A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Saytan, Philippines

To visit Millie & Omar

semi-overcast 30 °C

Monday 29th September
Our trip started when we got a taxi to Melbourne Tullamarine airport with Kyle and Clare when the taxi driver almost drove off with me only half in the car. As much as it was hilarious, I did shit myself. When we arrived at the airport we had a 5 hour wait until we could even check in so we made a little bed for a few hours in the seating area and attempted to get some sleep.
Finally 4:30am came and we were able to check in at last and off we went and flew to Kuala Lumpur then onto Manila landing at 9:30pm...
When we collected our bags, we walked outside the airport to find loads of people just staring at us but no sign of Millie & Omar. After 10minutes of walking around the car park/pick up point area, we finally found them ?. It was so good to see a friends from home! Omar's friend Peka was driving us back up to Satan (where Omar's family lived - about 5-6 hours north of Manila!) On the drive, we caught up on each others lives before falling asleep. At 3am we arrived at Omar's families home, to be greeted by his two aunties who were very welcoming. We felt awful but after 24 hours of having no proper sleep, Joe & I just want some sleep. We were shown to our room in the auntie's house, where as Omar & Millie have a little granny flats at the back of the house.
Tuesday 30th September
On our first proper day in Saytan, we woke and was introduced to Pandesel - a sweet bread made fresh for your order which was lovely and to make it even better Omar had more auntie's in America who sent over things like peanut butter. So Coffee with Pandesel and peanut butter become our breakfast. After few more hours of catching up and getting to know Omar's auntie's - Jeana & Marie as well as his niece Shannon & nephew Lancelot, we could a walked around their barangay. Everyone starred at us like we were the first white people they had ever seen especially the school kids. We walked to the barangay's chicken farm where all the roosters where kept. All the roosters had a string tied around their leg and had about a metre or so around the to be free, this was due to roosters wanting to fight each other. Then we had a little around the barangay through the rice fields, past a stream and past a little stall where a lady was bbqing food which sounds amazing but what she was bqqing wasn't my cup of tea. Millie asked me to try something off the stall but wouldn't tell me what it is, so I had a guess and managed to find it was part of a bird but I wasn't ready for what it actually was! Its called Baitmax which is chicken blood but I hate black and white pudding so this was not what I wanted to try haha! We made our way back to Omar's house, I started to feel abit unwell but I put it down to long hours of traveling and being awake and not enough rest. Later whilst having a few drinks we found why I hadn't been feeling well...I had septic tonsilitis.
Wednesday 1st October
Today Millie and Omar decided to take us to the hot springs about 15 minute drive away so whilst we hopped in a tuk tuk, Omar and Millie took Omar's motorbike for a ride in the mountains. Driving through the mountains was amazing and so beautiful, when we arrived at the hot springs there was an old metal bridge that needed to be crossed over a shallow looking river before we got there. I didn't like walking across the bridge... I felt like it could collapse any minute. We picked a spot in the café attached to the hot springs to leave our stuff and headed for the pools. The hot springs were unbelievably hot, I could only get into one that had a cold water hose running in it. It was like dipping in to a hot bath that has no cold water in it. After abit of swimming, relaxation in the 'coolest' hot spring and some lunch. Omar decided to take us to see some waterfalls in the mountains. When the tuk tuk first stopped at the side of the road, I thought 'Erm...where is the waterfall?' Omar then walked us down the side of a restaurant and over a little stream which ran under a bridge on the main road but behind the rocks/mountain side there was a beautiful huge waterfall - Colorado falls!!! We took a few photos then Omar & Joe attempted to swim in the pool but the current was too strong so we made our way back to the tuk tuk to go see another waterfall. The next waterfall - bridal falls was just sitting just off the road side in the middle of the mountains and there was a horrible old metal bridge again to cross before we could be next to it!!
On the way back to Omar's house we popped into the market so I could get some antibiotics and antihistamine which cost 5 pesos each ($1 = 37pesos) I couldn't believe it!! After having our dinner we help Omar make Shanghai rolls for our trip our tomorrow at the hundred islands and we also got to try them before we should of to. They were delicious!!!
Thursday 2nd October
Happy 5th Anniversary to Joe & I ?
Today we went to the hundred islands, we took a two-three hour drive at 7am this morning before jumping on a boat to sail through the islands. The views around the islands were beautiful, there were few main islands which had stuff to do so the first stop was Quezon island - the main island of all. Here you could snorkel around, explore the island and have a picnic, firstly we had a little dip in the water whilst it was sunny but them Auntie Maria insisted on feeding us first before we did anything - which we certainly weren't complaining about. Auntie Maria & Auntie Jeana's cooking was amazing and they loved feeding people. After some amazing food, we decided to hop on the boat so it could take us around the islands some more so we headed to Marcos Island which had a cave at the top of the island with a plunge pool you could jump into but the sea level wasn't right around the island so the boat owner said we will go back later and took us to snorkel instead. Whilst snorkelling we were over huge coral reefs with loads of fish around and as we swam out more we found huge clams on the bottom of the sea bed. When we had had enough of snorkelling, the boat owner took us back to Marcos island to see the cave and jump in the plunge pool. It was a massive jump but it was nerve racking in case you hit the rocks when you jumped but was awesome to experience!! We headed back to the main island to chill out again, sadly the weather was over cast so no sunshine to sunbathe in. After an hour or so of relaxing, we decided to head back to the main land with an extra stop along the way. Virgin island was our next stop, where we decided to zip line across from Virgin island to another island, the walk up to the top of the island was tiring but so worth the view - 360° view of all the islands around it was amazing!!! We had never zip lined before so I was a little nervous but again the view and zip lining was amazing!! Once we had all done the pipeline, we got on the tiniest boat for five people and made our way back to the main island to jump aboard our guide boat back to the port. Once we were back at the port we had a little look around stalls before heading for a little drive to the fish market, well seeing an Asian fish market defiantly opened by eyes! Flies everywhere and landing on the sea food, we were stared at like we were aliens and the smell was awful! The best thing about going to that market was that we bought some prawns which are stupidly expensive in Australia!! We climbed back in them van and headed back to Omar's house and Auntie Maria cooked up a storm in the kitchen - fish, beef and prawn dishes with rice! It was the first time I had been given fish to eat with its head & tail but surprisingly I got over it and ate it.
Friday 3rd October
Today was just a chilled out whilst Omar went to Baguio but in the evening we decided to have a few drinks with everyone and Omar's friend Marcus came over also who hadn't touched alcohol for 8 months. Well what an eventful night it turned out to be, Omar & Marcus drank their drinks the traditional Filipino way... shot of gin washed down with a mouthful of water (rather than mixing together). Well Marcus ending up almost sitting on Joes lap after a few drinks and at one point looked like he was about to kiss him. Omar's auntie had had enough of Marcus' behaviour at this point so they sent him home but Marcus decided he wanted to jumped over the fence and join us again... he was led out of the gates again and slept outside of the gates until morning.
Saturday 4th October
We had another chill out day today before later having a massage by Ruby (Omar's cousin).
Sunday 5th October
I woke up feeling awful during the night I had developed a fever and diarrhoea which wasn't pleasant and made me more home sick then I ever had been before. I spent the day in Millie's room where I had air con, eating tablets all day, watching bits of movies and sleeping! Thankfully Omar took Joe out shooting so that kept him from being bored whilst I was ill and poor Millie stayed around the house so she could keep an eye on me. Bless her.
Monday 6th October
Today I still felt awful but thankfully better than yesterday. During the afternoon when I didn’t feel so bad we took a walk to Auntie Maria’s boyfriends hut in the rice fields so we could do some shooting. They had made targets out of bags and paper on put them on the other side of the stream for us to shoot. The gun was so noisy I wasn’t able to stand their without my fingers in my ears so when they finally convinced me to have a go, I had to put leaves in my ears to block abit of the noise out. After an eventful day we chilled out for the evening watching films.
Tuesday 7th October
Thankfully I feel a millions times better today, as we are going to Baguio for the day. We took the scenic route up the steep mountain roads stopping along the way for the views, which was fab but sadly it was a little cloudy so the view wasn’t fully clear. We then reached a shrine where I bought a candle & lit it for my Grandad <3, which brought back all the emotions that I have been hiding nice he did three months ago. We got back in the car before carrying on into the city for some lunch at 50’s style café, as much as the food was nice at Omar’s house it was so nice to have western type food. We also went to the Presidents mansion and gardens, we also went to go to seen the military park but was turned away due to wearing flip flops. We slowly started to head home on a different route down the mountains for some other amazing views stopping along to admire the views. Another chilled evening eating yummy food and watching films.
Wednesday 8th October
As we were short on money, we had a lazy day again watching films in Omar’s family’s living room with everyone. Omar had decided we were having goat for our dinner tonight to celebrate that we were here visiting. Omar went to the farm to kill the goat and brought it back to the house so I got out of the way so I didn’t see the goat otherwise I wouldn’t of eaten it later on. The meal Auntie Maria had made with the goat was amazing and she certainly didn’t waste any of it… stomach and liver in a bowl on the side which I did not touch.
Thursday 9th October
Today is our last day in Saytan with Millie, Omar & their family, we made of the most of the time we had walking around the barangay and spending time with Millie & Omar as well as doing our chores of packing! Auntie Maria made spaghetti bolognese which was fan especially when I was craving western food and after not being able to eat properly for a few days this was a blessing!
Friday 10th October
Today was the day we fly back to Australia to begin our new chapter of our working visa there, so we got up at 4am to drive back to Manila… landing about 10am. First we headed for food, as we all needed breakfast before heading around Manila shopping mall for a good shop before our flight. After a few hours of shopping, we sadly had to head to the airport for our flight. Saying goodbye to Millie & Omar wasn’t easy as I didn’t know when I was going to see them again due to them being on the Philippines and us in Australia…

Posted by livetotravel14 06:31 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Life in Melbourne...

sunny 25 °C
View Our travel moves continue on livetotravel14's travel map.

Originally I said I never wanted to come to Melbourne but in the end we did due to flying back from the Philippines to here and we didn't want to risk running out of money any further. At the start I kind of regretted staying but since I was sacked from my first job and got a good second job I began to fall in love with Melbourne...
At the beginning...
We decided to stay were our farm work friends were staying at Flinders station hostel, the hostel was okay and we met a few friends through Darryn & Keegan. We started to look for jobs and luckily Darryn & Keegan were already working for an construction agency and got job signed up to it as well. I applied for places online everyday through Gumtree and seek but didn't really have much luck although I found work through a hospitality agency Hotelstaff who hired me to work for the Melbourne horse races - Moonee pond valley & Melbourne Cup Carnival. I carried on looking for a full time job and a good friend from the hostel - Trish had found a job working in a chip shop in St.Kilda and managed to get me a job as well. The hours were long and at first we were working 15 hour shifts with no breaks or no time to eat and the manger wasn't exactly pleasant to work with either. If you didn't do something her way or correct (because you were learning) she would have a go at you but after a few weeks one of the girls couldn't take it any longer and spoke to the owner about it which did help. Sadly Trish had to leave after a few weeks so I was left to it and if Chloe or Monika wasn't working then my shift would be hell for me. The workers were very clicky which made it an unpleasant environment to work in. To stop staff doing double shifts, the chip shop employed more people which was good until before Christmas a member of staff complained about 'my work ethics' so they were taking some hours off me to see how things went before they upped my hours again. After Christmas and everyone come back from their break away, I was 'let go' due to too many staff. Looking for jobs for the two weeks was a nightmare and it got me really down, staying in all the time and money had become so tight we only had money for rent and abit of food.
After two weeks of living like true backpackers... poor! I had some amazing news that I had landed myself a job in a small manufacture company working Monday to Friday (my first ever job with weekends off). Once we started getting snot of money in so we could save, we also started doing things that we wanted to do and see around Melbourne before we left.
From February 5th to the 9th.. Jenny had come to see us from Sydney which was amazing so we took her South Melbourne night market to get some food and have a look around. On the Friday, I got off work early so I could have a longer with Jenny during our weekend. When I got home we planned to go the pub but somehow over dinner, we got carried away drinking goon and chatting so we ended up staying in. Saturday came and Jenny had a surprise for me, she took me for a facial and a massage for a Christmas/birthday present which was amazing. I felt so relaxed... ready for a fab night out in Melbourne. We all had drinks at our flat but silly me drank too much vodka, had a few cigarettes which tipped me over the edge landed me in bed and being sick whilst everyone else went out. I had the worst hangover the next day also. So whilst everyone went to St Kilda festival, I sat at home feeling terrible and sorry for myself haha! I finally did make it St.Kilda music festival but only for an hour before returning back to the flat to chill watching a film before going to bed in hope to wake up fresh.
During our last few weeks in Melbourne, were all about working during the week and exploring Melbourne before we leave. We visited the Sky deck tower to see the view over Melbourne from the tallest building in the city, attending White night another festival in the CBD with music, food, dancers and projectile images on buildings.
For our last week in Melbourne, Victoria we decided to go out with a bang. So we started with the future festival on Sunday 8th March, it our first festival and we absolutely loved it. The festival had an amazing line up and the atmosphere was incredible. We ended up losing all of our friends, we carried to party on just Joe & I.
09/03/15 - Bank holiday Monday (Labour day in Victoria) we spent the day looking around the convention centre in the shops and also going up the Sky deck tower to see the beautiful view of Melbourne city and beyond. We also did the Edge experience at extra cost which was a little room which took you out away from the building in a glass floored room. It was pretty cool but scary when you dont like heights.
Tuesday 10/03/15 -
Today we rented a car from cheaper car rentals in Melbourne CBD for four days and set off for the Great Ocean Road. We started by heading to Geelong and then Torquay to start our trip along the Great Ocean Road...! The Great Ocean Road doesnt start for miles after Torquay but we had been told Torquay was a really nice beach so we popped by. It took us all day on our stop, start drive along the GOR and we ended our day by seeing the sunset over the 12 apostles which was beautiful and then we got our heads down at a hostel called 13th apostle in Princetown about 10 minute drive away from the 12 apostles.
Wednesday 11/03/15 -
We got up early to start our road trip again and headed along the Great Ocean Road again to finish it off by seeing London's Bridge and the Bay of Islands. We didn't realise how long this would take and only made our way to the Grampians at 12pm landing there at 14:30, we didn't have much time so we found the nearest information centre which was miles in and then we didn't have much time to see much before it went dark and we would head back to Melbourne. One of the nice workers at the information desk, advised us to go see a few lookouts, waterfalls and small walks. The views and waterfalls were amazing and the walks where lovely, it was a real shame we didn't have longer than we did. When we decided to make our way it was getting dark and we got lost as well which caused trouble with the naughty kangaroos jumping into our car as we drove along.
Thursday 12/03/14 -
We went to play golf at the Gisbourne golf course just outside Melbourne city, the golf course was amazing with all the wild Kangaroos jumping around. Joe was trying to teach me how to play golf but I was too distracted by the Kangaroos and also Joe thought I was taking the piss out of him trying to teach.
Friday 13/03/15 -
For our final day with our rented car, we went to Mt Dandanong national park which was nice but not a lot to do. There was a few pretty lakes and forests to see and on the way back to our flat in St.Kilda we found one of the famous PINK lakes in the docklands in Melbourne city.
Saturday 14/03/15 -
We spent our last day of our first year visa in Australia with our friend Siobhan watching the Melbourne F1 in Albert Park from the roof of the building in which she lived. It was a good view of part of the track and we got a fab view of the mini air show from the Jet and we also got to see the qualifying race for Sundays final races.
Sunday 15/03/15 - BALI here we come!!! :) :)

Posted by livetotravel14 12:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 17 of 17) « Page 1 2 3 [4]