Katja and Arne's travel stories

Farewell Batangas – Hello Puerto Galera

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For the first time in ages we are not using an alarm clock this morning. Still we’re awake an about around 8. We’re packing up and moving out from GM’s this morning.

As we’re going to Puerto Galera today we have been lucky enough to leave the big backpacks behind at GM’s. Cydel will take care of them and bring them with her when she picks us up when we get back to Batangas. The service level is unprecedented.

The Dagooc family (part of it) with Cydel, GM and SGM plus the two of us

The Dagooc family (part of it) with Cydel, GM and SGM plus the two of us

We are having a chil morning and Katja gave me the first gift in the advent calendar, a long lasting Norwegian tradition. I got breakfast served and a head massage. I’m saving the head massage to when we are on Puerto Galera, and enjoyed the fruit and yogurt breakfast.
While sitting there and just relaxing GM arrives and we get our certificates representing our training. Nice mementos to bring home to symbolize the time we have spent here. And in 20 minutes the guy from UK arrives and will start his training. We gathered up the last of our things, got to great the Englishman and headed out. Or not quite out.
We got coffee served downstairs and we got a picture of the Supreme Grandmaster, her husband and Cydel. We have only good things to say about the whole Dagooc family and will happily help others get in contact with GM for training, wholesale of sticks or other weapons and the ultimate experience. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get information about this.

Katja getting her certificate

Katja getting her certificate

Me getting my certificate

Me getting my certificate

Cydel took us to Batangas and we had lunch together there. Katja wanted another serving of Bulalo, they told us it was for three persons. Cydel and I agreed and we got another delicious meal. But it didn’t stop there, Katja got talked into buying an Crispy pata (pata means leg in Tagalog and was formerly attached to a pig).
You might have been served a pigs knuckle before, but if it’s not from here it’s probably not as good. They have a method for making the outside crispy that’s very cool. After cooking the leg they put it in the freezer until it’s completely frozen, then put it in boiling oil. This ensures that only the outside gets crispy as the inside just thaws and don’t get more cooked. It was delicious. It’s served with a bowl of sauce that’s based on soy sauce, vinegar and chili. You get the leg in small pieces and can dip it in the sauce. Katja now has yet another favorite dish.

And while driving to the harbor afterward we came across a live animal transport of water buffaloes. Man, these creatures are large.

Water buffalo transport.

Water buffalo transport.

The entry to the harbor was pretty crowded with begging children. “Money, money, food, food”, was a repeated line. It’s hard to know who really needs help and who just do this because enough people give them money. We follow a strict line and are pretty firm in our rejections.
We said goodbye to Cydel and off we went. We got on the boat without any issues
The ride over took just over an hour and the only action was a puking child and a crew member who constantly shone a flashlight into a hole in the deck and inspected something down there. We did not dear to ask what he looked for. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss.

When we got off the boat a man stood with a sheet of paper with Katja’s name on it. We had not asked for pickup as the hotel is just down the beach, but they provided boat pickup anyway. James was there and since there are not that many boats arriving he had been waiting since the first one. The boat ride is about 3 minutes and we were at the Lalaguna Villas.

The room is very nice, despite having the smallest windows. There is also this underlying smell of detergents. Probably from the bathroom mat. All of our friends who have been with us to Guildford know what I’m talking about.
They say the hotel is fully booked but so far we’ve seen no others, only a set of shoes outside a couple of the doors. On the other hand are there enough workers here to build a skyscraper. The hotel is expanding and it’s workers all over. Luckily they don’t make all that much noise and are smiling and service minded.

We took a long hot, hotter, hottest shower for the first time in a long time. It’s an extremely refreshing feeling to be clean, I mean really scrubbed clean, again. Holy mother of warm water, I feel reborn again.
We trudged along the “Boardwalk” to the center of Sabang and got some fruits, yogurt and explored the “city”. We are not in the White beach area of the island, but on the more populated area with pebbled beach. We have booking here until Friday and will probably move over to the other side and nicer beach then.

As we walked into towards Sabang we came across a fish sales stall on the beach. Want a slice of today’s catch? No problem. Let me chop it out for you.

Clearly a way to make fast money around here.Catch fish, sell in parts not in whole sale

Clearly a way to make fast money around here.Catch fish, sell in parts not in whole sale

And then we found this guy. It’s meaningless to translate “Ute å lufte høna si” from Norwegian to any other languages, but we just had to put him in here for your enjoyment.

"Jasså, ute å lufter høna?!?"

“Jasså, ute å lufter høna?!?”

Tomorrow we’re just gonna lay by the pool and relax and do absolutely nothing.

Not all those who wander are lost.

– J.R.R. Tolkien

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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