So, we’ve been here on Panglao for a week now.
Anybody who has travelled a long distance in one go, knows how long it takes to get your head straight. Maybe its age – I don’t seem to bounce the way I used to, but nevertheless, its only been in the last couple of days that I can say I wake up knowing where I am.
Panglao. A small tropical island, attached by a bridge to a larger island, Bohol, just south of Cebu. Seriously laid back. We asked where the closest grocery store was, and low and behold, there’s 7-11. For any serious shopping – like plain yogurt, you have to tackle the 30 minute scooter ride to the big city of Tagbilaran on Bohol. We did this once, and managed to hit Typhoon Tisoy right at its peak. How we do this, I’ll never know. I think were rather impulsive and don’t pay attention to the news…
However, Tagbilaran is a big city – the only one, and one thing we learned is that the Filipino people are very sweet, kind and patient when it comes to a couple of clueless Canadians scootering around during a typhoon. We made it there and back, that’s all that counts… no plain yogurt though.
We’ve booked a nice little room in the Chochotel in Doljo on Panglao. It’s a locals area and from our front porch we can watch the world go by – on scooters, on foot, overcrowded buses and three wheeled taxis. These Tricycles are motorcycles with sidecars and a roof, a variation of a Tuk Tuk. To take one of these Trikes to Taglibaran is about 400 pesos ($11) – way too expensive for our cheap budget.
So we’ve rented a couple of scooters (much to the dismay of friends after our Sri Lanka scooter incident two years ago – a terrifying thing, but we’ve let it go..) for $280 for the whole month. Now the world is our oyster! With these scooters we’re able to explore and go where no person has gone before…not really, Panglao is a small island with lots of tourists. But still, we are able to stay out of the tourist hotspots (Alona Beach) and go to the locals beaches and swim/snorkel without the pervasive smell of coconut lotion.
We’ve found our favourite roadside food stalls, made friends with the neighbours and explored the local markets. We can sit on our porch and drink our Nescafé coffee (7-11) and eat our fruit (sans yogurt) and watch decorations going up for Christmas – that’s weird. But were getting work done! Our place has excellent Wifi, believe it or not, so we are planning our next year out at Mussel Beach – advertising, website, and trying to turn our photo library into something manageable.
Were warming up to Panglao. At first we were a little discouraged. Our place, although new, is minimally stocked – the kitchen has one pot and a knife, and we have 2 towels for us, kitchen and cleaning. But we are paying $500 for the month and have AC and great wifi. We are on a relatively busy local road – but that in itself is entertaining, and the world here is enjoyable to watch fly by…
Thanks for reading!