Travel By Heart: Day 06 – The Island Life 03/04

A hidden surf spot when it's the monsoon season.

A hidden surf spot when it’s the monsoon season.

It was a rainy morning, from what I have been told we are currently experiencing a signal no. 2 storm. No boats are allowed to leave and the island. We are closely being monitored as we are on the storm’s path.

I was bummed out, I have nothing else to do in my room. I definitely can’t stay here all day, even though I’m sick and tired of getting wet I decided to go out and ride, where? To be honest nothing in particular. I just don’t want to spend my time locked up in my room staring at Christmas lights. I packed some of my gear, leaving the non-essentials in the room. Even though my riding gear is still wet I decided to still wear it. I wore my rain gear on top of it, one thing that a lot of people ignore when riding in the rain is the possibility of hypothermia. Wet gear plus wind chill can lower your core body temperature to the point that you are already shivering, I have been there once and I don’t want to experience it again. Wearing your rain gear helps cut down the wind chill by a lot.

Bummed out, so I decided to just circumnavigate the island.

Bummed out, so I decided to just circumnavigate the island.

Without any destination in particular, I decided to just circumnavigate the island. Good thing there was decent internet connection as I was able to use Google maps to locate how far and how long it will take me to get the end of the island. The winds were strong and the rain didn’t stop. Good thing I only had to pass by a road with no trees once, because the wind was literally blowing me away and I had to huddle just so I won’t get hit by the strong wind blasts.

I thought the whole island of Siargao was filled with resorts and hotels because from what I read it’s a haven for surfers especially foreigners. Apparently, that’s just on one part of the island. The rest of the island looks like any other province. Simple homes filled with helpful smiling people. Everywhere I go there seems to be some road construction going on, I was told that the priority of their local government was to finish paving the roads. When it’s done there would be paved road looping the whole island of Siargao. It would greatly improve the travels of the locals as well as boost tourism.

Taktak Falls, Siargao

Taktak Falls, Siargao

I just followed the GPS, sometimes it directs me to a lime covered off-road challenge, other times it takes me to a paved road. There’s really not much to see but it’s a novelty for me to ride these kinds of roads, so that’s ok. I did stumble upon two very interesting places, one was a waterfalls and the other was a bay.

I was told that If you are in Siargao and you get tired of surfing, you can just go here and enjoy the falls. But that clearly is not an option today as the waters are raging, there were some local children when I got there but even they aren’t swimming. Rather they are just on the sides of the falls getting their feet wet.

Pretty little bay filled with danger.

Pretty little bay filled with danger.

After taking some photos I left the place and decide to go back and check out the famous Cloud 9. Going back I noticed one amazing beach, it looks like a cove. But there were really big rock formations and the waves were strong and high, it was hitting the rocks violently and relentlessly. The whole scene was one beautiful chaos, when I showed it to one of my Australian friends who likes surfing he said “A pretty little bay filled with danger.” Indeed it was.

I was already famished and tired, riding in the rain takes a toll on you as you have to be extra focused. Somewhere near Cloud 9, I found this cafe/restaurant which has a bohemian vibe to it. Everywhere there are positive messages written in colored chalk that reminds you to just chill and relax…

Kitya's place.

Kitya’s place.

I was surprised to see a lot of foreigners when I got in, the menu was very similar to the cafes that i visited when I was in Cairns Australia, it has this western free spirited vibe to it… enough of that. I’m hungry, I ordered a very big breakfast meal enough to fill me up til lunch time. I was planning to ride again after eating, but my plans changed after I got into a conversation with the owner.

Her name is Kitya, a bad-ass morena veloptous woman who smiles through her eyes. She was curious about me and wanted to hear my story, I told her the usual stuff. Then I asked her about her story, believe me hearing it was amazing. It was like a story that came from a summer adventure movie. Hopefully I remember the details right…

The bad-ass lady.

The bad-ass lady.

She told me that she used to have a corporate job and has worked in Metro Manila for a time… but she felt that something was missing. She was already surfing back then and frequently visits Siargao whenever she feels the need to unwind.

Coming back again and again made her fall in love with the place, the people and the laid back culture. It made her decide to give up her corporate job to put up a business here. I admire her courage as not a lot of people have the guts to actually do what she did.

Then she told me that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if not her friend. She survived a life threatening stroke two weeks ago, if not for Babal (will introduce him to you later) things might gotten worse, because there are no hospitals here. She was in a lot of stress lately, mostly in her personal life. She did tell me about it, but as sign of respect I will leave it at that. . She was going through a tough time, and that probably caused her mild stroke.

The man named Babal!

The man named Babal!

Babal came wearing a blue polo with curly hair and wild but positive attitude. Kitya itroduced me to him, when I tried to take a photo of him he quickly said what is that for? I just told him it’s for my blog then he smiled and said “ok”. Then the three of us talked, mostly about kitya’s ordeal, but it was a fun conversation simply because of Babal. He was one crazy fun dude! He talks with incredible enthusiasm and smiles like there is no tomorrow. The moment i spent with both of them was nothing but laughter, fun and craziness.

Kitya's place.

Kitya’s place.

Kitya said that Babal was a surf instructor and if I would like to try i can go with him later. He said he’s teaching a family later and I can tag along if i want. He said we will leave at 1pm. People have been encouraging me too try it out since I have a good foundation in board sports and swimming. I honestly wanted to but I cant really afford  it today, just getting here already took a toll on my budget, I think watching them will be enough for me.

Positive vibes.

Positive vibes.

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