Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Land Down Under - Planning Stage

     For as long as I can remember, my aunt, who lives in Australia, has always been inviting me to visit her and at the same time to take a nice long vacation in Sydney.  But due to conflicting schedules, other commitments,  and money matters, I always seem to find a reason to say no.  
    But last 2012, I decided to finally take her offer to come and visit the land down under.  Besides, I figured it was high time to reward myself for all those years of studying very hard, surviving such a busy year at work, passing the level I of CFA and getting promoted.

    It would actually be my second time to visit Australia.  The first time I had the chance to go there was way back in year 2000, with my parents.  I think I was just about to start grade 7 and my mom decided for us to have a family vacation in Sydney.  Back then, I had my mom to do all the preparations for our trip: applying for our visa, booking the tickets, scheduling our trip, and so on.  All I had to before was to just help in the packing of my clothes.  My mom was always prepared for anything and she was such a good planner that I no longer had to worry about a single thing.  But this time, I'm all on my own... So let me share with you the things I've had to do so that I could actualize my plans of going back to Sydney:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Surf, Sand and Sun - (3 of 3)

Beautiful morning
   There's just something in Baler that no matter how tired you are the previous day, you would be excited to rise and start early the next day.  I guess that aptly applied for us, because by 7 in the morning, we were already up and getting ready for our surfing lessons.
      Once we got out of our rooms, we headed straight to Bay's Inn Restaurant and ordered for our breakfast.  After placing our orders, I was distracted by the view that greeted us.  The sun had risen quite beautifully over the horizon that I couldn't help but take quite  a number of pictures to capture the moment.   
My fave breakfast

        Afterwards, I went back to our table and eagerly awaited my all-time favorite breakfast in Bay's Inn, which was the tapa flakes with egg, garlic rice and hot chocolate.  Just thinking about it makes me crave for it again.  I used the breakfast stub this time so there was no need for me to bring out any cash.

An hour after, we immediately changed to our rash guards and did some stretching, as our muscles would definitely be taking a pounding once we are out on the water. We then headed to Mahdox Surf, the surf school partner of Istokewa Surf Tours. The walking distance from Bay's Inn was less than five minutes.  We also discovered that Mahdox moved just a little bit farther because apparently, the owner of the land in which they were previously located, decided to open up his own surf school.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surf, Sand and Sun - (2 of 3)

Teaser falls
        After getting some much needed rest, I was eager to finally start our adventure.  Since we wanted to do something new, we took the option of going to the Ditumabo Falls, or more commonly known as "Mother Falls", to the locals.  They call it as such since according to Bart, the surf tour organizer, it is the highest falls in Baler.  It would take us around 30-minutes from Bay's Inn and another 45 minutes to an hour hike to the falls itself.   
        One option to get to the falls is through a tricycle, which may cost around PhP500 per trike.  Since all of us were planning to go to the falls, Bart offered the use of the van for just an additional cost of PhP800.  This also already covered the payment to the driver.  Since our driver has made numerous trips to the falls, he also served as our guide in our trek to the falls.
        To make sure that we have all the energy for our hike to the falls, we ate a good lunch at Bay's Inn.  We made use of the coupons in our surf package and got our lunch meals.  Afterwards, we all headed to the van to finally leave for our destination. 

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