Archive: Feb 2017

Alona Beach, Bohol day 1

I woke up early on the 19th December, grabbed my swimming shorts and went to the roof for a swim. It was raining. Not the most ideal start, but it wasn’t particularly heavy rain, so I got into the water and began to swim some laps of the fairly small pool. I had the entire rooftop to myself, probably because no one else was stupid enough to go swimming on the roof of a tall building in a storm. The reward for my idiocy was a rainbow beaming across the green mountains surrounding the back of Cebu City.

Robyn, Nikki and I met for breakfast then headed to the ferry for Bohol. Traffic in Cebu is insane and although the ferry was close to the hotel on a map, we were advised by reception to leave 45 minutes to reach the pier. 40 minutes later we arrived, paid the driver, got tickets and were sat on board ready for the couple of hours journey to paradise.

Except when we arrived paradise was somewhat overcast and wet. 

Another 45 minute taxi took us from the ferry to Alona Beach, a strip of white sand to the south of Bohol lined with palm trees and beach resorts. We were staying at Alona Vida resort, I had stayed there once before and it was fairly basic but reasonably priced for the few days we were booked there, and the food was pretty good. We checked in and then went to the restaurant for lunch, and, thankfully, the sun began to emerge.

That afternoon we booked a boat trip for the following morning, as it was Robyn’s birthday and we wanted to go exploring. We then grabbed our swimming stuff and went to the far end of the beach towards the cliffs where we sunbathed, swam in water so clear it was like being in a bathtub and watched the sunset.

Bohol beginnings 

You can tell a lot about a person by their office computer desktop background. Some people never change it, these people are either technologically incompetent or too awesome to let their personal lives seep into their austere halogen lit office cubicle. Then there are the people who change their desktop background, but stay within the standard Microsoft menu of escapist idealism. Tired of the Windows logo on a blue screen? Here! Have some green fields or a lake with some mountains. These types enjoy change, but only within set parameters.

My desktop background was the view from the rooftop of the ‘Best Western Plus Lex hotel’ in Cebu City. I had stayed at the hotel a couple of times before during Easter holidays to the Philippines. It was not a particularly great hotel, or a particularly great picture, but I was due to return to the hotel at the start of my year long adventure around the world, so at the end of a mind numbing meeting I would sit at my desk, look at the picture, and smile safe in the knowledge that I would be there soon.

Nikki and I arrived in Cebu City and headed to the hotel, checked in and then went straight to the rooftop. I swam for a while and then sat at a table overlooking Cebu City whilst drinking a cold San Miguel beer. The street below was teeming with motorcycles and the sounds of honking horns drifted up to the roof, in the middle distance were high rise buildings that were being built two years ago when I had last visited and now remained unfinished and derelict, and in the far distance you could just make out the sea, with ships zipping across the water. I could feel the tension of work drifting away as I looked out at my real life desktop background, or perhaps that was the beer.