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The City of Cebu

an extended day thanks to Typhoon Feria

sunny
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The majority of our trip to Cebu was spent on the coach. It was a very short hop over from one island to the other as we crossed the narrow Tanon strait. We then drove South around the perimeter of the island and then made our way North up the East coast and arrived in Cebu City in the mid afternoon. We again avoided getting a taxi, there are no tricycles in Cebu City, and instead walked in what we were hoping was the right direction. Thankfully we made the right choice and found the Pacific Pensionne House which was had a good feel about it and the room was good value for money.

Later on that day we went out to get some dinner and found the supermarket where we bought our fruit and veg and again we purchased a whole chicken. It certainly is the best option food wise, unless you want to spend a lot of money or eat something which has been heavily processed. While out and about we slowly began to get our bearings and develop a feeling for this new place. Although population wise Cebu is the third largest city in the Philippines, it certainly feels a lot smaller than Manila and has more of a large town feel rather than a sprawling and congested metropolis. Overall on first impressions it seemed like a pleasant place.

On our first morning in Cebu we decided to head to the Taoist Temple which is situated up in the hills above the city.
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This is where the richer people live, the majority of which are Chinese. The area is actually called Beverly Hills, which we thought was quite amusing.
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We never really found out if it was named after the posh LA suburb but it certainly had a similar feel. There was a security check point before you entered the area and instantaneously the roads became quieter and the houses larger.

As we entered the Taoist Temple there was a sense of peace that washed over you. The grass, shrubbery and all the buildings are immaculately maintained.
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The calm atmosphere and beautiful surroundings for me seemed conducive with spirituality and marked a stark contrast to the temples and religious buildings that we visited in India. From the temple grounds you could look down over the city which stretches out to the sea and is slowly expanding into the hills which surround it.
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We had a taxi driver waiting for us so we could not spend too much time at the temple but I enjoyed my time there and really liked the ambience of the place.

After the temple we decided to do a spot of shopping. It was only a couple of days until Adam's birthday and with us spending twenty four hours a day, seven days a week together it is a little tricky for me to buy a present without him knowing about it. I therefore decided that I would tell him what I was intending to buy and he could help me pick out. I had chosen to give him a watch and I'm glad I let him in on it because he had a specific idea of what he wanted. Unfortunately we we weren't very successful, having searched high and low we could not find anything which fit the specification and prices were a little higher than we were expecting. We would have to keep trying.

We planned to leave the next morning but it had begun raining the night before and when we woke up the rain was still heavy and persistent. Nevertheless we decided that we would still pack up and go down to the port, after all rain couldn't stop ferries leaving. Or so we thought. When we made it down to the correct pier we were immediately turned away, apparently there was a typhoon coming and therefore no boats were leaving. We had read in the book that Cebu never really gets heavily impacted by typhoons because it is well protected by the islands which sit either side of it, however things are clearly different on the open water and at the end of the day there is just no point taking the risk.

We were really quite disappointed about not being able to move on because tomorrow was Adam's birthday and ideally we wanted to wake up in a nice surroundings and enjoy a full day of fun activities. However we just had to accept that when travelling like this things do not always go to plan and we would make the best of it. We got the taxi driver to take us back to the Pacific Pensionne House. He dropped us on the other side of the road and we decided to check out another one, just in case we were missing something better. Also it was closer and it was still pouring with rain. Unfortunately the grass was not greener on the other side and the room they showed us had no window and was a little dingy. We headed back over the road and ended up back in the room we had vacated a couple of hours earlier, it was freshly cleaned though, so that was nice.

On our way back from the port we had spied a mall and as it seemed the rain was here to stay we came to the conclusion that indoor activities were the best option. It also meant that we could continue the search for Adam's watch. Luck just did not seem to be on our side though and despite finding one watch which ticked a lot of the boxes it wasn't quite right. We took a break from hunt and went to the cinema to see a horror film called Amusement. It certainly was not a relaxing hour and a half, and it reminded us both why the horror genre is our first choice. Still for fans of that kind of thing it seemed to contain all the key elements, I spent the majority of the film cowering behind my jacket.

Once again we left consumers paradise empty handed and I was a little glum that Adam would have nothing from me to open on his birthday. Still we both told ourselves that it was better to get it right. We went back to the pensionne house, stayed dry and kept our fingers crossed that tomorrow the weather would be better and we could make our way to Alona Beach.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 00:05 Archived in Philippines Tagged round_the_world

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