Catbalogan > Tacloban > Biliran Island 15 – 17 January 2017
After our caving adventure, the Jeepney took us back to Catbalogan where we packed up all our stuff and Joni organised a van to take all of us (plus his wife, 4yr old son and a friend) up to Biliran with the intention of doing a canyon and a tour around the island of Biliran. Didn’t quite turn out as planned but then we weren’t sure what was planned!
As we were leaving Catbalogan, it started to pour, a whopper of a storm and the rain didn’t let up for a couple of hours.
We arrived in Tacloban around 7pm and pulled up outside Ocho Seafood restaurant. Joni had told us that it had great seafood and he was right! We walked up to the back counter and picked out what fish we wanted to eat, and then the food started coming … I’ve never seen so much on one table, we ate as much as we could and then the rest was packed up “to go”.
Back in the van, it was now around 9pm and Jim and I wondered where we’d end up, there was muttering about a 3 hour drive and then someone said something about a boat ride, I wasn’t particularly keen on the thought of that at midnight! By now it was way dark and we couldn’t see a thing out of the windows.
Eventually, the van went down a steep side road and Joni dropped Monique, Jim and I off at the “resort”. I’m not sure what I envisaged but it wasn’t this vacation spot. The room was basic with some bunks and a couple of beds, but for what we needed it was adequate, after all, we’d hardly be there!
Next morning Joni picked us up at 7am and drove us to his wife’s parent’s home where we had breakfast (another feast). It was still raining and so I decided that I would forego the proposed canyoning trip. It would have entailed a 3 hour walk up hill (in the rain) and I was pretty sure we’d had so much rain that there would be too much in the river and it would be a fruitless walk.
So, I elected to stay in our room, do some washing and then take a walk later on. As it turned out, Jim and Monique did go, but there was way, way too much water in the river so they only did some sightseeing.
We went back to Joni’s in-law’s house for dinner and then breakfast the next morning before heading off on our island tour. The van took us to places of interest, again, this isn’t a tourist zone so we virtually had the place to ourselves.
Before long the tour was over and we were in the town of Navale where we were to pick up a van and head back to Tacloban. We were excited about going back as we had unfinished business there, on the way through two nights ago we’d seen this amazing “Christmas tree” in the courtyard of a church, it was a Sunday evening and the tree was lit up from inside and each of the panels had coloured paper in them so the tree was a blaze of colour.
Back to the Rosvenil Hotel for the night (and the first hot shower in the last week) and out to Ocho Seafood restaurant again – the food the last time was so good we had to go back for “seconds”.
We woke up really early on the 18th and caught a Jeepney out to the airport to pick up our 7am flight to Manila where we were meeting up with Fedz (Jim’s wife) and the two children Chris and Bon plus another one of Fedz sisters, Christine and her daughter KC. We would be travelling with them for the next part of our Philippine adventure.
Footnote: The thumbnail at the top is a flower that I found on the beach at the resort.