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Winter Vacation - Travel day to the Philippines 2007/01/06

We're going to die!


View Winter Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

We woke up the next day to begin our journey to the Philippines. We ate breakfast and intended to catch a cab to the airport by 9:00. Instead, we caught one at 9:30. Traffic was bad, so we were both worried that we'd be late. After getting fleeced for a parking fee at the airport (which we'd never had to pay before..shifty driver), we arriver a little later than we'd liked, but got there nonetheless. We checked in and went through customs, where we, once again, successfully chose the slowest line and waited impatiently. We finally got through, then had to wait again to go through security. Then we had to wait again to give our boarding pass to the attendant, and had to wait again in a separate area to board the plane. All in all, there was a lot of frustrating hurry-up-and-wait.

Here are some additional pictures of the Saigon airport (war-era cement shelters) and the view of the city.

IMG_2119.jpg IMG_2120.jpg

It was an uneventful flight to Hong Kong. We were worried about our connecting flight because we had an hour and a half between flights and our flight from Saigon arrived 30 minutes late. We were also concerned that we'd land at one end of the airport and have to tke off from the other. Fortunately, the gates were right next to each other.

Our flight to the Philippines was fine as well. The adventure started when we landed. Someone met us at the terminal and took us to a van that was waiting to drive us to the dock to meet the boat. However, the person who met us was from a hotel with a name different from the hotel where we were staying. This made us both a little nervous.

We hesitantly got into the van, and took off. Literally. This man drove like a maniac for two hours straight. He drove like he was some Formula 1 driver on 'roids. It was scary. And in Manila, it was understandable, because it was the city, and traffic was bad, but you can't go that fast. But on the country roads, under cover of night, he was driving too fast and passing everything in front of him: around turns, with oncoming traffic, you name it. Andrew started a couple of games to try to take our minds off of the situation, but it only lasted for about 15 minutes until we both fell silent and prayed we wouldn't die on some backroad in the Philippines.

We finally pulled down a dirt road, which seemed really sketchy at first, but we saw some boats which settled us a little. When the van parked, we had never been so happy to be not moving in our lives. We got out of the van, gave each other a look, and were approached by a man. He said, "I'm the boatman. Come with me." We gave each other another look and did as he said. Anything to get away from that van. We got on a big outrigger and took off into the darkness across the water. We felt like we were smuggling something or defecting to the U.S. from Cuba. It was thrilling to be on the water again. After about an hour, we docked and disembarked. We walked in the water along the beach to get to our hotel. We got into our room, unpacked, and saw a mosquito flying around the room. Our gecko friend that was also in our room apparently wasn't doing his job. Andrew proceeded to hunt the bug for 15 minutes and eventually got it. Then we slept.

Posted by agc_cwm 10:19 Archived in Philippines

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