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A little town by the sea

recharging the batteries

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The journey to the South of Negros on the coach took a whole day, so a night stop over was required in the university town of Dumaguete. When we got off the coach we noticed that there was bus going to Cebu (our next destination), which surprised us slightly as there is a ferry trip involved in getting there. We went to enquire and were told that the bus did indeed go to Cebu and it was cheap as the price quoted involved the ferry ticket as well. We checked the departure times and planned to come down early the next morning.

We had passed through town on our way to the bus terminal, and it didn't seem too far to walk. We therefore avoided all the tricycle drivers and it was nice not to have to engage in yet another conversation where we try to avoid getting ripped off. It is always completely uneven as they have all the local knowledge and we have no idea how much things should cost. However this time finding a room for the night was so pain free I couldn't quite believe it. We went into the first hotel we saw, although by the looks of it from the outside we presumed it would be way out of our price range. However we were pleasantly surprised and when we saw the room we were even more happy.

After settling in for a little while we went out to grab some dinner. Dumaguete has a really warm feel about it. Diagonally across from our hotel there was a large park area which was full of people and children on the various playground equipment. Even in the fading light the place felt safe. Maybe this feeling of safety came from the large church which overlooked the park, it was full of people and a warm glow emanated from it's large open doors.
Several chandeliers where evenly spaced down the length of the aisle and it had more of a stately home feel. I felt drawn to go and have a look inside and if I hadn't looked quite so dishevelled from a day of travel I may have.

While we ate our take out dinner we discussed staying in Dumaguete another night. We had found a good hotel room and we genuinely liked the place. Looking at the map and counting out the days we had left before we needed to be at our final destination of Zamboanga to catch the ferry to Borneo, we came to the conclusion that we could afford to stay one more night. Enjoying the free WiFi provided by the hotel we both had a chat with our parents, checked our email and then settled down to a good nights sleep.

The next morning we allowed ourselves a little bit of a lie in and then got up and sorted out something which we had been trying to do for some time, our washing. The hotel could send it out to a local laundrette and it was not too expensive, so with with huge smiles we handed over our sacks full to the brim of pretty much every item of clothing we had brought with us. I hoped and prayed that it would come back smelling clean and fresh, it truly is the little things.

After breakfast we walked around the town a little bit and went in search of a research centre/zoo which was described in the guidebook. Apparently it is home to a number of mammals, some of which can only be found in the Philippines. Unfortunately none of the tricycle drivers could understand what we were saying and when we did head off in one direction based on some vague instructions we were given, we couldn't find it. When we were back in the room later we looked the centre up on the net and it appeared you needed an appointment to see the animals anyway, so we were pleased we hadn't exerted ourselves too much in the search.

Later in the day we walked down to the waters edge which comes right up to the wall which runs parallel to it and there is a paved promenade.
On this Saturday afternoon the atmosphere was very sedate, a few people had fallen asleep in the shade of the trees on the concrete plinths which acted as benches and the others stared out a the sea. The water in the Philippines is so still, there is hardly even a hint of a tide, most of the time it is like gazing out at an enormous lake. We joined in the gazing for a short while, watching a few boats make their way in and out of port.

Once we had gazed for a while and also handed out some money to those who needed it more than us, we decided it was time eat. We knew we really needed to eat something more wholesome, and at all costs avoid the obvious and some times solitary choice of fast food. We decided to get a whole chicken, which you can buy from shops on the street. They bbq it on spits and you get see it rotating over the hot coals in the windows. To complete our meal of meat and two veg we went to the market and purchased items which didn't require cooking. We also bought some fruit and returned to the room with our nutritionally balanced meal ready for consumption.

The day was coming to a close and after we had called home for a second time, making full use off the free minutes, we simply popped out to the local convenience store to buy some snacks for dinner. Later on our washing was delivered to our room and my joy was almost palpable, as I tore open the plastic bag and peeled off an item from the tightly packed pile I could smell the washing powder. This may seem a little over the top, but when you get to the point where you just have to accept putting on dirty clothes day after day, having clean clothes at your disposal means a lot. The day had been a good one and we settled in for a comfortable and relaxed evening in front of the tv, and then got to sleep early as we knew we had a fairly long day ahead of us as we journeyed to the island of Cebu and the city of the same name.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 23:59 Archived in Philippines Tagged round_the_world

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