtime drink.
Refreshed with an excellent meal we were ready for the final leg of our journey which proved more difficult than we thought as there are a number of waterfalls cleverly named by locals similar to the main attraction of the Island , but we eventually found Cambugahay Falls. The walk down can be treacherous if the steps are wet but wet or dry they are definitely exhausting coming back up after a swim. The main attraction off these falls is the rope swings that cost 50 Pesos each but are really exhilarating with two pools to chose from.
Leaving around 4 pm as we made our way back the weather changed and it started to rain and a strong wind sprang up and although we all made it back in one piece little did we know at that time that it was the start of a Typhoon that would last two more days with high winds and torrential rain.
That evening we met up with an Israeli named Yuval who looked remarkably like Ed Sheeran and a couple from Germany Mario and Maria and we all decided to brave the storm and run to the bar down the road called Monkey Business where I had one of the worst chilli Con Carne I've ever tasted together with one of the best cold beers so it evened itself out.
After the meal we waited until the storm eased off a little and raced back to the safety of the dorm ready for whatever tomorrow would bring.
The Typhoon had blown and the rains poured all night so much that the water had soaked the electric wires in the dorm fusing the lights and power and in the morning we braved the rain to the dining area and spent most of the day playing cards and discussing what we would do regards moving on as all ferrys were cancelled as were the flights so to be on the safe side I booked an extra night at the resort.
Although I had been unable to use the Scooter during the day it was due back that evening so very carefully I drove it back at 5 pm and stayed at the resort for a meal and a beer before walking back in the rain to my resort where I found that Rachel had managed to wangle her bike for another day as she hadn't been able to use it today. Mmmm. The weather reports said that the eye of the typhoon had passed and that the weather would clear up the next day so as a group we spent the night in the bar.
Being the only one without a scooter I decided I would have a relaxing day by the pol and finish my book while the rest went to a beach on the other side of the Island called Salagdoon where you were able to throw yourself off the top of the cliff about 60 feet up into the sea. sort of glad I didn't have a scooter that day, gulp.
As the evening was to be our last together I jumped on the back of Yuvals scooter and we headed to Marco Polo Italian Restaurant oblivious of the fact until we arrived it was valentines night but they had spaces and we had a good night with authentic Italian Lasagna on my part and pizza and pasta for the others.
Feeling sated but ready for a nightcap we returned to Monkey Business Bar only to find it was Karaoke night and the run on beer meant there was only warm bottled lager left so we decided to have one and leave. Best laid plans of Mice and men get altered when Yuval decides to go on stage borrow a guitar and do a very good rendition of an Ed Sheeren number after which he won't come off the stage. Although his performance was very good I excused myself to the others and walked home and packed ready for the off tomorrow morning.