Monday, March 23, 2015

[Travel Diary] : Caramoan Islands Getaway 2015 ♥♥♥

"Friends are like stars, they come and go, 
but the ones that stay are the ones that glow"

*** warning ; Photo heavy post ***

"Before I looked like a Tocino wrapped in leaves, I had fun..." This was the suggested introduction by one of my friends when I confessed that I could not think of a decent prelude for this post. I would have hated him for ridiculing my extremely sunburned face but alas, it was the most fitting picture of myself at this point. But it was also true that I had fun, no let me reword that, I felt glorious! Alive! Resplendent! Allow me to tell you that this was my very first, legitimate out of town trip in all of my 28 years of existence thus imagine my reverence for Camarines Sur. Not that I am not thrilled with the idea of travelling. I would forgo the universe to be able to travel the world, but that would be in my own perfect time. 
And that perfect time was last March 20-22, 2015. So let me tell you a story... :)

It was October of last year when we began brainstorming for our Summer Outing. Yes, it was 5 months in the making, to ensure that everyone could join and to finally realize all those years of planning trips which never really happened because of impending interventions (such as laziness perhaps). This time though, everyone was all up for it. After days of relentless debates, we have decided to book with GAFA Tours under their Caramoan Islands Fever package tour in Camarines Sur.

We left Trinoma in Quezon City at exactly 8 PM on a Thursday. As we have been advised by our tour guide and researches as well, the land travel was approximately 10 hours. With several stopovers in between, we reached Naga City at exactly 5 AM of Friday, had breakfast at McDonalds and headed immediately to Sabang Port to take the boat on the first trip to Guijalo Port where the Inn's guide would be picking us up. Another grueling 2 hours was exhausted at the ocean. Due to lack of sleep incorporated with a stiff neck and back ache, I resolved to doze off all throughout the boat ride. 

 I woke up halfway through the ride and was glad that I did. Because my slumber-some eyes feasted themselves on these majestic panorama of powdery white sands and grandiose mountains of limestones and immaculate blue waters that I thought I could only get to see in the internet and movies. Too bad my phone's camera is too shitty and will never give these justice. So I had no other discourse but to grab them from my friends' albums :)) 

Finally reached Guijalo Port!
We reached Rex Tourist Garden Inn at 12 in the afternoon. We had a scrumptious lunch, an hour of rest and at exactly 2 PM, we headed out to our first Island Hopping activity!

This was where we stayed at for the next 3 days and 2 nights. We honestly minimized our expectations of the hotel since the place was not yet commercialized. But behold! Another piece of confined paradise <3

It was already raining since that morning and the downpour worsen during the afternoon. We were all worried should the tour be cancelled because of the horrible weather. With huge rolling waves and nimbus clouds in my head, I was ambiguous to continue with the tour. But what the heck? It was now or never! The rain did not stop and so did we.

Day 1
First Island: Lahos Island

Second Island: Matukad Island (with secret lagoon)

Third Island: Cabagnilad Island

Day 2
First Island : Sabitang Laya

Second Island: Cotivas Island

Third Island: Manlawi Island (Sandbar and lunch at floating cottage)

Stopover swimming at the Pacific Ocean (^_^)

This was the last water activity of the tour. We visited the Grotto Island with 527 steps and reveled in the beauty and grace of the peninsula.

Day 3: Going Home

After an early check out at 5:30 AM and a quick breakfast, we headed back to Guijalo Port. There were not many photos during the ride since almost everyone was asleep. Just like this:

You can already see from this angle that my face was red and shiny. I was badly burned upon swimming at the Pacific Ocean since I was not able to put sunscreen on my face. It was an honestly stupid mistake. I very seldom go to the beach and I do not get burns. You really wouldn't want to see my face right now. The red is almost gone but my skin has gone totally black while from my neck to the rest of my body is still fair skinned. It is quite depressing. I look absolutely horrendous so if there are any beauty bloggers out here who's reading right now, please shoot me an email or just leave a comment. I badly need help!

Our tour ended with a visit at the Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia and buying souvenirs. Another 10-12 hours of travel by land and we are finally back to reality. 

Now I am back home, still on vacation and tending my burns with herbs and all those stuff I've read from blogs. It felt a little sad that those three days and two nights had rolled by just like that, considering the length of time you've spent on planning and waiting for it. But, without a doubt, it was one, if not the most, illustrious adventures I will ever have in my lifetime. I am forever grateful for my friends whom I have grown up with, spent my most despairing times with, celebrated triumphs with and for just being themselves: silly, stupid and all that crap. I love them to bits and I just can't wait for our next getaway! Hope you all have a great summer guys. Ciao~

Love Lots,