The beach is simply awesome and this past weekend, I, along with some lovely friends, was able to enjoy that awesomeness!
We woke up early on Saturday morning; 4.30am actually, left Payatas at 5.30am and headed to the bus. We ended up though, not being able to get the bus until 9.30! It was a fairly long wait so we munched on crackers, chips (aka French fries ) and chatted about random stuff to pass the time. When we eventually got on the bus, it was nap time. Four hours later, we arrived at Iba, where we were to get lunch and buy enough food and water to last us the next 24 hours or so on the Island we were heading to. Once purchases were completed, we got a tricycle and headed to our boat.
The boat was small and at first we really wondered if we were all going to fit, however, we did and it was off to the Island. It took about an hour on the boat and it was strange how, despite being on such a noisy boat, it felt so peaceful out in the South China Sea, sailing around so many beautiful islands until we got to ours. The sea was so blue, clear and smooth; it felt like we were sailing through a postcard picture.
We eventually made it to the Island, Nagsasa, 12 hours after we left Payatas, and it was worth all the travel and waiting around. The place was simply beautiful. There was no phone or internet signal once we got on the boat or when we got on the island so we were totally cut off from the rest of life which was strange at first but also quite nice and refreshing.
Once we landed, we set up our tents and some of the girls started a fire and we all began to prepare food for dinner. Whilst food was cooking, Heidi (our volunteer for FFA) and I went swimming. It was so good to be in the water – so relaxing. After swimming around for a little while, we went back to our little camp to eat. The food was good, especially given that we were in the middle of nowhere! By this time it was pitch black and our only light was that of some little candles and a big gas candle in the middle. We all ate till we were totally stuffed and then headed back to the sea for some night time swimming.
The beach was dotted along with bonfires and small groups of people sitting around them, the sky was clear and it was so peaceful. Floating in the sea, gazing at the stars and watching a group of people set off Chinese lanterns, it was so relaxing!
After we started to get cold, we headed back to our camp and set a bonfire. It took a little while to get it going but we managed it and it totally lit up the area and warmed us right up! We then all sat, chatted, toasted marshmallows and just generally had a totally relaxing and fun time. The evening seemed to stretch on for hours and when we eventually went to sleep, it was to the sound of the sea and crackling of our fire as it died out.
We woke early on Sunday morning. Sand isn’t very comfortable to sleep on; in fact, it felt rather like we were sleeping on a slab of rock, but regardless we still all slept well. We ate breakfast, bought a few little souvenirs from a passing vendor and then collected up our valuables and blankets and headed down to the beach to swim and get a tan.
In the sea there were some jet skis. They looked like so much fun and we really wanted to go on one. One of them came in to the shore with a big rubber ring on the back and so we
asked if we could please have a go on the ring. The guy said yes and that it was free so four of us jumped on the ring, put on life jackets and headed out in to the ocean. It was so much fun! Flying through the sea, spinning round in the waves and bouncing off the ripples of the Jet Ski we were being pulled along by. Such an adrenaline rush and amazing fun!
After the Jet Ski, it was more sunbathing and swimming. The sand was so hot under
our feet that we had to run over it and when we got in the sea, it really felt like our feet were burnt. Our boatman came to pick us up around 1.30ish and take us to another island.
The other island was all white sand (the one we camped on was more black sand). The sea was clear and deep green and was, once
again, beautiful. We stayed on that island for around an hour and enjoyed the last our time in the sea before heading back to the mainland.
Once we landed on the mainland, we had showers, got some food and then headed to get the bus. We arrived back in Manila around midnight and then it sleeping time!
It was a great, fun and relaxing weekend and I can’t wait till next I can go to the beach again!