Travelling with Rosanne

Here's a big HI from the east! Thank you for all the sweet Bday wishes! I had a nice day, didn't too much during the day but at night me and some other travelers went out for dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, I had to get up early to catch the ferry to my next destination... Panglao Island!

But first let me tell you a bit more about my travels with Rosanne. On the 16th I was meeting Rosanne in Hong Kong. She flew straight from Adam into HK and was already chilling on Lantau Island when I arrived at night. We chose a more luxurious hotel for the first night and the next morning we checked out to relocate ourselves to Hong Kong Island (I can totally recommend Yes Inn hostel!). We took a ferry which gave us the perfect opportunity to get a good glimpse of that amazing skyline HK is famous for. In these four days we visited the typical tourist attractions such as the Peak, Symphony of Light, Aberdeen Harbour, all the street markets, Ocean Park, the longest escalator in the world, strolling along the bay, etc. We also experienced a typhoon level 8 that saturday although the only thing we saw as a reminder of this storm were the breaking news interruptions during our Harry Potter movie. I also met up with Babs, friend from Maastricht, who was in HK at that moment for her studies. I have picture proof on my picture website!! 

Was nice meeting you Babs, too bad Bram couldn't join us... We also met a friend of Rosanne's who lives in HK so it was one big reunion party for us!

For me, HK was such a major step forwards. After 3 months of lowering your standards as to adjust to local life standards it was such a relief that people were able to speak good English, and who immediately understood what your needs were. For instance, I wanted to buy a SIM card and the salesman helped me out by putting the SIM card in my mobile phone, asked me which country I was from and automatically gave me the rates. I didn't have to ask and re ask, he would just automatically help me! Later a security guard helped me out with finding a taxi, gave me a written version of my hotel address in Cantonese (or maybe Mandarin, I don't know...) and guided me all the way to the taxi stand and gave me the taxi rates. And again the only thing I asked was 'Where can I find a taxi?'. This was so very welcoming and I immediately felt my body relaxing. Gosh, I realized how I missed that those last three months (for my fellow Organisation students, I think I was suffering from Peter Senge's Eroding Goals concept, ha! 

Tongue out
). I knew this feeling would only last for those few days in HK so I enjoyed HK in every way: the clean streets, the rules, regulated public transport that will arrive on time, etc. I really enjoyed vivid HK!

The way out from HK gave us some more problems. It took us about 1,5 day to get the payment done for our tickets at Cebu Pacific. Eventually, after that 1,5 day, we learned from the main office that most non asian creditcards are not accepted via their online website simply because the technology is not advanced enough to cerify these. Right! After many problems with the payment for our tickets for Cebu, we finally left one day later to arrive in paradise. Although I expected a country with not so many English speakers, they definitely proved me wrong! Everyone speaks very well English and addresses you as ma'am. This was definitely a welcoming surprise! People (travelers, other asians) too tend to speak very negatively about the Philippines, say its unsafe, and this is also truly a misconception! Although a lot of guards with big guns are at work, I haven't felt in danger at any moment. These stories caused us to book a ticket to Cebu instead of Manila because 'you should consider yourself lucky if you make it out of Manila alive'; again a misconception, Manila is quite nice and taxi drivers can be trusted, just ask them to switch on the meter.

Cebu city is not that very special and we immediately left for Malapascua Island. This tiny Island at the tip of Cebu Island is truly a bounty island. Pearl white beaches with bright blue water, it couldn't get any more perfect! Here we made new friends with some of the local girls (Jane, Janet & Jenaline) and they showed us the island and took us to a local party. We were also invited to a birthday party/dinner of the son of my masseuse, Janet, and ended up singing, again, karaoke. They take karaoke so very seriously. The guys don't mind singing love songs and are quite good actually at it too! It is very easy to make Filipino friends and they all are so very friendly. We stayed here a couple of days until we got fed up being stared at by the locals and hearing the remark 'wow, you're so tall' (Rosanne is blond and 1.86m) all the time. It was actually quite funny, coz I was totally not interesting anymore to them and they only remembered Rosanne's name and not mine. So this is how it feels to 'stand in ones shadow'... I love it!

I heard about a festival on Bohol and we went there to see this. Although the bounty experience ended with this decision, Bohol is definitely a nice calm Island off coast from Cebu city. We went to the streetdance festival, see the chocolate hills (product of natures many beautiful mysteries), and the tarsier monkey. On the ferry to Tubigon we again met a Filipino, Kent, who helped us find a guesthouse. Kent was also going to the festival so we exchanged numbers and would meet the following day at the festival. He was also our wake up call as he came knocking on our door to wake us up the folowing day, ha! He made sure we were on the right bus towards Tagbilaran and left again. These last few days we hung out with him and his friends and they showed us the island in the jeep with the tennis rackets on the front window (see pics), really cool! Then it was time to say goodbye as we left for Borneo to spend the last week in Brunei Darrussalam. Oh, now I'm forgetting a very funny story. We flew back to Manila to leave for Clark the following day. Coz we arrived late at night, most of the guesthouses were full so Raja, the Indian guy we met on the plane, his girlfriend suggested that we should go for a 12 hour hotel room. So we checked in only to find out that we got our private, little darkroom!! Leather mattress, red atmospheric lights, mirrors situated on the perfect height if you know what I mean... 

This was truly hilarious!

We flew into Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Although we planned a lot of things to do around here we eventually decided to just hang out in this relaxing city. Most tourist leave Kota Kinabalu straight away but we kind of like the quiet atmosphere of the town in which Rosanne regained her semi anonimous life again. We went island hopping, chilled on the beach, went shopping and went to the movies. Paddy would arrive from Semporna that very first wkend so we went out for drinks. Was nice to see him again. He got a job offer he couldn't refuse so this would be his last week in asia. He didn't wanna go... Rosanne got also convinced to climb Mt. Kinabalu so we decided to skip out on Brunei and booked our accomodation on the mountain. Although we only met travelers who were not allowed to climb to the top because of weather conditions, the day we left for the mountain it was perfect blue sky and we got more and more excited as we met people going downhill telling us how amazing the view is from the top. In the bus towards the park we met another Dutch couple, Roy and Petra, who we here on their honeymoon (did I tell you that the dominant tourist population in Borneo is Dutch? Its crazy how many Dutch are travelling at the moment!) and together we decided to challenge the mountain. Unfortunately, Petra got altitude sickness on the first day but she insisted on continuing although we climbed the mountain in a slower pace. The good thing was that we got plenty of picture opportunities as the view on this clear day was tremendous. During our climb we saw many locals running (yes running, not lying here) down the mountain or walking up with large packs tight to their backs. They bring up the supplies and earn 200 ringit by doing so everyday! Holy cow...

While we checked in our rooms, we found out that we booked a room in the non heated facility. What the... No one told us something about that?? That wasn't the only downside, the other lodge was also higher up the mountain and breakfast and dinner was held in the other lodge which would basically mean that you needed to run up and down that steep mountain part for at least 4 times! Sure we are not going to do that!!! Roy and Petra told us that there's still an empty bed in their dormroom so I went up to the reception desk to ask if we could move to this lodge and after convincing them that there's truly a bed still available we were allowed to check in. So now we were sharing one bed, but that still better than sleeping in the cold! When we woke up at 2AM we heard a very unwelcoming sound... it was raining! This means that ur not allowed to go up to the summit! We got out of bed anyhow and hoped for better weather to arrive any time soon and it did! We still had to wait for another hour to ensure the wind dried up the rocks and we were allowed to go through the gate, whoohoo! This last part is truly the most challenging part. It is very steep and because of the limited air supply very hard. Then, as we passed the 7,5km sign, clouds came up again making the breathing harder and harder. It were rain clouds which decided to pour down everything it contained on us. With a visiblity of about 1,5 meters and hands too cold to open any pockets for sugar snacks we continued to climb up the mountain. Now it was getting more difficult to withstand the situation by the minute and I was glad that Rosanne's was there with me coz at a certain point I felt completely drained and she kept me moving. We also saw blood stains on the way to the top which can give you some indication in what kind of weather conditions we were in. In the end Rosanne and I switched roles as I kept convincing her to continue. I just knew we were getting really close although are visibility was still only about 1,5 meters (I know this coz I couldn't see the ground in front of me even though I'm only 1.68m). We met many people on the way down who didn't even climb to the top. We found out later that most of them turned around 500m before the top! Such a shame. We made it to the top. I have picture proof! I'm the one in orange...

On the way down I was numb, litteraly and mentally. My knees were hurting, my hands looked like blown up surgical gloves, my face was all puffy, and I was really hungry although no ones hand were strong enough to open the pockets for food, but then still I was also too nauseous to eat anything. I didn't feel proud yet of what I just accomplished. Now, looking back I know that what we've done is truly a great accomplishment. They closed the gates when it started to rain heavily which basically means that the conditions were to fierce for us to climb and still we did and made it! Will I ever climb a mountain again? No, I certainly will not...

When we arrived back in K.K. we said bye to Roy and Petra and immediately took a hot shower and jump into bed. We both slept around the clock to wake up with muscles aching all over. As the people in K.K. are used to this image they kept on saying 'ah, you climbed the mountain ha ha... yes we did thank you for noticing'. That night we met Roy and Petra again for drinks and exchanged the pictures. This was the moment when it got all a little bit more in perspective. We are hardcore! 

These last few days we took it easy, I rebooked my ticket to the 18th November and made my decision: I'm going to visit Ilvie and Miki in Brisbane!

Then it was time to say goodbye to Roos. I decided that I didn't see enough yet in the Philippines so that sunday Roos was flying back to HK while I took a flight back to Manila. Roos, ik vond het echt gezellig met je en tot in Brisbane!






hey suus,

wow jij maakt ook wat mee zeg. super dat je de top hebt gehaald haha. Kom je naar ozzie? ook naar Adelaide. ik ben daar t/m half december. come and visit me haha. Groetjes Chantal


Hey darling sistor!!!

Wat een verhalen weer! Ben echt zo benieuwd naar alles als je weer terug bent! Je bent echt goed in het Engels! Knap hoor. We verbazen ons daarover zo makkelijk als je dat schrijft.
Nog twee maanden toch? Dan kan ik je eindelijk weer zien!!
Dikke kus en pas goed op jezelf!


Soesie! Kan niet wachten alles live te horen van je! het klinkt echt zo gaaf, heb even een uurtje foto0s van je zitten kijken, magnifique!!



Hé lieve Suus!

Leuk om "ons" verhaal te lezen!! Ben erg benieuwd hoe je het hebt op de filipijnen! Je advanced paddy al gehaald??

Vond het ook erg gezellig! Lijkt me echt super leuk te meeten in Brisbane!

Enjoy you're time!

Liefs Roos


Prachtige foto's zie ik voorbij gaan op je site.
So keep on being happy over there!

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