Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Cebu Air - I hate you!

Weds 30th Jan

Was meant to wake up early but my alarm didn’t go off so I was up at 10 instead – dammit! Went to see if we could book anything at a travel agent but most places were just for international travel so decided to go back to the hotel and rally up the troops as it was check-out time. Got there and the buggers still hadn’t got up which annoyed me a little as we were just wasting more time. So I went ahead to our new hostel – MNL Boutique Hostel.

It’s newly opened in the Malate district and let me tell you it was fantastic! Upon arrival the ‘cool concierge’ (as it was humorously noted by reception) knew my name as soon as I walked through the door. He was lovely and even though my bed in a 6-bed dorm wasn’t ready yet, he showed me around the premises; a little sitting room and kitchen (you get free toast, jam and tea/coffee for breakie), free wifi access, rain showers which were hot(!), shared bathroom area – lots of toilets, sinks and showers, and then the dorm, which was so lovely – aircon as well! All for only £5 for the night! The beds were comfy too. He also introduced me to all the guests – he knew everyone’s name by heart - and then just waited around for Laura and Paul to come and researched a bit more. The guy at the front desk also helped me look up bus times, planes, and I got talking to 2 Americans who helped us decide that Boracay could probably be missed off our itinerary to allow for more time elsewhere. So it was really helpful staying there!

Once we’d all checked in/arrived, we researched a little more then decided to go and get food. We went to a local-ish restaurant and as I’d already eaten I just got a ‘Halo Halo’ desert, which I’d read about in the Lonely Planet and really wanted to try. It’s basically a popular Filipino dessert that’s a mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk with various boiled sweet beans, tapioca, coulees, crème brule and fruits, and served in a tall glass or bowl. It sounds strange but it was actually really nice, though you have to eat it quick otherwise it just turns into a watery mess. The others had some noodle dishes and then Laura decided to add something weird from the menu – Chicken Feet! Though when it came we all just took one look, took some photos but didn’t dare try them! I tried some of the skin – the sauce they were in was nice, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to eat the whole foot. There was barely any meat on them so I wasn’t sure what the hell you were supposed to eat off it?!

Then we went back to the hostel to try and book something for tomorrow to Legazpi to go see the Whale Sharks and Mt Mayon (still active volcano)...3 hours later we were still trying but the Cebu Air website was being a pain! Laura and Paul managed to book their flight to Legazpi but mine wasn’t going through – grrrr! So we left it and went for dinner at Gilligan’s (I had some seafood noodles which were lovely and we ordered some San Miguel beers, the Filipino beer of choice, most of the time you’ll get a bottle for less than £1), and sat and listened to the guy and girl singing – the Filipino’s love their karaoke! By which point it had somehow got to 11pm. So I decided to try and book my flights again for the next morning, but still had no luck! I was getting a little stressed by this point but decided to go to bed and try again the next morning...

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