Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Battered Butt

My butt is aching and that is not because I am the new bottom boy of Adelaide. It is because of our new bikes.

Steven and I bought a pair of cheap bicycles last week and we have been dragging our way around Adelaide since. We usually ride for about 90 minutes to go around Semaphore and to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre from our place in Alberton.

Back in Manila, I would never ride that long and on proper roads. I would only go around the block and that is all. Hence, my butt feels like it has been violated by a dinosaur.

Drivers can also be a worry as some disregard us. They would swerve on to the bike lane when their turn or park as if we do not exist.

We are doing this for some fun and to lose weight. So hopefully, I will be in my Bangkok shape in a few months.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boring NAIA Terminal 1

Most international airlines use the terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is the oldest in the country and unfortunately, the age shows.

After spending 2320 pesos (or around 53 US dollars) to use the airport, I got to be in the departure gate with no TV, no radio or any form of entertainment. There were no drinking fountains and reasonably-priced food. There were no internet and no computers.

Surprisingly, we also found out that there were no electric outlets for our laptops. So for 53 dollars, one gets nothing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mt. Makiling / Avatar

Steven describes the experience like being in Pandora--the magical forest-world of Avatar. In many ways, Mt. Makiling is.
We stayed in a hostel close to the entrance of the Mt. Makiling forest reserve. At night, we were serenaded by mating frogs and crickets. In the morning, lofty trees covered in vines salute us and their leaves bathed our bare heads.
And we went deep into the forest. I was literally crying because it was painful to walk more than 10 kilometers at an incline. It was all worth it. We had no guide so whatever we saw was a surprise for us. The path to the flat rocks was dense with huge roots, mud and barks of trees. And these trees block out the sun so it was like dusk the entire day.

The greatest surprise was the bubbling mudspring. It was very tempting to dive in but the sign said that the temperature was around 80 degrees Celsius. It was still amazing just staring at the thick mist that nourishes every nook and cranny of that area. 

We also went to botanical garden and found the plants very powerful. Every man-made structure was slowly being broken down by vegetation. It was green all over as if the sky rained with green fungus and moss.
Our stay in Mt. Makiling is one of the most unforgettable parts of our trip. It was very enchanting especially after spending several weeks in grimy and noisy Manila.