Today we started with confined dives, which essentially means in shallow water since there are no pools to practice in. My diving buddy Alan had some chest pains after the two first dives and had to abort and to leave for a hospital on the main island the poor chap. I did the remaining three ones alone with the instructor, Mike, and his padawan David without further ado.
The first open water dive was scheduled for the afternoon, only 8m deep though. No exercises this time but just swimming around and building trust and confidence for the equipment while looking at the marine life. Nice.
Mirsada felt better so after the open water dive we took a afternoon swim at the nearest beach which was very nice, although I’ve gotten used to a wet suit so even though water was 27° it felt rather chilly after some time.
We had dinner at a place called Hippocampus which in their menus mentioned that since all dishes are made from scratch the guests might try to be patient. We had some rather nice fish. Mirsada claimed it was called Dorado (as the bringer of awesome Pizzas in Gothenburg) which turned out to a bet, however Mirsada lowered the initial stakes quite a bit which turned out good since she was correct while yours truly was wrong. Bah.
When we got back we were surprised to find our bed made, we had earlier asked the owner for some toilet paper since the girls cleaning hadn’t showed up. We were assured that this would not happen again and they apologized for this and would have a chat with the girls tomorrow. This was not our intent by any means which felt almost awkward, well well, now someone had cleaned our room very thorough and made the bed.
After watching some Fringe I indulged myself with reading the american style PADI book before falling asleep.
Yesterday evening was quite a calm one with reading for my Open Water Diving license and watching some series with Mirsada on the laptop. Despite the base sound from a Disco within hearing distance I (unlike Mirsada) slept like a baby and ignored alarms and went up half past ten.
After a DVD-session at the diving centre we took a break for lunch. After ordering this time I asked how long time the dishes would take to prepare and got the answer 45 minutes. A little tight so we asked if any of the dishes were faster and the waiter would check with the kitchen. Perhaps she did, perhaps she didn’t – hard to tell since the next time she appeared was about 45 minutes later with our plates. Fair enough, I managed to finish my plate with a minute or two on the safe side for the next DVD session.
In the evening we strolled along the beach and found some nice spots for sunbathing when Mirsada would get well enough. She is getting better so inshallah tomorrow we can do some splashing around without risking prolonging the cold.
We decided to try out the Italian place called Angelina’s just next to our bungalow and was pleased to see that lack of service was not mandatory in the Philippines. Nice place with decent music at good volume, open (modern) kitchen and nice tables and interior design, and complementary deserts made it all a very nice experience.
We started talking to the owner of the bungalows as well, apparently he opened just 19 days ago and will open some more bungalows (which just are ready) tomorrow. No wonder we thought the bathrooms looked nice and fresh. After the stroll earlier we passed by some of the places we had wished for earlier and can safely say that Tepanee, this place, beats most of the others, if not all.
Tonight there will be some more reading and watching series. It’s really nice not doing much in particular but reading and listing to the waves rolling in on the beach. I have only thought about work a couple of times today so I guess soon I’ll experience true vacation 😉
Malapascua means bad christmas or unfortunate christmas, apparently Magellan had some rather bad weather when he arrived during Christmas nearly five hundred years ago.
Mirsada seems to have caught a cold during the travel and when we arrived at Palazzo Pensionne she more or less crashed. She didn’t feel much better in the morning so we changed our plans of riding by bus to go by taxi all the way to Maya. Well at the ferry dock we were offered to pay 200P for an immediate ride together with some other travelers or wait until the boat filled up and pay 50. We waited but decided to take their offer when they dropped to 150P (roughly 3€). Of course a swarm of 10 or so locals joined up for free or at least lower fee. But of course.
Finally arriving we expected to get ripped off again (during the taxi drive the driver had mentioned that the average rooms were about half the price we were paying) but found a rather nice bungalow with balcony. The view over sea was not even a lie, there were however quite a few branches and leaves blocking most of the view but still! We decided that even though the price probably was a bit high we could afford it and strolled off for dinner.
A thing that anyone visiting the island (or perhaps all of them?) would notice is the many newly-fallen-in-love couples, especially the combination of a local young female and a not so young western man. After some thoughts I figured that they probably got enough trash-talk by everyone else so I would try not to judge to harsh or quick. When we overheard one german guy about 60 started talking to a fellow german about his 18 year old girlfriend and in the sentence afterwards mentioned his wife and three kids I felt that perhaps this wasn’t the nicest guy after all.
The dinner was ok, but the service was perhaps the worst I’ve received ever. Cooking my Tom Kha Gai took perhaps 50 minutes, and I had to kindly ask for Mirsadas dish since they served only me first. The other tables were joking between them about how slow service was and one guy was bullying the staff complemented by his wife complaining about the cleaning in a less constructive way. Perhaps we were too swedish who didn’t make a scene but at least our late food didn’t have saliva as it’s main ingredient.
On the way back we picked up my PADI course material and signed in, and tomorrow it will be reading and DVD-watching before any dives.