Monday, July 31, 2006

Coco Beach Chronicles: The Voyage of the Free Boat

Here are the things that we looked forward to on our second day (June 11, 2006) in Coco Beach: buffet breakfast, another happy hour, more swimming, and the free boat ride.

Despite the fact that we slept late the night before, we have managed to wake up early on Sunday. It was such a breathtaking experience to step out of the room and into the balcony. A cool breeze of sea air, the sound of waves splashing to the shore and the magnificent view of the sea itself almost made me want to live there. 

At about 7:00 am we were ready for the buffet breakfast that's waiting for us at the Carabao Restaurant and began our 5-minute walk down the hill. Omelettes, cereal, longanisa, rice, fruits, milk, bread, butter, ham, cheese and fruit juices were waiting for us at the restaurant and of course, we stuffed ourselves silly as if it's our last meal! 

We very much awaited the daily free boat ride to different beaches around Galera, which goes to a different beach each day. According to the boatman that we spoke to that morning, that day's boat is headed to Long Beach, where the coral gardens are. The boat leaves at 9am so we had an hour to burn (literally and figuratively) before it sets sail. We decided to bake/cook/burn/tan while killing time so we put on our tanning oils or tanning lotion--whichever we brought with us. I, for example, used Nivea Oil Spray, since I used it the last time I was in Galera and it pretty much worked for me. 

After forty-five grueling minutes, the boatman finally approached us and told us to get ready because the boat leaves in a few minutes. It isn't our first time to see the corals except for Noelle, but we still got all excited anyway. We rented our vests, snorkling masks, and aqua shoes and kept a slice of bread in our pockets (for the fishes) and headed on to Long Beach! It was just right around the corner--errr--the island so it only took us around 10 minutes or less to get there and when we did, I felt like I was there for the first time. The last time I was there, it was peak season (April 30 '06) so there were a lot of boats carrying people who are fish-and-coral-seeing, it was low tide so there were even more people snorkling at the shore, and there were more vendors than you would expect in an uninhabited island. It's a different story now. We were the second boat to arrive at the beach, but probably the only group who's there to snorkel. 

We rented a smaller boat that would take us around the sea (we just had to hold onto a rope) so as to save energy from swimming. And again, I was able to see this wonderful creation that God so beautifully made. This time, we brought a slice of bread to feed to the fishes so they swam towards us! It was exhilarating! Two of the fishes actually got too carried away and bit (actually it's more like it "sucked") my leg while we were swimming. It probably mistook my leg for bread (DUH how lame of me). The frequent bites of the "kutong-dagat" as what the boatman calls it made me decide to get out of the water. I will always want to go back to that place, and the next time I do, I will bring my own gear-vests, masks and shoes (I wanna say goodbye to stinky oversized lifevests), an underwater camera, and more bread! 

We went back to Coco Beach at around 12nn but we're not really that hungry yet for lunch and decided we could make a few more laps at the pool. I jumped into the pool and stayed there for about more than hour when I realized that the heat of the sun is burning my skin! We all forgot to put sunblock on before we went snorkling and to top it all, we had tanning oils on our skin. So there, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool, not minding our sunburnt skin (Who cares? It's burnt anyway. *big grin*). More happy hour drinks in the afternoon and and even more drinks at night were consumed by us, cocktail lovers. 

Marielle and I spent about an hour or more lying down at a hammock by the beach and just talked about life and other stuff. (Yes, the both of us fit in one hammock--that's how small we are!). We both can't get over how relaxing the place is. It's an experience I'll definitely go back for.