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Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 14: Sardine style packed van and a nasty hotel!

I woke up at 6:00am this morning to chat with Aaron on skype, but the internet was down.  I was sad not to hear his voice, and a little nervous that he would start worrying if I didn't contact him.  There was nothing I could do, so I just headed over to the van station to hop on  my van to Puerto Princesa.  

This darling little local boy was waiting for his school bus!    

This was the van we took from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.  They packed 13 adults, all their luggage, and a chicken (in a bag) into this van!  Yes, a chicken!  It clucked behind me the whole way!  The seats were so close to each other that I had to sit a little bit sideways so my knees didn't smoosh into the chair in front of me.  As if that wasn't bad enough, imagine the Indiana Jones ride at disneyland, and that's what about 2 1/2 hours of our drive was like!  NO JOKE!  Total driving time was 6 hours!  We were all excited to pile out of the van when we stopped for lunch along the way!

There was lots to see along the ride... tiny villages with run down Philippine style huts, hundreds of stray dogs, gorgeous green scenery, and my favorite and most creative, The Lords Prayer, on signs along the way...

There are only 2 ways to get out of El Nido... Either the van I was in, or this thing, a Jeepney!  Looking back on it, I wouldn't have minded jumping on the top of this thing and hanging on!  I would have had more fresh air, and lots more leg room!

This is one of the local busses in Puerto Princesa... It's so much more colorful than the Korean and US buses!  I especially liked that this one was the "Bachelor Transport!"

When we finally got to Puerto, Kase, Josine and I all shared a tricycle to get to the airport!  They were one of the sweetest couples I met on my trip!  They're from Holland, and have been dating for 6 years now!  (Rachel Shinn, you have a twin in Holland!  Josine's profile was identical to yours, and you have almost the same personality!  I guess God was proud when he made you, and decided to create another one in Holland!)    

I got to the airport early and met another couple in line, who were on their honeymoon from Canada!  We talked for the next 2 hours about their wedding, life in Canada, etc... Seriously, traveling alone has it's perks!  Lots of people approach me... I think they think I'm lonely or something!  Regardless, I probably got to know over 30 people on this trip!

My flight to Manila was right on time! :)  I arrived there after dark, with nowhere to stay.  So, I jumped in a taxi and asked for a cheap hotel near the airport!  They ended up taking me here to Raf Mansion, which happened to be in the middle of the red light district, and was an obviously shady area of town!  

I still hadn't been able to contact Aaron, and I knew that by this point, he and my parents were probably really worried, but there was no way I was leaving my room to find internet... It was just way to dangerous of an area for a single girl to be walking around in!

My room here was THE MOST EXPENSIVE room of my entire trip ($45.00), and was hands down, the most disgusting!  You know you're hotel room is disgusting when the guy who carries your bags to your room also sprays bug spray and air freshener all over it when he enters!

These pictures don't show all the blood stains and filth all over this room!  The air conditioner was located right over the bed and was on, full blast, at 16 degrees celsius (60 degrees F) and there was no way to turn it off!

The bathroom wasn't much better!  I went to take a shower in the moldy bathtub and then realized there was no towel and ended up drying off with toilet paper!!  hahaha!  

I definitely wouldn't recommend Raf Mansion to anyone!  Steer clear of this crazy place at all costs!  

*** Mom, Dad, and Amy... this is the closest thing to the Turtle Inn that I've ever stayed in! hahahaha  Glad I made it out alive!

1 comment:

  1. Sad blog... a not very well traveled American who thinks normal hotel rooms in Asia are disgusting and who thinks that a chicken being transported on a bus is amazing... boring.... Try taking a bus in Papua New Guinea from Goroko to Mount Hagan, then you will see not only chickens on the bus, but you may have to share your seat with a pig also. There are much worse hotel rooms out there - even Korea where you taught has some pretty filthy hotels in some dark alleyways. I just hope you didn't traumatize the Korean student too much when you were teaching them, but they should be over you by now anyway, with their new teacher that replaced you. Your Korean co-teacher was correct, in Korean when they say you are passionately dressed, it means you look like you are going on a date and are desperate for sex... too funny.. maybe you should have learnt Korean before you went to Korea