May 30, 2011

Travel Jitters for a First Timer!

I've been acting really weird recently and trying to shake my head nonstop. Am I really going there for real? Did my boss seriously approved my 3 weeks leave? I still can't believe it and I'm still trying to convince myself that, Yes I am going to EUROPE! 


I remember writing this two years back - JOIN THE WORLD YOUTH DAY IN MADRID, SPAIN. And it was one of my conditions with the husband before we tied the knot :D Thankfully, he said Yes, even without a job yet in Singapore plus thousand bills to pay for our wedding. I don't know if he said that out of love or just to keep my mouth shut from blabbing :)) Whichever way, I am very much grateful that he took his promise by heart and made sure that we will join the event.

Fast forward...its 78 days more to go before the World Event! Whoa, time indeed flies so fast! And what have I been doing lately? Hmmm...Nada! Just staring at various websites without an inch of idea what to do first. Ha! Sounds disappointing for an excited first timer :(

So why am I sharing it to the world just now? (as if, someone is itching to know my whereabouts haha :P) Well, plainly because initially I am not comfortable to share it to anyone :P But I battled against my dear self and asked her, why not??? And she gave me really panic-inducing answers such as...

Uhhmmm, because I'm scared? 
because, I don't want other people to know that I'm scared to ride the plane in a 13hrs or more flight.
because, for most part of my trip, I will be travelling alone - yes, without my husband!
because, I don't know Europe's history and I have a hard time reading maps :(
because, I only know few words in Spanish like "por pabor", "mi amor"... doesn't even make sense.
because, I haven't booked my domestic transportation tickets and accommodation.
because, I haven't applied for my VISA. 

Yes, I am having my worst wanderlust jitters! This is even worst than our Caramoan Island travel adventure. :D I don't know how else to describe this feeling. I've felt it for the first time in my entire travelling career :D And I don't know how to even overcome it. I've started plotting out my itinerary, which I always do before each trip. I even started tweeting my online friends in Spain to help me out. Worst, I've started entertaining thoughts of cancelling my plans of travelling to Italy and France. Oh myyyy! Somebody, please slap me. I need to get things started right. Help!

Has anyone of you experienced the same thing for their first long flight to a new place? I would love to hear from you guys. Share your experience and help me! :)))

May 20, 2011

Surviving the Ride to Caramoan Island!

Caramoan island has been one of my dream beach destination. After it became famous because of French Survivor reality show, its popularity from locals and foreigners alike increased. It is isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur, reason for keeping its natural beauty unexploited.

Last February, we planned our much awaited trip to the island. Together with my husband, my little sister who was also on vacation and my two beach-lover friends, we packed our bags with very high expectations and imagination of tan lines, white sand beach, crystal clear water and delicious local food. However, I would like to think that our trip was more than that. It was an adventure from day one. First, during our departure from Cebu, a low pressure was announced to hit Bicol (region where Caramoan island is located) and flights might be cancelled. To make the situation more exciting, we are travelling on different flights and first to take off is my little sister, alone! Imagine us praying really hard before each flight and at the same time trying to calm our parents :))

My sister reached Naga, Camarines Sur safely while for us, it was a different experience. Because we were too stubborn to believe that our flight will be smooth and safe inspite of the low pressure, we literally experienced a near-death experience while the plane was about to land in Naga. God must have heard the cry in my head that I was not ready to die at that instant, he guided the pilot and we landed safely with applause from all passengers. Whew!

We stayed one night in Naga City at Sampaguita Tourist Inn. We booked our room at the very last minute (special thanks to my friend's brother who lives nearby). The room is pretty decent and very affordable. Their location is also very accessible to the mall and bus/van terminal. Very much recommended for those who will be travelling to Caramoan early morning the following day.

From Naga city to Sabang port (starting point for your boat ride to the island), it will take around 1.5 hours travel. It is advisable to take the first trip in the morning so you can catch the second boat trip to Caramoan and reach the island around lunch time. Keep yourself awake during this roadtrip as there are beautiful sceneries along the way. Once you reach the port, few guides will be assisting you on which boat to take. If its low tide, they will take you on a small boat/bangka to where the bigger boat is docked otherwise, the bigger boat will be waiting at the port.

The smaller boat/bangka - our ride to the bigger boat.

photo swiped from my sister's facebook album :)

Finally, after a 30 minute bangka ride, we reached the "real" boat that will take us to the island.

This boat or ferry (as what the locals call it) is not really that big.  There's not so much leg room for you to move/stretch. And you have to really sit still when the boat is kinda loaded with passengers, vegetables and even chickens :)

Since the weather during our trip was not that nice, the boat ride was a bit bumpy too. Plus the occasional downpour of rain made us really uncomfortable.

After two hours of sitting still and praying for a safe trip, we reached Guijalo port (main port of Caramoan island) in one piece. Until now, I still felt sad that it was high tide when the boat docked. Otherwise, we would have experienced this... :)

photo swiped from google.

In spite of the whole travel experience, we were all thankful that we reached our destination safely. The beauty of the island is very much worth it. 

Next post: Island hopping!

P.S. All photos are owned by yours truly unless specified :D Please ask permission if you want to copy or at least give proper credits. Thank you!

May 18, 2011

Travel Blogging...For real!

Okay, I failed again in the "updating" department and missed a whole month of blogging :P Forgive me people because I've been extremely busy daydreaming and imagining my future travel adventures :))) Anyhoo, I'm back - alive and kicking some arse!

It got me to thinking that since I love being out and about discovering new places, why not make some serious business updating this humble blog?! Okay, I can hear you all say "yeah, right! or we'll see, for how long" :P Fine! But seriously, I want to keep you posted and share my little adventures. It may take awhile to really get a grip of this whole updating thing but I will definitely try and try :) Wish me luck!

So while I plan for our next trip, here's a photo of our recent beach weekend in Bintan Lagoon Resort. The whole story will be another post :D