Road Trip Our Journey – Part 2

The next day we drove from Narooma onto the next town, Batemans Bay and found a YHA caravan site which we managed to book for a few days. A small anonymous donation to the ‘Help your child abroad’ foundation helped us out massively. What we were able to book was a tiny caravan in the YHA which was advertised as a ‘private room’. To be honest we were just happy to be inside again. We spent a few days there, blogging and showering in hot water and downloading more Netflix.

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While we were there Olly re-downloaded the Couch Surfer App and began to look for our next place to stay. We found a local guy called Brad who was willing to take us in for a few days. We wanted to stay with locals for a few reasons. One was to save money and the other was to get more information about the areas we were in. The towns we were stopping in along this road trip I have either never heard of, or knew nothing about so locals information was crucial to use exploring.

View from Brads House - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We went to Brads house and immediately we were made to feel right at home. He introduced us to his 3 children and showed us to our room. A DOUBLE BED, INDOORS! Clearly we were appreciating the small things in life once again. We attempted to go and buy some food for dinner but Brad was having none of it, he insisted that he would cook us dinner and it was delicious. Brad also made his own rum which is my favourite drink of all time, was this heaven? Unlimited STRONG rum! We chilled in the living room, chatting to him and his kids, watching TV which was really nice. We looked at each other and realised how nice it was to just sit in front of the TV chatting to people. We haven’t done this in months and it just felt so nice and homely. We were instantly overwhelmed with Brad opening his home up to us and making us feel this comfortable after only a few hours.

Batemans Bay

The next day we headed out to a beach Brad had told us about called Pebbly Beach which had lots of friendly kangaroos. When we got there, there were none. Kangaroos are normally spotted at dawn and dusk so we decided to go for a walk as we had a few hours until they might appear. We checked our maps and saw a route along the coast line and headed straight for it.

 Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

This is the last time I am letting Olly plan the whole day as he didn’t tell me the hike was about 3 hours long. Well, it was meant to take an hour and a half but we stopped to take photos, explored off the beaten track ect. As we were in the trees we couldn’t really see the weather but we either kept getting cold at the edge of the cliffs and then freezing closer to the beaches. We made it to Snake Beach which was lovely but the weather started to take a turn for the worst. It started to rain so we tried to run back to the entrance but the track wasn’t as perfect as we had liked and kept slipping over. We were so focused on getting back to the car and we were so tired we forgot all about the kangaroos and jumped back into the car to head back to Brads house.

Road Trip  Our Journey Part 2. Milly running through the bush!

That evening Brad cooked us dinner again which was beautiful, and we chatted all night long about growing up in Australia and just realising the differences between our childhood and his. After a few Rums we headed to bed as I was tipsy as hell. Not drinking anything for a while really does take its toll on your tolerance for alcohol.

Lake Tabourie- Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We said goodbye to Brad and headed onto Lake Tabourie caravan park. This accommodation seemed too good to be true. It started off at $22 a night for us to camp and then reduced everyday we stayed. In the end we were paying $7 a day to stay here. This place was huge! It had lots of camping kitchens and stoves, it had mini golf, tennis courts, swimming pool and backed onto the beach. This place seemed like heaven! We had some time to kill so we planned to stay here for a few days, making the most of our surrounding.

Date night!

The first day we sat in the outdoor kitchen, which had a TV, cooking our dinner over the stove and downloading Netflix. This was still pretty cold but they did have inside toilets and hot showers so we weren’t complaining. Most nights we spent in the car, in bed watching Netflix, trying to stay warm!

Lake Tabourie caravan park.

The next few days we worked out, running around the whole campsite, we explored the beach at sunset and managed to get some great photos, we also played some mini golf for our date night. It wasn’t until our 4th day here we realised we had been walking past a room we didn’t even take notice of. Olly had a look in and he found an indoor kitchen filled with an oven, kettles, tv, toasters, etc. We felt like the biggest idiots ever as we had been freezing our arses off for days! This made life a lot easier especially making dinner. After copious about of Tea and biscuits in the evenings we were a lot more comfortable getting into bed slightly warmer.

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The day we were leaving Lake Tabourie the funniest thing happened to me and Olly so far of our travels. We somehow managed to adopt hundreds of children that didn’t understand boundaries,  the children being rainbow lorikeets. They landing on my head and arms thinking I had food due to dropping crumbs of bread on the floor. They then started to fight one another while they were on my arm! A photo says a 1000 words… this one definitely does!

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Jervis Bay was our next location. Olly had once again struck gold and hooked us up with another Couch Surfer near Basin View in Jervis Bay. Tom was our host who was a 29 year old teacher who had once travelled him self in Europe. We arrived at his place and again were blown away with his hospitality. He invited us that night to the pub with his friends to watch the State Of Origins Game, which we knew nothing about. I am sure our 100 questions about the game didn’t help his evening but they were all very nice explaining the rules to us! Tom and his friends gave us some great places to check out over the next few days.

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The next day we woke up early and headed out, exploring every place they had told us about. We walked for a few hours when we arrived at Gosangs Tunnel. Tom had told us that we needed to go here as we could get some cool photos but had never been himself. We arrived and realised we had to crawl through a small tunnel which had naturally been carved out through the rock. If I could see what was on the other side I wouldn’t have done this, as when we got to the other side it was a sheer drop into the sea. Extremely dangerous but seriously worth it! The view was amazing and we even managed to get the drone up to capture this amazing place we had stumbled upon.

Gosangs Tunnel

The light was quickly fading so we headed back to the car which was still a fair walk. Tom had also recommended we checked out Hyams Beach due to it being the whitest sand in the world. We jumped back in the car and headed around to the other side of the bay which was a good 45 minute drive. We had also been told by Toms friend that the houses along the beach front are to die for too it being a very affluent area. We arrived just before sunset and grabbed a coffee from the small cafe on the beach front. Coffee in one hand and cameras in the other we took the short walk along the beach and we can confirm, It defiantly is the whitest sand we have ever seen!

Hyams Beach

We headed back to Toms place and made ourselves at home by making spaghetti carbonara whilst he was out at a boxing class. Tom returned home a few hours later and we spent the rest of the evening chatting and watching videos of him on his local radio station. We forgot to mention Tom is in a band and a great guitarist and singer. We said good night and had an early night due to getting up early the next day for our next adventure.

Wilsons beach

Couch Surfing is something we 100% would recommend. It is so warming to know there are nice people out there willing to help you out especially when your half a world a way from home. It’s an extremely nice feeling, especially to feel at home in someone else house after months of hostels. Not only was this experience welcoming, it gave us lots of things to do and places to explore which we would not have known about. Going to a strangers house can be scary and dangerous, but if there is more than 1 of you then please consider it! We had never done it before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so much fun and interesting. If that isn’t what travelling is about, trying something new and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone then I don’t know what is!

Jervis Bay - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

Our next drive is onto Canberra to get the car sorted and back to the Snowy Mountains to start our jobs in a private members Chalet! It can’t get much colder than camping in the car, can it?

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Road Trip Our Journey – Part 1

Couple goals, Tartha NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We started our road trip leaving Jindabyne and heading towards the coast for a NSW mini road trip, our first stop was Bega! We originally were calling it Beggar but we soon learnt it is pronounced Bee-ga. We drove from the Snowy Mountains and straight through the flattest land we have ever seen. We came to a mountain we had to drive through and stopped off at this beautiful look-out at the top, the views were amazing. This lookout was a memorial to a bus driver who drove this route for 26 years who passed away while shovelling snow off his front garden.

Olly, Fred Piper Memorial NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

As we now had 3 weeks until we can head back to the mountains to start work, we have to be very careful with money. We were hoping to find some cash in hand work along the road trip but as its winter, not many places were looking to hire people. This meant saving as much as we could but still enjoying our time on the road.

We researched places to stay and found the cheapest place, which was in a caravan park in the town of Bega. This little town had a lot to offer us in things to see and do. We drove around to Tathra and explored the beaches there. The best thing about travelling with Olly is we both love photography, so a day exploring taking photos and drinking coffee is enough for us. Not to mention it only costs us $8 for the whole day. We walked around exploring all the lookouts we could find, driving through the national parks and walking through amazing forests.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We spent a few days in Bega and found a local McDonalds to plan the next part of our road trip. Taking into consideration us not earning anything while being on the road, we tried to cut costs as much as possible. The biggest outgoing for us was accommodation so we decided to head to Kmart to buy a blow up mattress. Sleeping in our beaten up wagon was always in the back of our minds, we were just expecting it to be a lot later in the year, when it wasn’t winter. We bought all kinds of camping gear and Olly was very excited, me on the other hand, not to much!

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

We left Bega and headed to Biamanga national park close by which we could camp in for free. Camping laws are very complex and annoying at times but we found a spot with no one around, looking out over the sea. We got to our camping spot only to find out its illegal to burn wood from the park with the threat of a $3000 fine if caught. We had literally just unpacked and blown up the bed in the back of the car, so I offered to stay put while Olly drove half an hour away to buy some wood. While Olly was doing this I sat on the beach, in the freezing cold, watching Netflix and a baby wallaby came to join me. He followed me from the beach back to the camp and pretty much spent the whole time with us.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

This spot was beautiful but as it was right on the beach it was extremely windy! Olly returned and we got a fire going and attempted to cook dinner on an open fire. This was the first test, to see if we could do this for the next few weeks. This night was by far the coldest I have ever experienced in my life. It was so cold I nearly cried at how much I was hating it. This first night camping taught us a lot. We knew for the next night it would be better to have everything ready such as thermals, cooking equipment and portable chargers. The next morning when we woke up we herd someone on the beach shout ‘whales’. We opened the boot and jumped out taking the drone with us. The whales were so far out but we sent the drone out anyway and it was worth it. The pictures and videos we got of this family of whales made the whole night worth it.

Family of Whales in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Our next night camping proved to be 100000% better. We drove to Mystery bay and this camp site was huge. We drove right to the top of the camp site which was like a peninsula with huge cliffs at the end. The site was guarded from the wind due to the amount of trees. We found a huge log to sit on which was already so much more comfortable than sitting on the damp ground the night before. We set up our camp, making a stove and organising our bed and belongings before it got dark. We also spent an hour gathering wood to keep the fire going. As I have never camped before I had no idea how much upkeep a fire needs! It really takes all your energy to keep warm! This night was so much better and we bought marshmallows and chocolate to have round the fire and then we wrapped up warm in our sleeping bags and got into bed and watched a film on my IPad, perfect!

 

Day three of our road trip we headed north along the coast to the beautiful town of Narooma. Although this site was quite exposed as it was basically on the beach, it was a small sacrifice for everything else that came with it. Not only was it the cheapest campsite we could find, but it came with fire pits, changing rooms, toilets inside and warm showers! This small aspect of your life you take for granted, such as being able to pee indoors, or actually have a fresh water shower. It really makes you appreciate everything a lot more. We explored Narooma taking photos along the way. We even managed to spot some Seals along the harbour wall.

Australia Rock, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Australia Rock, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma

We were saving money and having fun which was what we wanted to do on this road trip. Sleeping in our car which did I forget to mention didn’t have a roof lining due to the previous owners ripping it, again something you take for granted. Due to this lack of linking the orange foam insulation is exposed. This mean every time you climb in or out of the car and sit up to much you are greeted with a hair full of itchy foam. Additionally being freezing every night and having to buy food that we could easily cook over a fire was taking its toll. We treated our selves to fish and chips which we ate in front of our fire. It was so worth it and so nice not to have to spend hours making dinner.

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Stay tunned for Part 2 !

 

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Jindabyne – Our Journey

Road to Jindabyne The reason we came back to Australia this time round was to try to get a job at one of the ski resorts. We had been unsuccessful with our online applications earlier in the year due to visa issues, so we thought the next best thing would be to turn up and find work the old fashion way, face to face. In order to do this we needed to get to a town called Jindabyne, which is at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains and the closest town to the three Ski resorts, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Once we had bought our car in Sydney it was late in the day so we decided to only drive to Canberra as this is only two hours away. We also realised it was the weekend and heading to the ski resorts to hand out CV’s might not be the best idea, so we hung out in Canberra for a few days. We explored the area, which included the shopping centres as it was only getting colder and our clothes we had been wearing in the Philippines weren’t going to cut it. Whilst exploring we went to the parliament building which is located on a huge roundabout and witnessed an aboriginal protest.

Cambera Parliment House

The next day we headed to Jindabyne not knowing what to expect. There is only one hostel in Jindabyne so when we checked in and found out we were pretty much the only guests.. we were a little surprised. We started printing Cv’s off, walking around this tiny town to get more of a feel for the area. As I (Milly) have never skied before I have no idea how anything works or where you stay when you ski, this is all a learning experience for me! It became quickly apparent that the two weeks before the ski season starts the whole town seems to go on holiday, a kind of calm before the snowy storm. This wasn’t helpful as our face to face approach for job hunting went straight out the window.

Lake Jindabyne

We drove to Thredbo which is one of the most popular ski resort and started to ask around about jobs. As it is located in a national park we have to pay $17 a day to enter to hand out CV’s or talk to people, which started to add up as most of the locals were also on holiday before the season kicks off, so we were told to come back in a few days. Not only were most of the shops closed, but the locals who had already started work were complaining to us how hard it is for them to find accommodation on the resort. They explained they were living in Jindabyne which is a half an hour drive in good conditions. Not ideal for a daily commute through the snow. We were only trying to buy coffee and we got a ‘you should have applied earlier’ from a barista…thanks HUN but I wasn’t about to bother you with our visa sob story…We suddenly realised that if they couldn’t find accommodation on the resort then neither could we and the hour drive to and from work in snow looked like it might be our only option. We also learnt that most of the work was housekeeping which didn’t offer accommodation so we started to let go of the dream of working and living at Thredbo. Some lovely locals told us about a Facebook page which most of the town of Jindabyne use to find staff for the winter season, so we went back to the hostel to check it out. This page proved extremely useful as we emailed every single person advertising work on there with lots of responses. We actually got offered 6 jobs, unfortunately none came with accommodation. 

Spencers Creek

We had spent a few days in the hostel in Jindabyne, mainly because I had the flu, sending emails etc and finally we received an email for a joint Skype interview with a couple from a lodge in Charlottes Pass. The WiFi wasn’t great but we managed to have our first joint interview for the roles of live-in help at a private members lodge. Having an interview with my boyfriend is probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. We have never had to sell ourselves as a couple before and I felt like it was an intense version of meet the parents. This particular job advertised for a couple, so we were pretty lucky to have seen this kind of job. It came with living quarters for me and Olly and it was helping out around the lodge with the couple that are running it this year. It seemed perfect! We knew there were others interviewing for this role but we fell in love with the idea of it. We were offered a chance to go and have a look around as Charlottes Pass is the most remote of the ski resorts, once it snows and shuts the roads you are stuck there…or you have to pay $$$$ to use the snow overground to the next ski resort. Over the next few days we went to see the lodge and meet Jules and Stephan. As soon as we left we both looked at each other knowing we both really loved it and really hope we were successful with the job. Being in the area helped us massively as the next day we received the call we had got the jobs!!!! We were so bloody excited we went out for a celebratory pizza..which is a luxury as eating out is so expensive here. 

 

We traveled back to Canberra to get some bits for the car and stock up on toiletries for the next few months and then headed back to Jindabyne. We stuck around for the ski sale which a few locals told us about and managed to get all our ski and snowboard gear for extremely cheap prices. The only thing we bought brand new were our boots as apparently that is the most important part. Safe to say my new boots are so much more comfortable than the rentals I’m used to! We stayed in a different location in Jindabyne which was essentially a cabin within a caravan park. It was amazing, there was a sauna and jacuzzi which was absolute luxury, we indulged!! 

Jindabyne Caravan Park

We took all of our heavy boots and toiletries back up to Charlotte’s Pass before it snows and they shut the roads. Once it snows we would have had to have bought chains for the car wheels and struggled to get there in our 2 wheel drive. We unloaded everything and waved goodbye to Jules and Stephan as we had 3 weeks until we officially started work.

Trader Joe's Garage

We made a plan to do a mini road trip which involves camping to try to save money as we have to make our savings stretch another month. We have done road trips before but in huge camper vans which had a bed and somewhere to sit and cooking facilities so we knew we could do it again. Olly was a scout so he loves camping and the outdoors, me on the other hand, I have never camped or willingly slept in a car. I asked my Dad why we had never camped as a family and he said because we wouldn’t have anywhere for my Mum to plug her hairdryer in. That moment right there, I could finally see myself in both parents, likes the outdoors but prefers nice hair. 

Wish us luck for our next journey on the road!

Perisher

 

Sydney – Our Journey

Leaving the Philippines 😦

 We were in Coron and managed to catch a hell-ish ferry back to Manila which took a very long and hot 15 hours. Once we arrived in Manila we realised it was 7am and we couldn’t check in until  2pm. I had a brilliant idea of going back to the hostel we stayed in on our very first night in the Philippines, Lub D! They served good coffee and from memory, they had a Netflix room. As you can imagine we got a great nights sleep on an open air, 200 person bunk bed sleep over…not. We were exhausted, I was still slightly ill and didn’t fancy walking around Manila for the next 6 hours so we got a taxi straight to Lub D. Olly had some breakfast and we snuck into the Netflix room and I passed out straight away, it was one of the best naps I had ever had! I woke up and it was time to check into our hotel. We simply got up and walked out and no one said anything, it was brilliant! Our hotel was thankfully just around the corner and we checked in to our new digs. I say hotel, it was actually a residence apartment which meant we had access to the gym and swimming pool. We just chilled here, going to the shopping centre and watching a film in the cinema and just relaxing before we have to catch our flight to Sydney!
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WE HAVE ARRIVED IN SYDNEY!!!! Finally back in the land of OZ where we met! During the flight Olly passed out, shock! And I stayed up watching movies and starving as the food was probably the worst food I have ever had… I cant even remember what it was as I am typing this because I have tried to forget everything about it and push it into the depts of my mind. We landed super early and again had the issue of not being able to check in for a while. We took advantage of this and stopped for breakfast at the airport. POACHED EGGS AND SMOKED SALMON, My god it feels good to be back in a place that appreciates brunch as much as we do. I had been craving poached eggs since I left England.

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Olly being the travel savvy guy he is, had been to Sydney airport before and directed us to the train station. We both got a Opal card, which is basically an oyster card, and took the right train to our hostel. I haven’t actually used much public transport in Australia as last time I was used to either walking or jumping on the Greyhound. Being back here just feels right! I think its because I’m with Olly and he knows what he’s doing, and just being able to figure out how to use public transport in a foreign country makes you feel like your home. It might sound silly but when you are travelling the feeling of being ‘at home’ in the weirdest of situations is such a nice feeling. 

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We walk from the train to our hostel and it dawns on us how bloody cold it is! I know it wasn’t going to be philippine weather but still, it was freezing! We arrived at our hostel and checked into our rooms. Being back in australian hostel life for real was an eye opener!! The room stank of gross boys, we were put in a filthy room and there was 1 shower and toilet. There were some more downstairs but you would have to walk through a haze of smoke and drunk people to get to them and in your PJ’s.. its not the most comfortable of situations. We dumped our bags and headed out, freezing we decided to go shopping to try and buy a jumper or anything that could to keep us warm. Finding H&M and Benefit damaged my bank account, but I was able to be slightly warmer for us to face exploring Sydney. 

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The night we landed was our 2nd year anniversary to when we met, so we got slightly dressed up and headed to the Opera house for dinner and some drinks. It was so nice to actually take in Sydney as last time I was here I didn’t experience very much. This was due to the fact I had no money what so ever, I didn’t enjoy Sydney and I really wanted to. This time round felt so different, we took a stroll around the harbour area and walked home, we wanted to head out early and explore more. 

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We spent one day over at Manly beach which was a ferry ride away. This place was beautiful and so much more relaxed than the city. We got there quite late as when Olly has his camera out it takes us hours to get any where. Getting there later meant we had to rush to get the drone up before the sun went down but the golden hour proved to be worth all the rushing!

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The next day we got up early, got out of our disgusting room as quickly as we could and got the train back into the city. We spent hours walking around taking photos, having amazing food and taking in the sights. That night we were pooped, we had walked so much and just wanted to relax but we came back to hell. Two of our room mates had a fight in our room, so our room was a tip and had blood all over the walls, my bed was soaking from god knows what and Olly’s bag had been moved. I didn’t feel safe, others wanted to keep the lights on for when the boys came back from their night out so they wouldn’t fight again. It just put me in a bad mood as I didn’t remember travelling being this repulsive.. maybe thats just boys? Olly is so different to these cave men and I cant even put that down to him being older as they were the same age! It was just bizarre. We are all up for having a good night out and drinking but this hostel was just too much. We booked a different hostel and headed to Bondi to live out the rest of our Sydney days.

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Bondi was a different ball game altogether! The hostel was amazing, the people where nice and we had a private room which helped! It just blew our minds that everyone was cleaning up, making food and wanted to just chill and have a chat. This is what I remember travelling to be like! We noticed everyone was super healthy which prompted us to try and be healthier than we had been. The only happy hour we saw here was $5 off salads.

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Bondi beach is one of the most famous beaches there is in Australia and we could see why. Even in the freezing wind we went and relaxed in the sun on the beautiful beach and watched the surfers for hours. We got up early most days and explored to the max! We managed to do the Bondi to Coogee walk which was breath taking and we even had a healthy stop on the way thanks to my sisters friends recommendations!

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We even managed to spot some whales in the distance and was able to fly the drone out to capture it. Not only was this the furthest we had every flown the drone but it was so refreshing that we weren’t on a boat chasing the whales. It actually gives me hope for the future that technology like drones can get people closer to natural wonders, without the danger of getting too close and disturbing the whales.

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One of our main aims while we were in Sydney was to buy a car. A car that would be reliable, get us to the snowy mountains with the potential to sleep in her too if need be. We present to you…BASIC BETTY…! If you have ever seen Riverdale you will know how basic that Betty is, so she is named after her!

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We waved goodbye to Sydney and planned our route to Canberra for a night! We have booked one of only two hostels in the whole of Canberra. Until next time..

 

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Coron – Our Journey

After what felt like just a nap for me we had arrived in Coron! While I was in a mini coma Olly had been chatting to some people around us who turned out to be a Videographer for Five Guys. He was interested in Olly’s drone photos which he was editing at the time and I woke up and interrupted their bromance as we had arrived. We headed to our hotel and checked in to Divine Castle Inn, surprisingly there were huge photos of Disney Land castle everywhere..it was very odd! We headed to a restaurant to grab a snack and the staff were so rude we left. I hate how British we are when it comes to manners. If someone doesn’t have basic manners then I need to let them know that they are on the same level as a cave man. I can’t help it..a bad review on trip advisor is coming their way! 

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Anyway.. we headed into the tiny town of Coron to explore and grab a coffee at a highly rated cafe on Trip advisor. It was the first time in so long we had proper coffee! It tasted so strong just because we are used to coffee flavoured water which the Filipino people call coffee. We walked up and down the street and booked a tour for the next day as we wanted to jump into exploring and taking photos. We bumped into Ali, Mo and Patricia ( drone wars from El Nido) and we all decided to go and grab some dinner. Mo and Ali warned us the food was rubbish but me and Olly ordered differently to them so we assumed we would be fine. I tried a chicken dish I had never tried before because I am Queen Fussy eater and I stick to what I know, but Olly is always trying to push me to try different things. We are so similar that normally we order the same thing or I get jealous of what he’s got so I trusted his judgement and ordered this chicken dish. 

The next day we were waiting at our hotel for the trip to pick us up but after an hour we assumed they had forgotten. Our hotel receptionist had called the company and sure enough they had forgotten us, not only that but they walked in and picked up 4 other people and didn’t acknowledge us sitting there. When we eventually got to the boat, Ali, Mo and Patricia were nowhere to be seen and we had to run through two different boats to get to ours. We had made everyone late and It was awkward as hell! We sat down, confused and trying not to make eye contact with the rest of the boat. Once we got enough courage to look around, Olly noticed his mate from the ferry, the Five Guys..guy?

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We stopped off at the first location which was the Twin Lagoon which was a lot of swimming. The guides were adamant on wearing life jackets which was confusing as this was the first sign of health and safety we had experienced the whole time in the Philippines. This lake was beautiful but after some awkward swimming and pushing, me and Olly decided swimming with life jackets was not only ridiculous but we looked pathetic. Do you know how hard it is to get from point A to B when your back is perfectly straight and floating? No, nor did we so we took them off and pushed them in front of us. This was also our first time flying the drone off of a boat which sent my anxiety levels through the roof. I am a great at helping Olly now, he has taught me how to get the controller set up and phone so I can actually help, other than shouting at people to move because did I mention that nobody seems to have manner here? If the drone is landing, chances are its going to hit you if you stand in the way taking a selfie. I can say from experience when the drone hits you, it bloody hurts!

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Five Guys guy had given us his email to send him all the drone photos of course and we learnt that the reason they are so strict with the life jackets is because two tourists died last year, drunk, freediving or something. They hit their head and drown or so the rumour goes.

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We stopped at some more incredible snorkelling spots and some lakes. The first lake was hell, naturally it had 500 steps up and down to reach which I didn’t moan about once. I did managed to refuse to go any further and made Olly walk on without me but after 2 minutes of sitting there on my own with lots of Chinese tourists staring at me, I picked my pride up and ran down to find him. This was a fresh water lake so we had to wear life jackets again which made it hard to find him as it was a sea of Orange. The water was the clearest I have ever seen and because it is fresh water, you do tend to sink which was fun. 

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Barracuda Lake

We also stopped at Barracuda Lake which was out of this world. This lake was perfectly still, perfectly clear and perfectly refreshing. Olly was blown away at how deep this lake was and you could see the whole way to the bottom. It was mad how you can’t see this deep in the sea but yet here you can see everything, catfish and all! After a hell of alot of swimming, climbing and moaning we headed back and were exhausted! We managed to find the energy to meet up with Mo, Ali and Patricia for some amazing dinner at the sea front. We had some drinks and headed home.

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Lake Kayangan from above

That night turned into hell. If you have read all of this page you will know that Olly made me try a new dish a day before this evening. This turned into a bad idea as I have now got food poisoning. I have never had food poisoning before as I am a fussy eater and the one pro of being fussy is that you don’t get ill from food! The next two days I was trapped in bed with nowhere to go, nothing to do other than moan and watch Netflix. Poor Olly was going out getting me all kinds of medicine and when I thought I was hungry he went to get me food which turned into another bad idea. 

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We booked a fancy hotel for our last few days in Coron as there wasn’t actually much to do on land here, other than do boat trips so we booked into Grand Asia Hotel. This was the perfect place to be ill as it had a pool and HUGE room and was so peaceful.

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My not so baby cousin

The next day my bébé cousin had arrived and wanted to do a boat trip with us. Olly pumped me full of pills and we headed out to find a boat. We managed to get a private boat and choose all of our lunch which was really nice. This was the first time I have ever hung out with my cousin, how crazy is that. We have never been in a room together without our dads being there either. It was nice to gossip about our Dads finally. We had a really nice day chilling and swimming and taking lots of photos and I had started to feel better, still not eating but not in pain. 

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The next day we invited my cousin and her friend, also called Olivia, to our hotel and we chilled by the pool all day and caught up some more. I had started to feel worse again and relaxing done me some good.

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Asia Grand View Hotel

A few days later we took a ferry to Manila, a 15 hour journey in what looks like hell. I can only describe it as the prison Bridget Jones goes to in Thailand. Air con sleeping quarters had sold out so we were in the very local, very open air accommodation. It was boiling and it was awful. Olly pumped me full of pills again so I wouldn’t feel too bad on the ferry but there was no happiness on this ship of doom. We did meet some lovely Americans on this ferry who heard I wasn’t well and came and found me to give me some crackers which was so nice of them. I hadn’t eaten for 5 days at this point and it was just what I needed to survive the night.

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Coron from above!

Next stop Manila for the last leg of our journey in the Philippines. We have booked an apartment in a residence building as they have a pool and gym we can use and being in Manila isn’t particularly fun. Theres not much to do here and we just want to relax incase I am still ill.

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Lake Kayangan 

Olly once again has proved to be the best boyfriend in the world. Putting up with me in general is a hard gig but he’s put up with me at my worst and hasn’t battered an eyelid. I am the unluckiest person in the world, that’s a fact. But the fact I have him makes me extremely lucky. I don’t know many people who would do as much as he does for me and I will be forever grateful to have him in my life. He even let me watch 6 hours of Greys Anatomy while I was ill.

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El Nido – Our Journey

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My favourite place in the world is El Nido and I am finally back! As soon as we get closer to somewhere I recognised I instantly am in awe of how much El Nido has changed. I was thinking maybe my minds playing tricks on me and I don’t remember as much as I used to. We arrive at the hotel and I want to go and explore to see if I am right and again I am shocked how much everything has changed. There are so many more hotels, restaurants and generally more western looking shops. I was only here a year and a half ago, how could it of changed this much in that time?!

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That evening we met up with Sasha and Simon and headed to the Outpost hostel for some food and drinks and to book our trip for the next day. This place is amazing, brand new, great food and cheap trips! I was beginning to think that change was a good thing for El Nido. Unfortunately the next day it rained all day and we postponed our island hopping trip but as we had a private boat we didn’t loose any money. We spent the day in bed, watching films and updating the blog and doing ‘Life admin’. 

 

Island hopping day!! First stop was to the Big Lagoon, which our boat literally drove in and drove out as it was very busy. We then went to Shimizu Island for some snorkelling but the current was so strong I thought I was going to drown!

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Our highlight of the day was the secret  lagoon, we arrived here later than we expected and we were the only ones here. Me and Olly became the dream team and kayaked though the cave to reach it. We stopped paddling and just floated around, amazed at how clear the water was and how blue it was. It was amazing!!!

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We kayaked over to a secluded beach and of course a photo shoot broke out. This boat trip was amazing and I was reminded why I loved this beautiful place so much. 

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The next day I demanded a beach day to top up the tan, we headed to Las Cabanas beach which was the closest one to El Nido and spent the day chilling and swimming and not really doing much. As the sun was setting we headed to Beach bar to grab a bean bag and a few drinks and this is where we met Ali, Mo and Patricia. These guys had a drone and drone wars took place which was cute to watch as Olly and Mo were teaching each other about their drones. I didn’t care too much as I found two puppies and instantly my day was made.

 

We figured out that we were all on the same ferry to Coron together and planned to see them there. The ferry was a 5 hour fast boat at 7:45 am which I wasn’t too happy about but once we got on board it actually wasn’t bad. I couldn’t even feel the fact I was on boat and passed out while Olly took photos of me 🙃

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El Nido is so beautiful, but I can already see how it will slowly lose some of this beauty. The amount of tourists they put on boat trips, the amount of new hotels going up and the amount of money things are costing, not to mention they now have a functioning airport. It’s loosing it’s untouched feel already and it is 100% due to how much the Philippines has blown up on social media and bloggers promoting it. This place is still as popular as ever, the hotels are still booked up weeks in advance and it’s still people’s number one place to see here in the Philippines. Not all of it is bad, every restaurant is adamant on not using plastic straws and reducing their waste. This can only mean good things and hopefully the government won’t have to close it like they have Boracay.  

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Coron is the last island we are visiting before we head back to Manila to catch our flight to Sydney. We tried to look for flights to Siargao as Olly really wanted to go surfing here, but Boracay has closed and everything has sky rocketed in price. Coron is also another island neither of us have visited. I enjoy going to new places much more as I don’t have any expectations or anything to compare it too. So far every place we have moved on too has seemed to top the last place. Hopefully Coron doesn’t disappoint and tops what El Nido has to offer. 

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Port Barton – Our Journey

We have landed in Puerto Princesa!! This is our third week in the Philippines and this was only our second flight, which I am very impressed by. Last year I did 9 flights within 2 weeks in the Philippines to get around as there are so many islands to visit. We arrived at the airport and boy has it changed since I have last been here, I didn’t recognise anything! We found a tour company who would take us to Port Barton in a van with a few other people. We got to the van and there were already 12 people squished inside, plus bags. I get the seat near the front and push Olly into the back where the bags go, not enough room for a human. I was already in a bad mood as I wanted to sit next to Olly for this 3 hour drive and the journey is not pleasant. I knew this drive was bad but I clearly had chosen to forget how bad it was. About half an hour in Olly shouts for me and I turn around and he’s saying he needs to get out, I turn back around as I was thinking he’s joking but then he shouts to me again ‘Milly I need to get out’. As soon as I saw his face I knew he wasn’t joking. I signalled to the driver to pull over and call us a private car. Olly gets travel sickness anyway but being cramped in the back with no way of seeing where we are going, no air con, 13 other people and bad roads- It was a recipe for disaster. As soon as we pull over another couple get out and ask if we can split the private car with them as they didn’t feel well either. It’s situations like this I don’t care how much money things are, as long as Olly felt OK that was my main concern. We all jumped in another car, just the four of us and we all fell asleep within half an hour. 

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I had herd Port Barton was a beautiful fishing village which broke up the journey to El Nido. I also herd there wasn’t much here but I didn’t really think too much in to it. If I have learnt anything from being in the Philippines, it is to not expect anything. We arrived at our accommodation which were 3 rooms in the middle of nowhere. We are told that there is only electricity from 5:30 till midnight and that goes for the whole town, so if we want to sleep, make sure we fall asleep before midnight so we don’t notice the fan going off. HAHA..THIS..IS..GREAT. This is also the first time I haven’t even looked at what Olly is booking and he’s booked us here for 4 nights. Our first evening we took a stroll into the main street and got something to eat but we were pretty tired so we headed back to make the most of the fan. I have said to Olly on this trip, I need to get back into the backpacker head space and I need to not be such a princess but this place has me waking up sitting straight up and screaming. I am either screaming because there is a millipede on me or a mango from the tree outside and has fallen and hit our tin roof which makes it sound like someone has fallen through the ceiling in the bathroom. Yes I did make Olly check if there was someone in the bathroom on the first night and no I do not feel stupid.

Our second day in Port Barton was much better. We had arranged with the couple we have travelled here with, Sasha and Simon, that we would rent a private boat and do an island hopping tour. We all met on the beach and jumped on our boat and headed to the first snorkel spot. The water was so clear!! Oh my goodness it was incredible! As I am the biggest wimp known to man I still make Olly hold my hand, just incase I see a shark and he pointed out all the clown fish! I have always wanted to see a bright orange clown fish and I finally saw an adult one!! It was amazing!

We headed off to German Island which was just out of this world, we saw the biggest turtle which literally turned and posed for me and I reckon it was bigger than Olly is tall. As we were on a private tour we asked our driver to take us to the spots where the tourists weren’t. WOW did he pull through! He took us to his friends island who let us visit and there was no one there. The crew started to cook our lunch which was fish and veg whilst we took photos. Naturally Olly’s drone caught the attention of the locals and some kids ran over to come and play with us.

An afternoon of more snorkelling and swimming was just what we needed and we dropped Sasha and Simon back off at their accommodation. On the way back to our place we stopped at the sandbar to take some drone shots while there was no one around. At this point me and Olly had drank some beers and were tired. Olly starts to land the drone and shouts ‘ catch it’ to which I panicked. ‘What do you mean catch it! No I DONT want to’. He ignore this and keeps telling me to catch it so I put my hand up. Right as I am about to grab it he shouts ‘ turn it over’….WHAT! Its so strong I cant turn it over, its naturally trying to take off again and me being an idiot start to bring my other hand up to help bring it down. This was a bad idea and my fingers met the drone blades while they were full power, I didn’t even feel a thing. I brought my hand down and was so worried I broke the drone I didn’t even look at my hand, I handed the drone to Olly and turned around. At this point my driver has run over shouting and 4 of his friends are also running over. I looked down and see my whole hand covered in blood dripping on the sand. I couldn’t even see what had happened and I was still trying to see if the drone was OK. The Filipino’s brought a first aid kit over and kept trying to get me to sit down but I was insisting I was fine. At that point I got extremely dizzy and had to squat down as I didn’t want to sit in the sand. I turn to look at my hand and I still cant feel any thing but I can see a lot of blood. They wrap me all up and we get back on the boat. It isn’t until we are right about to dock I burst into tears as suddenly the adrenaline wares off and all I can feel is so much pain in my fingers. I am crying my eyes out and all I can do is hold my hand up to stop the bleeding. Olly tries to do anything he can to calm me down which involved chips and a milkshake and him telling me to breathe. The pain was unbearable and all I could think was, what an idiot I was. Why did I bring my other hand up!! I hurt two fingers but as I haven’t had an injury in years I just freaked out and I wouldn’t even let Olly clean them as it hurt so much. 

Worth this shot though !

The next day called for some much needed rest and a lazy day on the beach, which is exactly what I have been after. I just had to slice my fingers open to get it! We topped up our tans, drank on the beach and chilled. We managed to explore more of Port Barton by just walking around. We didn’t want to get a moped as this was the time we set to relax and not do much!

Not having wifi for a few days was really nice and refreshing. I know how lucky I am anyway to have Olly in my life but these few days put it all into perspective for me. He lets me watch Drag Race, he calms me down when theres a bug on me, he investigates the mango intruder and he mends me when I am ill. I am so lucky to have him in my life. Not only are we 99% of the time on the same page, but he is all I need to make me happy or cheer me up in what ever situation and its times like this which make you really appreciate this and makes me want to hold on to him even tighter than I do.

 

Next stop El Nido

Bohol – Our Journey

We have arrived in Bohol!!!! So excited to be back as I have only been here for a day trip with my sister. So me and Olly have heard very very mixed reviews about Bohol since we started travelling around the Philippines. Most people say the chocolate Hills are overrated and Bohol has turned into a little Boracay ( little Ibiza) and isn’t a nice place. We took all of these opinions with a pinch of salt and headed there anyways. We booked accommodation in Tagbilaran which is where most of the backpackers are and most of the trips start from. As soon as we got off the ferry we realised this wasn’t like anywhere we had been before. We are not sure if it’s because Boracay is shutting this week or the simple fact that this is more touristy.. but the people are horrible here! Taxi drivers charging ridiculous prices and ignoring us if we won’t pay. They are just out to rip you off and it feels like Thailand. Anyway we get to our hostel and the owner is a really nice German guy who tells us all we need to know about trips and starts to get us drunk Lol , so we head into town to sort out a tour for the next day and grab some dinner.

We saw on another blog there was a really good vegan restaurant… Olly normally orders the veggie option anyway as he is fussy with meat, more fussy than I am with food in general. So me trying to be a good understanding girlfriend says “ sure let’s try it”.. but in the back of my mind I’m thinking it’s only half 7, there’s still time to get food after we are done here haha. But we had probably the most filling dinner we’ve had while being away. Olly had a Diwali festival inspired curried potato rosti filled with cauliflower, cashews, peas, tomato and sweet pickles slipped with kerelan papaya chutney and I had a sweet potato, garlic, mushroom, mango and spinach burger.  I was so hesitant for trying it but he said “ I’ll pay for it if you please try it”.. didn’t have to tell me twice haha. I really struggle with not letting him know how I feel, I can’t lie to him so he was watching my face to see my reaction and I have to say it wasn’t bad.

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Every time we go on a ferry I say to Olly “ I just want to see a dolphin” so when we were looking at what trips to do, he pointed to the dolphin watching trip!!!! Of course I was so bloody excited. We had an early start of course we got on the boat at 6:30am. We headed out to a remote island just off shore to do some snorkelling and on the way we saw a pod of dolphins!!! It was really cool but I was kinda disappointed that there were about 15 boats doing the same trip as us, chasing them. Didn’t feel too natural but we literally saw them and drove off, our boat driver didn’t chase them which was good.

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We got to Balicasag island and got into smaller boats where they took 4 of us out at a time. They took us over the protected reef ( very happy there is protected reefs still) and to the cliff edge where we saw the most amazing coral! We saw hundreds of fish, clown fish, purple fish and all amazing shapes and colours of coral. This is definitely the best I’ve ever seen! We got back on the boat and they took us 5 minutes around the corner to a stronger current where we saw lots and lots of turtles !!! This was becoming the best day yet with the amount of wildlife we had seen.

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We then went to the Virgin island which is a huge sandbar in the middle of the sea, pretty cool but as always, over crowded. We jumped back on the big boat and Olly being the amazing boyfriend he is, he let me fall asleep on the boat while he chatted away to the locals and I was extremely burnt when I woke up.

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To ease the pain we found the perfect spot on the beach and got very drunk watching the sunset. Meeting two English girls who we got talking to and went for dinner with was a really nice end to this amazing day!

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We then travelled to a different part of Bohol the next day, called Guindulman, next to Anda beach. We stayed in an amazing hotel called Guindulman Bay tourist Inn with an English owner and his Filipino wife and son. He was like an old English gangster with so many stories and she was probably the smartest person I have ever met and their son was a little Filipino geeza who loved the ladies. They made us feel so welcomed and the food!!! Oh my goodness the food was out of this world. Me and Olly had to get used to eating 3 huge meals again because we had to take this opportunity while it lasted! We spent hours talking to them and they were so helpful with everything around this area. We spent a day going to waterfalls that were empty, running around rice terraces getting spooked by Carabao’s ( like a water buffalo). It was amazing! We also took the moped and explored around and we got a flat tyre. With this area not being used to westerners , no one spoke English but we managed to figure out that the shop to fix it was 1km away.. with us not wanting to push this heavy bike in the heat, a local who looked about 15 pushed it for us 🤣 weak white people!

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Our next adventure takes us back to Cebu for a day, so we can catch our flight to Puerto Princesa and move onto Port Barton!!!

Kabankalan- Our Journey

In Siquijor we stayed in a dorm where we met Ally who was from Canada. Previously in the day Ally had met a Filipino called Sarah who was with her whole family, who we later got introduced to at dinner. Processed with VSCO with m5 presetThey invited all of us to their home in Kabankalan which was one bus from Dumaguete, another island over. This didn’t sound too difficult, with three of us going and the family seeming so kind and caring what were we waiting for? These are the moments why we came travelling with no plan so we could do spontaneous things and at the moment we have nothing but time so I said to Olly yes let’s go! Filipino people are the nicest people I have ever met and we wanted to learn more about these amazing people and their country.

The next day we got the ferry from Siquijor to Dumaguete with no problems, even though the last time we were in Dumaguete we were glad to see the back of it after the ferry troubles getting to Siquijor. We found the bus and all jumped on it but it was already packed. These busses normally stop every 10 minutes so we assumed people would get off and we could sit down. An hour into the journey we are still standing in the isle and now there is a man walking up and down the isle selling dried fruit and other things in a huge bag of his head and we are looking at each other like..is this guy for real?!  Of course numpty Oliver wants something from him which leaves me bent over the poor lady sat next to me while he is getting the money out of the bags as the isle fits a Filipino standing up, not us!! Anyways we get to the stop and call Sarah to let her know we have arrived and we realise every single person is looking at us. People have stopped in their cars, people are crossing the road to see us and it dawns on us that in this small town they do not get westerners and evidently by everyone’s reaction they had never seen one in real life!

Sarah takes us to her lovely house and we see all the kids again and drop our things off and we all jump on the back of mopeds to their restaurant to meet her husband and have dinner. Sarah’s husband wasn’t in Siquijor so she came home from the trip with her sisters and children and told him “ we have three guests coming tomorrow” poor guy didn’t even have a chance!!Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

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We tried some lovely local foods and jumped back onto the bikes and headed to Mag Aso Falls but it was pretty dark so we headed back but not before stopping on the side of the road next to all the trucks and asking them to try some sugar canes straight from the fields. Kabankalan is the biggest sugar cane producer in the whole of the Philippines and it is everywhere being harvested!!

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After that we headed to a local restaurant and all sat around some tables and chairs outside on the street, picked our meats and they chucked it all on a bbq. Me and Olly went for fish but we were useless at picking the bones out so Sarah got her hands on it and within 10 seconds she had deboned the whole thing, handing me the edible fish. Me, Olly, Sarah and Mary chatted for hours about everything from marriage and kids to mental health in the Philippines. It was a fantastic experience to learn from locals what they actually think about certain topics and for them to share an insight into the Filipino lifestyle was incredible.

The next day we had accommodation booked in Sipalay, a town 2 hours away which had lots of hotels as we didn’t want to burden Sarah and her family anymore. Sarahs brother had driven us around the whole trip and they didn’t let us pay for anything! Before we headed off to Sipalay Sarah took us to a market where again they had never seen white or black people by the looks of things and we walked around the markets as I was after an avocado and Sarah needed things for the restaurant. We became celebrities, they all wanted photos with us. Even though they asked to use my phone to take the photo meaning they would never see the photo again !! It was an experience haha.

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Sarahs brother took us all onto Sipilay where we stopped on the way to see her friends and Olly had stupidly mentioned he wanted to climb a coconut tree so they brought us to one he could climb. Obviously he couldn’t do it and a local showed him right up haha! But I was left amused as PUPPIES ran out from the house straight to my feet. OMG THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!! I didn’t want to leave haha.

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After all of this we jumped back on the road and not long after we arrived at our accommodation in Sipalay. Bless Sarah and Andrea they didn’t want to leave us there. The main town was a 15 ride away and they even offered to leave their brother with us so we had the car to use and they would get the bus the whole way back!!!! Honestly the kindness of these people blew our minds. They were so lovely!!! After an eventful few days we were exhausted and had showers and fell straight to sleep. The next day we were headed to Bohol which meant we had to get 3 more public busses back to Dumagette which took roughly 4/5 hours but we made it. We arrived and knew instantly we did not want to get the ferry to Bohol then and there so we booked into the Flying Fish Hostel which was amazing (pictured below).  Apart from the stupid staff, the hostel its self were just what we needed to relax after our travel day. Next stop Bohol!

Siquijor – Our Journey

Getting to Siquijor

The journey to Siquijor can be a nightmare, well for us it was. We arrived at the port in Dumaguete around midday, after getting a tricycle from Sibilant port where the last ferry dropped us off, and we faced a queue of locals waiting for tickets. So we got in line and after some investigation work I discovered that there were only three ferry’s at the weekend and one in the morning and one of which was cancelled so the next one was at 6pm.. Not too bad only a 6 hour wait. Fast forward 3 hours later and we are still queueing as the Ocean Jet ferry has sold out and everyone is in a rush to get the other ferry even though the other ferry goes to a different port. Not to mention everyone that had tickets for the cancelled ferry were also trying to get their tickets reissued. So now we are standing in the queue with some people that we have been chatting too as we have been in their personal space for the best part of the day and they inform us that there are only 11 tickets left..ha..ha..ha did I mention this was the only way of getting to Siquijor and the current temperature was the same as the surface of the sun? I’m going crazy people are pushing, Olly is keeping calm but both of us are aware how incredibly English we are at how annoyed we get with queue jumpers. Anyhow we get the tickets, we get on the ferry which takes 2 hours and we eventually arrive at our accommodation. It’s now dark so we can’t see much but when we arrive we are convinced the tricycle driver has made a mistake.. this place was amazing and the receptionist walked us to our room and we walked along the beach.

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Turns out we have a beach view room with air con and a private bathroom not to mention a private balcony on the beach. This has to be wrong..we paid £11 each for this room. Instantly knowing we wanted to stay longer than 3 days we went online to check if we could extend and we saw the room prices had gone up to £245 a night. Completely baffled at how we had managed this we got chatting to another backpacker, the only other person in the resort, and he informed us there is a backpackers with the same name even though this resort had dorms, it was further down the road. The dorms were only £6 a night so we extended at Toris Paradise but swapped into the dorms as this accommodation offered free breakfast, had its own private beach and pool and was a very descent place to chill out for a while. It sounds crazy but we have been so busy and on the move so much we just wanted time to sleep in and chill around doing nothing, which is exactly what we did here.

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After meeting Johnny and Aled at our hotel we all went to the waterfalls one day which were amazing as we were the only ones there which is unheard of. The boys spent most of the morning swinging off a 25ft rope swing or jumping off the top of the waterfall.

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There’s something about having so many accidents the first time travelling and having my sisters voice in the back of my head which puts fear into my mind when it comes to these kinda things now. The fact I didn’t do something because of fear kills me as I wouldn’t of even given this a second thought before, this is something I 100% want to overcome on this trip. That and my baby biceps wouldn’t of been able to handle the rope swing and I would have fallen in fabulous fashion and gone viral for the wrong reasons.

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So me and Olly carried on exploring for the day and took it easy. We found some great places to eat and making use of Olly’s eating talents he took on a spicy spring roll challenge in order to get a free beer, it really doesn’t take much to amuse us, of course he ate them in 0.25 seconds and got his beer 😂Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

We mainly chilled on this island and walked up and down beaches and found hundreds of blue crabs, a dogs skull, jellyfish and millions of sandflies 🙂. Oh and on Paliton beach I couldn’t swim due to jellyfish and I couldn’t sit on the beach because of the sandflies so I sat on the water edge thinking I was safe.. I open my legs and a bloody shrimp bit my bum!!! That was it back to the pool for me. 🏃🏼‍♀️💨

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We met a Canadian girl in our dorm called Ally and some amazing locals at our accommodation who invited us back to their home on a different island..so the next day we backed our bags and off we went. After my Siquijor guide I will post about what happened when we went to see Sarah and her Family In Kabankalan!

Oslob and Moalboal – Our Journey

We arrived at Cebu airport after a very quick flight from Manila. I judge flights by how many episodes of Designated Survivor we can watch and this flight was barely 1 episode. We managed to fend off a few taxi drivers as they were offering us a ride the whole way to Oslob which is where we were going but for extortionate prices. We found a cab and made him take us to the bus terminal because as a couple travelling on public transport or transport in general you have never taken before for god knows how long is a lot less intimidating. I think that is one of the things I was so excited to come back with Olly, was the fact I wasn’t going have fear in me in a foreign country because I feel safest when I am with him. Cringe I know. Anyways back to the story, so this taxi driver told us it would take 5/6 hours for us to get to Oslob via bus and agreed to take us the whole way for a quarter of the price he originally quoted. Us being lazy we said yes, he had air con and in this climate that is a deal breaker in big decisions. That and we didnt realise we had arrived on a holy day so the traffic was horrendous.

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We arrived at our accommodation in Oslob and it was a lovely room with private bathroom, very clean and had good aircon. The owners grand-daughter was the only person who could speak English so she helped us with all our questions and trips we wanted to do. She organised for us to be picked up the next day at 5:30 and was in the water with the famous Whale Sharks by 6:15!  This is a hugely controversial subject as many people do not agree with the fishermen feeding them for tourists and think it is changing the feeding habits of these Sharks. Others believe it is keeping this once endangered species alive. Make of is what you will but I would suggest going with an open mind. Both times I have swam with these giants I arrived in Oslob not convinced if I would take part. This time swimming with the whale sharks the locals have a much better structured interaction and seem to be handling the influx of tourists well. I did no witness any sharks being touched or bashing into the boats which I did witness in 2017.

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After this amazing experience we were really pooped from getting up so early so we took it easy and explored the town some more. There is literally 4 roads and that is it, so we took the drone out and took some cool pictures of a heritage site we found.

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We ate pretty much all local stuff as people don’t really stay in Oslob, they pass through to do the whale sharks but don’t stick around. We weren’t complaining as we were able to chill and try local food and had a very cheap few days. We also managed to go to lots of local waterfalls which weren’t too busy as again this isn’t an area people stay in.

Couple at waterfalls in the Philippines - Our Journey

We managed to figure out we could get a local bus from Oslo to Moalboal for about £2 each so we waited at the side of the road and got talking to a local about the influx of tourism. He told us he thinks the whale sharks are a good thing bringing money into the area but they are worried that there will be another water shortage due to the amount of hotels going up in the surrounding areas. The water shortage happened 2 years prior and they had to shut one of the top tourist attractions, Tumalog falls, as the government needed to put the locals first and re-directed the water to the town. They have only just re opened this waterfall to the public.

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Pronounced Mo-ahl-bo-ahl

Once we arrived in Moalboal we got to our accommodation called Divers Lodge which was amazing. This small town is a lot more touristy than any other we had been too. It had a lot more western restaurants and pumping music, which isn’t great but its beautiful place. This place is a great place to meet other backpackers as its always busy. We managed to buy some wet shoes which are saving my life one day at a time. I hate anything touching my feet in the sea so these shoes I wear when we are climbing waterfalls or just going for a swim. We chilled on Panagsana Beach and rented some snorkels and spent all day snorkelling. We saw so many turtles which was insane. We saw the famous sardine run, which Olly managed to swim into as he is really good at diving down deep and holding his breath. This place is beautiful!!

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We rented a moped and explored as much as we could. This was the first time I had ridden on the back of a bike that Olly was driving and I was very nervous but safe at the same time haha. I know he was driving slower to make sure I was OK but this was actually the most fun I have ever had. Being able to have some freedom again in us having our own transport felt great, being able to see everything and not having to concentrate on driving felt better haha. We took the moped to Kawasan falls and managed to beat the crowds and get there and take some good photos. We always managed to take the bike to White beach which we sat on for hours just drinking and taking photos. Clearly our love for photography and drinking comes hand in hand when travelling with one another.

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Milly At Kawasan

On white beach we were about to go back to the car park and leave when a group of locals stopped us and made Olly drink something. Me being an over protective girlfriend said to him ‘Make them drink it first’ because it was the colour of piss. They downed it and poored him another one.. turns out it was beer and they invited us to sit with them and drink. We sat with a huge group of guys who were celebrating their friends 21st birthday and had literally 100 family members and friends down renting huts on the beach. They were so funny and they were so excited to practise their English with us. It is really true what they say, Filipino people are the nicest in the world. They wanted us to meet their wives/girlfriends and babies, they wanted us to stay for dinner. We added them all on facebook to make sure we keep in contact with this crazy group of lads!

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Moalboal has been our favourite place so far, just because we havent paid for any big trips and we have done everything this area has to offer on our own, using our own transport or knowledge to save money but still managing to see the amazing wildlife and beaches this place is home to.

Stay tuned for our next adventure to Siquijor!!