Saturday, June 28, 2014

Caramoan Tropical Paradise

Been browsing Dealgrocer again recently and I saw this offer:
Bet that the 3 days and 2 nights in this island escape will be sheer bliss! Tugawe Cove Resort is located in the beautiful Caramoan Islands of Survivor fame. This deal offers a cozy stay for 4 in the Deluxe Room with a personal butler to attend to your every whim! You can swim in the infinity pool or lie down and relax in a row of sunbeds, get a in-room massage and eat affordable and delicious food by the beach or at the RestoBar with a 360-degree view of the ocean. You can also do island hopping if you're feeling adventurous! It's a very sweet deal for only Php10, 800!

Check these photos out:






When I saw this, I remembered my own recent summer adventure in the beautiful island of Caramoan with some of my friends from LEAP - a spontaneous trip I said yes to just because it was summer and it sounded like fun to go with them! My trip to Caramoan was very different from this though! I sort of "roughed it out" in the island.

It took a plane ride,a 2 hour drive, a 2 hour boat ride, another 1 hour drive and one more 1 hour boat ride to get to the pristine island spot. Right from there, my adventure has already been very different from my usual trips - first time I had to use all three forms of travel (land, sea and air) to bring me to my destination. Very tiring! But I was in good company so I didn't mind it so much. 

Meet my travel buddies: 

All lined up at the airport, waiting to board our flight to Naga 
And we're complete! This is us dining at the famous diner in Naga: Biggs



My view from above 


Confession: I'm actually afraid of flying. I have this fear of dying in a plane crash. I blame Final Destination for that! But I still like getting a seat by the window because once I see land getting closer, relief starts washing over me. Only then do I feel safe and only then can I bring myself to completely relax and become excited about my trip. 

It's Bigg's Tower Burger 

Our flight was delayed for about an hour due to air traffic congestion so we were famished by the time we landed. We bought take out at Bigg's Diner since our first road trip was going to be for about 2 hours. Their burgers are big and juicyyyyyyy! 

Tower Burger in the flesh!
 This is what Bigg's looks like: 

  

Vinyl discs displayed around the diner

What diner is complete without a jukebox right?
And now we're off to the island on a 2 hour boat ride.




I enjoyed the view of the blue water and the sun beaming down on us for a few minutes...until I started feeling seasick without bonamine! I packed meds for possible headaches and tummy aches but I didn't buy bonamine. FAIL! One hour later in this boat and I was ready to jump in the water just to stop feeling nauseous. 

A little picture taking of the boat docked before another hour long drive
Final boat ride to get to our island paradise!
It's a long trip, almost sunset when we got to the island!
Finally at the island!
Fresh coconut juice as welcome drinks! Refreshing!


This is our accommodation. Cottages for our sleeping quarters and then four bathrooms
Up early and here's a photo of the sunrise at the island! 
This hearty breakfast was waiting for us that morning!
Back in a boat to go island hopping! 



Our guides took us to the smaller islands in Caramoan since the other three bigger islands were closed since they were filming Survivor. 


I don't like traveling by boat especially when it entails having to sit in one for hours but these photos of the virgin island is seriously so beautiful, it made the boat trip absolutely enjoyable! 










For lunch, we went to a floating restaurant. Very cool!!!







More buko juice! Love! Love! Love!
Having another hearty lunch courtesy of our island caretakers!
Taking a dip while it's low tide after lunch.

Strolling along the white sands while witnessing the sunset
We stayed in the island for three days and while it wasn't as posh and didn't have so many amenities as the island resort I found on DealGrocer, I had a relaxing and fun stay. We were well taken care of after all and I was with fun company!

Back in the boat, heading back to town after our three days in the island!
We had a slight detour when we got back to town. We visited the Our Lady of Peñafrancia to say a little prayer. Was very thankful for a safe trip to and from the island! 
  


Millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists visit Naga City in the Philippines every September for nine-day festivities in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Principal Patroness and Queen of Bicol who is endearingly addressed by Bicolanos as Iná (mother). The shrine in Naga gathers more than five million devotees every year and is known as one of the biggest Marian pilgrimage sites in the world.

On our way to Gigi's place in Iriga, we also stopped by Camsur Watersports Complex. Made me miss wakeboarding! So want to try that again! 




I had a very nice vacation except for the long trip of course which made me feel like I was also in Survivor. If I was though, probably would've fallen out already by the time we got to the 2 hour boat ride. Thank goodness Mari was a girl scout - she had medicines for allergies, headaches and best of all, she had medicine for motion sickness, Bonamine! 

It was a very different kind of vacation which I am so glad I went to. I got to know my friends a little better. Like I said, Mari was a girl scout, Gigi was the master planner, Bong and Rommel were our snack suppliers, Dada and Bong were the photographers of the group, Louie was the really brave chick - she could strike up a conversation with a guy just like that! Joms was the early riser and the life of the party. And Inye would turn out to be one of those people who still looked like he just came out of the magazine cover - very hot and fresh to look at as if he hadn't been traveling for hours!   

I learned a lot about me too during this trip. I learned that I'm a "go-with-the-flow" kind of gal. I didn't really study Gigi's well prepared itinerary so I was in for the surprise of my life on this trip from the long travels and the semi-living the island life vacation. But it was a good surprise. A wonderfully different kind of vacation which I would repeat again except for the long and slow boat rides! Bring on the speed boat or the charted plane please! (",) 

    



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