Monday, September 27, 2010

Daily Report: Camiguin Island Trip Day #2

Another day in paradise. We had breakfast on the veranda of our bungalow with the sound of waves, crowing chickens, and tweeting birds. After that, our rented motorcycle arrived.

First, we drove into the town of Mambajao ("mom-BA-how") which is the small, clean, and antique capital of Camiguin Island. There, we went to lunch at The Rooftop, owned by a Dutch fellow named Gelt. He has a wonderful deli there, and a large selection of imported meats, cheeses, and other items. He also had, much to my amazement, dill pickles... the first I had seen in The Philippines. The hamburgers they cook at The Rooftop are really quite good. Stay away from the Mexican food though.

Gelt is also building a hotel on the third floor and the rooms seem quite nice... although why anyone would come to Camiguin and stay in a hotel room in town rather than a bungalow on the beach, I couldn't imagine.

There really are a lot of foreigners living here... perhaps as many as in Cagayan De Oro. However, CDO has almost a million people in it, while Camiguin has less than 50,000. Add to that the tourists, and you have a very visible number.

Camiguin seems like a nice place to live. You can take the fast ferry and be in CDO within 2 hours (plus time spent getting to the ferry). There are flights to Manila three times per week as well. Bohol is also only 2 hours away by ferry, and Cebu is a few more hours beyond that. The major problem I see with life on this island is getting your hands on cash: The ATM here only dispenses 4,000 pisos at a time: Those withdrawal charges add up fast.

After lunch, Epril and I drove out to the hot springs, which after White Island are the second best feature this island has to offer. I have to give the proprietors credit with the "design" they stumbled across: They took the little gully through which the hot water flows, cemented the bottom to make cascading pools, and added rocks to make walls, steps, and walkways. Then they covered the entire place with a net to keep out the leaves, giving the place a shadowy, private, and yet mossy and still wild/jungle aspect to it. It wasn't altogether dissimilar from bathing in a Roman ruin. And the water was simply wonderful, about the temperature of a bath.

After that, Epril and I went back down the hill and bought 10 Camiguin Island T-shirts for $2 each... one for everybody in the family.

From there, Epril and I went to Soda Swimming Pool, which was supposed to be a mineral spring, but was just plain water. (It may have been a proper mineral spring at some point in the past, but all evidence of calcium, salts, gas, carbonation, or other geological filtering of the water has disappeared as of my visit.)

Then, it was back to Golden Sunset Resort where Epril and I were served a lovely steak dinner out on the beach-side patio for our anniversary. There was candlelight and our own personal waiter. Very, very nice.

I've had internet access the entire time we were here at Golden Sunset: I just brought along the wireless Globe internet box from home and plugged it in, and it connected to the nearest Globe tower and all was ready to go!


kris said...

You & Epril look very happy, excellent.

Mom said...

What a beautiful place for you to celebrate!