April 22, 2002 GMT

Manila (09-04-2002) till Manila (22-04-2002)

So on April 9, we were on the plane, first to Hong Kong with a connecting flight to Manila. In Bangkok I had some problems with my Swiss army knife. Nine years I was flying around with my pocket-knife in my pocket but since September 11th this was not possible anymore so I had to give it to the Security people. In Manila my pocket-knife hadn't arrive as it was (probably) still in Hong Kong. But they would have it send to Manila so I could pick it up at the airport before flying back.

Philippines; 09-04-2002 / 22-04-2002
Click for larger image

Philippines; 09-04-2002 / 22-04-2002

We didn't want to stay in Manila and Marie Louise wanted to go surfing. The only easy accessible place was at San Juan, North-west of Manila. We left the terminal around 8 pm and took a taxi to Angeles, just over an hour drive where we had an address of a nice hotel. The hotel was not too good but OK for one night. They had only one room for us so Marie Louise had to sleep on the floor. The mattress were two cushions taken from beach chairs at the pool.

The next day we went by 2 tricycles to the busstation and from there we took the next bus to San Fernando La Union.

With a tri-cycle to the busstation
Click for larger image

With a tri-cycle to the busstation

It wasn't too far but the bus drove slowly so we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. From San Fernando we took a jeepney for the last couple of kilometres to San Juan where we stayed in two rooms at the Mona Liza Beach Resort. Both rooms had nice views over the sea. But the waves didn't look really surfable to us. But to our surprise we saw some people surfing the next morning. The waves were not too high but high enough when you start learning. The official surf season was between November and February, so over already. But we were lucky as the waves had been unsurfable for the last two weeks and today was the first time people surfed. The hotel arranged a surfboard for us and Marie Louise was immediately gone with the surfboard. Quickly she arranged some guys reminding her about the basics of surfing as she had surfed last year in France already. Jeannette and I were looking at her from the beach and I was trying to learn from the mistakes I saw. But when it was my turn to use the board I didn't learn too much from her mistakes as I made many more. But it was fun and I learned to speed up before the waves pushed the board forward. The only thing which failed was that I was laying on the board instead of standing, but hey... it was only my first day!!!

Beach boy Martin; this was the easy part
Click for larger image

Beach boy Martin; this was the easy part

The whole day Marie Louise and I were in the sea trying desperately to improve our skills and discussed all aspects about the surfing thoroughly. It didn't help me much but we had a great day. And Jeannette, she was sitting on the beach watching and taking pictures of us.

Marie Louise and Jeannette at sunset
Click for larger image

Marie Louise and Jeannette at sunset

Marie Louise posing at sunset
Click for larger image

Marie Louise posing at sunset

At the end of the day we all had sunburns and decided to avoid the sun more the next days. For Marie Louise these intentions were gone the next day when she saw the waves. She was disappeared with her board. She got friends with the local youngsters and since that day she stayed with them a lot of the time. This suited us fine as we were lazy as well and had to drain all the travel excitements of the last few months out of our bodies. So we hardly did more than reading and writing on our travel reports.

Sleeping on the beach
Click for larger image

Sleeping on the beach

Ten days later it was time already to return. We had a great time here in San Juan and we returned to Angeles by bus. Marie Louise had a hard time leaving, as she had made good friends here, as she really felt sick during the bustrip. Back in our hotel in Angeles, again they had only one room left, so this time it was my turn to sleep on the floor.

The next day we returned to the busstation around noon to take the bus back to Manila and the airport. At the airport I was collecting my pocket-knife and put it directly in our big bag to avoid the same problems again. In the late afternoon we left for Hong Kong.

Posted by Martin Rooiman at 03:06 AM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!