Wednesday, 7 September 2011


The local CornerShop; You do not go in to the shop, but stand in front of a tiny grill and ask for what you want. Outside the shop is a table and benches for you to relax drinking your beverage, eating a snack - or just resting reom the heat.

Just down from the shop is this shack hidden in the trees.
And 5 minutes walk away, they are amazingly skilfull at using what's available in building these houses.
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Back on the main road - the track through the village



And then....
This is where I stayed
Eliptic in shape, a single storey house, with a roof over the roof, creating a cool and well ventilated area protected from rain, but still open to a cooling breeze.

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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Caribou.. or Water Buffalo

One of the transport delights I did not get a chance to ride whilst on Poro was the Caribou.
Now, if you google Caribou, you will come up with a deer like antlered creature, in the Philipinnes I was introduced to this Water Buffalo like beast as a Caribou or Caribow which I filmed just 100 yards(ish) from home. Of course, now I want to ride one.
I am told this may be a possibility if I return.
Do you think I should take any precautions?

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Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Adventure Begins

The idea was to write a blog whilst I was away, but with no available internet...
I plan now to post about portions of my trip in retrospect...

The world moves at different paces dependant on location. Jumping right out of normality for me, I travelled over 7,000 miles on 3 planes, a boat and a motor-bike to finally end up living in the small village of Daan Secante, Tudela on Poro Island in the Philippines for two weeks . I immeadiately wrote in a letter to my wife. "The locals live in randomly constructed shacks, many of which are see through - and sometimes through the shack behind too." The economuic structure was totally different, no luxuries, living hand to mouth.



Scanning the internet before hand I was all set for a nightmarish experience on arrival at Manila, but from leaving the aircraft, immigration and customs to standing outside the airport on Filipino soil, maybe 15 - 20 minutes. The first thing that hit me was the heat, 35°C - that being the cool season.
Next on the agenda was to transfer airport terminals for my onward flight to Cebu, taxis come flying at you from every direction all honking their horn hopeful you will board, but I had pre arranged to meet my brother, so walked out into Cebu City trusting my mobile phone would not let me down!

I sat down under a tree to wait, attracting attention from locals un-used to seeing a white european out alone, kids stared, adults glanced, taxi drivers hopefully tooted and hailed me - I got thirsty. It seemed like ages, but in reality only half an hour before my brother hauled me into a passing cab, we made our way to Terminal 2 together.

Landing in Cebu we took a Trisikad several miles up the coast to await our 5am boat.



Trisikad, were they in the UK would probably be allowed to carry two sidecar and one pillion passenger. The Filipino way however, if you can fit in or on, it's fair game. So there I sat, squashed in with 4 more passengers in the sidecar and another 3 plus driver on the motorbike. My luggage on board too!
4 hours accross the water proved uneventful, landing to the west of San Fransisco Island.
Maybe 50 motorbikes awaited the handful of passengers arriving all desperate to make a few Pesos.
We met my driver 5 minutes into the trip, I swapped bikes, continuing through towns and villages, San-Fransisco City built of shack like dwellings made out of bamboo, tree branches, reeds, leaves, rough thatch, occassional corrugated iron - basically anything they could get hold of to build. The very occassional concrete building stood out from the others...
Accross the causeway to Poro Island, following the rough concrete coast road along the south side to the small municipality of Tudela. Leaving Tudela behind we headed north away from the coast, up hill into the forest. Paved roads ceased, Maco's skill (my motor bike driver) came into play, somehow rough terrain smoothed out under the wheels of his Badger.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Where I am going...

In the midst of planning, packing and nervously waiting to set off on my travels.

Flying from London to Abu Dhabi and on to Manila in the Philipines.

A third flight to Cebu and then by boat to Poro.
Once on dryland of Poro, by motorbike, the local taxi, to my destination somewhere deep in The Camotoes Island - where I will be first of all making my own ink pens - and then, apart from all else I am doing, I will write a few postcards home and hopefully a blog or two.

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