Philippines
April 22, 2002 GMT
Philippines

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
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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
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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
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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
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Marie Louise and Jeannette at sunset


Marie Louise posing at sunset
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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
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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
 
 

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