As I mentioned before, I desperately needed to balance out the chaos with the calm. Boracay had been lovely, but it was time to move on.
I needed peace and quiet. As much as I’m not really a fan of the beach, I’m still in the category of people that think ‘more beach’ will solve all my problems or miraculously make my life that much better. I, like most others, anticipate my dreams will all come true when I eventually arrive at the beach. The nicer the beach, the better the life. Right?
It’s only after I've arrived and I'm actually right there, at the beach, do I realize, once again, that I fell prey to the romantic notions and idyllic perceptions affiliated with... the beach. Does that make any sense?
Ya... ya... I'll see myself out. Let's just leave it at, "I’m not a beach person."
I had high hopes for my next beachfront accommodation.
White Beach Front & Cottages prided themselves on giving their guests the ultimate of paradise relaxation. The resort was surrounded by mountains and even had their own private & pristine white beach. It wasn't so much a 'resort,' so to speak, but more a collection of little bungalows circling a communal garden area, right on the shore.
It was also conveniently located near to Boracay, and only a quick ferry ride away. They had a tuk tuk driver pick me up and deliver me right to the doorstep.
He had to stop where the road ended and from there, we made about a 7 minute trek down to the beach front. It was a pretty cragged, steep walk and I was sure to take each step slowly and gingerly. My driver had done me a solid by grabbing my heavy bag, so navigating the rugged trail became decidedly easier.
My bag was elephantine in weight. Seriously.
I’d read online that guests were advised to bring in snacks if they wanted, as the closest grocery store was 30 minutes away. One ~ Why I possibly figured I needed snacks is beyond me. Two ~ Why I reckoned I needed the AMOUNT of snacks I bought is baffling.
Stupid, rookie move.
The place had everything I needed. Peanuts. Chips. Water. Pop. And MORE...
*Plus a restaurant with outstanding food.
Nope... smart me, hauling it around like I'm 7-11.
So you can probably imagine what happened next?
As soon as I am in possession of delicious snacks, I eat them. No exceptions. I don’t possess the 'less is more,' rationing and restricting gene. I never have.
So that… indubitably, resulted in a horrendous, gut wrenching tummy ache that came & went, slaughtering my stamina and seriously cutting into my beach time. Snacks mixed with those musty oatmeal cookies from the day before. I was doomed.
I'd been told Coca Cola was an effective and safe first line of treatment for indigestion and stomach suffering, so in a desperate attempt to to appease my wretched gastrointestinal system, I downed an entire bottle. Twice.
I think it worked. I survived.
Tips & Tricks with Jo!
*mental note: no more snacks... or snacking.
Back to my resort...
It sounded glorious on line… and truly, it was.
Except for the children.
There were children… everywhere. You know, it’s not even that there were a LOT of children, it was the noise that these chidren made. The children that were there more than outdid themselves with pandemonium enough to make up for the children that were missing.
Screaming. Tantrums. Banging. Clanging. Hitting. Yelling. Singing. It didn’t end. Ever.
When they would finally calm down, it was only because their parents had thrown something electronic into their grubby little hands, and now the rest of us had to endure the mechanical sounds of boings & boops & baby voices.
Apart from the families, there are a few elderly gentlemen here with their very much younger Filipino girlfriends.
I think the staff felt sorry for me that I was alone.
Everyone always feels sad for me that I'm on my own. It's like they think I asked everyone I knew to come with me and they all said no.
Regardless of what they think, they upgraded me to a nicer room, so maybe I should try to act sad more often. I thought an upgrade might consist of a lovely ocean view, but instead, I got a lovely panorama of the staff's laundry.
So... I had two full days in toddler paradise.
It was lovely though. Really it was.
One day, I fell asleep on the beach and awoke to a body full of sand and an agonizing sunburn. The next, I got lost in the jungle.
Ya... well... kinda.
I kinda got lost in the jungle.
One of the ladies at the resort told me there was another resort about a half an hour walk along the beach. I had ample time on my hands... so I figured I would make the trek. It didn't seem so hard. Looking at Google maps, it was apparent that I just follow the shore and I'd eventually bump right into it.
Turns out it wasn't so lemon squeezy afterall. I remained on the path for a bit, as it led along the shore, weaving in and out of the lush jungle entanglement. Then, unexpectedly, the path came to an abrupt end, right at a little cove. I was confused.
There must be another path?
There wasn't. Not that I saw, anyway.
Instead of turning back altogether or hacking a new path, I retraced my steps back a ways to where I'd seen another path veering up.
Debatable... but I ended up completely lost in the jungle.
Google Maps was of NO assistance. I knew there was a road... somewhere... that way... maybe... but I couldn't get to it. I ended up meandering aimlessly... in the jungle... for about an hour or more. There was a whole maze of local's trails, but zero direction for a clown like me to decipher or disentangle. It was like being stuck in the mirror maze at the carnival. I didn't run into one single human. Many chickens... but no humans.
You can imagine me in the jungle too.
A real Tarzan.
Right at home.
Every once in a while, my mind teetered towards spiders and snakes, but I trudged on. Even tigers. Were there tigers on the island of Panay, in the Philippines?
As annoying as it was to be a bit lost and to be in possession of zero navigational savvy, it was kinda fun. It was an adventure and I wasn't the least bit afraid. I knew I would eventually find my way out, just like everyone does in the mirror maze at the carnival. My greatest fear was falling and snapping my knee. Thankfully... that did not happen.
I finally found the road and when I emerged, there was an elderly lady who was astonished to see me as I was to have finally found an escape. There was another path there, which was slightly tempting, but she pointed me to follow the road. Wise choice, perhaps.
I probably would've ended up lost again, had I ventured down another trail.
The road led me into a small village, where I encountered a communal Christmas decorating party. Everyone had gathered in, what seemed to be, a covered outdoor arena, and were decorating with everything from Coca-Cola cans to coconut peices. Anyone would be hard pressed not to be thoroughly impressed with the imaginative recycling that occurs here in the Philippines. They go all out.
Their creativity is brilliant. They can take almost any piece of trash and make it beautiful. It's refreshing being in a world where the commercial tycoons do not hold all the cards in the holiday industry. Recycling is key on these tiny little islands and it's tackled with much cleverness and originality.
It was a good couple of days... despite the noisy children and the jungle incident... and the excruciating burn.
Did I mention the construction?
Did I mention the all-day karaoke?
Where they got their hands on the relic hits of ABBA and Anne Murray has me bewildered,
But they did... and they belted it out.
Man... did they ever.