A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about surfboard

Roadtrippin' Part 2

Ditumabo Falls

sunny 35 °C

The journey to Ditumabo Waterfalls, the highlight of our road trip, was an amazing experience in itself and the reward was more than worth the journey. I tell our tale through pictures......

DSC_0237.jpg326.jpg

To reach waterfall base camp takes less than twenty minute drive from downtown Baler. Well that is, if you're not held up by a standard Baler road block....
large_324.jpg

From this point, our party of intrepid travellers made a magnificent thirty minute trek into lush rainforest, scaling the pipework of a mini hydro-electric plant, clambering over slippery rocks and structurally-questionable bamboo bridges.

Or you can cheat and just walk through the river!

330.jpg
334.jpg
IMG_0788.jpg
338.jpg

large_344.jpg
The mini 'pre-waterfall' waterfall

What we saw when we arrived is what I'd like the call the REAL Philippines; the kind of scenery that belongs on the cover of a travel brochure.
348.jpg
355.jpg

These photos just don't do it justice due to the amount of spray in the air but it was so beautiful and SO COLD!!!

large_IMG_0829.jpg
We clearly weren't bothered.

6383.jpg
Of course, it wouldn't be Asia without the occasional oddity to keep things exciting.

So after reaching our peak at the waterfalls and having way too much excitement, one too many injuries sustained through stupidity and a little too much sun and good food, we threw in the towel and decided to head home :(
100_2431.jpg
These were my new little friends that I met on the way to the ATM, before sadly departing back to the real world.

100_2442.jpg
Of course we couldn't say goodbye without picking up the obligatory souvenirs that we didn't need but can't live without

So exhausted we nearly didn't make it home after colliding with a giant penis carving 1395.jpg100_2448.jpg
a goat with testicles bigger than it's head and two or three road cones. Don't worry, only one cone was mortally wounded. But now we're all going to need a holiday to get over our holiday!

large_042.jpg
Aahhh home at last!

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:44 Archived in Philippines Tagged waterfalls mountains lakes bridges churches people children animals sky planes beer boat sunset diving ocean beach surf cambodia jungle driving white museum island breakfast philippines sand summer surfing cuisine sunglasses camera national bay america resort big tour scuba manila dive underwater asia coconut scuba_diving wreck computer break sihanoukville pottery discovery luzon zambales subic sunburn now south_east_asia clams swell mindoro dive_master dive_centre uss_new_york surfboard barretto olongapo sunbathe zambapalooza puerto_galera wreck_diving baler Comments (4)

This is meant to be a roadtrip.. All we're doing is driving!

Part One

sunny 34 °C

large_068.jpg
Party of Six: Matt, Gregg, Karen, Tanya, Me and Ryan

Well we fell at the first hurdle of our road trip, surviving the epic 6 hour bus drive over potholes, invisible speed humps and dodging the occasional road chicken, we emerged in Baler about 2 inches shorter, and decided we weren't going any further. Totally worth it! We'd arrived in paradise and it was freakin' beautiful. large_IMG_0632.jpglarge_185.jpg

Baler, Aurora; our base for the week was also the location for parts of the film Apocalypse Now (it makes Vietnam look good).100_2296.jpg100_2298.jpg100_2297.jpg103.jpg

Remember that Charlie don't surf? Well, apparently now he does.
104.jpg

Ryan's Birthday!
The beach out the front of our beautiful hotel was like glass; perfect for swimming, tanning, long romantics walks and whatever else you put in your online dating profile... but not so great for surfing. So we ventured half an hour down the road and dragged out the mals, which are kind of like paddling a boat. It was Matt, Tanya and Ryan's first time learning to surf and they smashed it!
Here he is in fine form, catching his first wave ever... 309.jpg
and here he is in even finer form... 100_2303.jpg
I mean, you're on holidays, so why not celebrate turning 29 by getting naked and chasing Matt down the hallway?
Happy birthday Ryan :)
The next day, a few Coronas convinced him he was able to defy the laws of physics and this beer bottle remained in the corner of our balcony for the entire week.

This particular day, we conveniently forgot to apply sunscreen before heading into the water. Big mistake! We were all feeling slightly crispy and medium to well-done and so recovered with the biggest, fattest lunch in a little road side restaurant featuring some mystery ingredients we would prefer never to disclose. remarkably_sunburnt.jpg
I have to admit if I had started this whole Asian Invasion being picky and sifting through my meals, I would have starved. Always better to the just close your eyes and enjoy.

Here is just a sample of how well we ate on the beach in Baler. 100_2363.jpg
100_2369.jpg Here is me enjoying a Rocky Road Frost; like drinking easter eggs. Something that good shouldn't be legal! We even ate chocolate fondue. 099.jpg Rosa cooked me breakfast in bed every morning; Filipino Beef Tapa + columbian coffee = spoiled rotten!!

Bahia de Baler:
100_2417.jpg100_2433.jpg100_2309.jpg

The 'unique' restaurant beach shack with the live band, surrounded by hundreds of coconut palms but runs out of coconut shakes, and plays highly questionable music throughout dinner...
Weird Al Yankovic: You Don't Love Me Anymore

100_2403.jpg100_2407.jpg
We only wanted to enjoy a beer and a cocktail on the balcony until Mr 'Unleash the Animal' decided to pick a fight with the poor waiter on his break. We didn't manage to translate much but I think his actions speak louder than words....

large_DSC_0099.jpg
Like a bunch of 5-year olds we required plenty of time out for naps to prevent tantrums.
131.jpg151.jpgDSC_0025.jpgDSC_0023.jpg

Baler Beach:
large_IMG_0740.jpg100_2421.jpgAnd I'm ready to go swimming!

And I'm ready to go swimming!

201.jpg100_2402.jpg
100_2353.jpg100_2328.jpg
154.jpg
Gregg having a rinse off after a heavy surf session
316.jpg
This is Chris; a mate of Karen's AND a pro surfer, who, when he wasn't playing tour guide or surfing instructor for Charlie Does, had but one intention; to make the rest of us look bad. It only became a problem on the last day when Gregg tried to upstage him, stacked and heard an almighty CRACK! coming from his foot. 100_2432.jpg This was the end of Gregg's surfing holiday.

large_DSC_0253.jpg
Local fishing village in the center of town

100_2450.jpg
This is actually NOT the scariest toilet I've seen in Asia...

Driving Around Aurora:
large_DSC_0059.jpg
The view from atop a weather station; the million dollar view which nearly cost us our sanity trying to get up the ridiculously steep one-way road.
231.jpg
Quality main roads around Baler.

DSC_0464.jpg
We love Baler locals.... 100_2314.jpg...Yes we do!!!

Drifting away into a paradise sunset.
089.jpg
082.jpg
This says "Having fun... thrilled you're not here."

Check out tomorrow's blog for our trip to a waterfall and the conclusion to our Baler road trip!

large_100_2288.jpg

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 20:10 Archived in Philippines Tagged waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises beaches people parties trees rainforest beer sunset restaurant beach surf jungle breakfast pink philippines summer sun surfing cuisine sunglasses paradise national bay tropical tour scuba underwater real coconut photography scuba_diving turtle treasure subic sunburn apocalypse now swell surfboard sunbathe theme_park baler Comments (1)

Cheese Burger in Paradise

sunny 32 °C

I like seeing people working hard... Mark and Jayson got stuck sorting a least half a container load of masks, snorkels and fins, some of which Gregg is donating to deserving kids, the others will now be included in any discover scuba and open water divers courses!100_2266.jpg
100_2264.jpg
This box, like three others is filled entirely with snorkels. Slight overkill.
100_2262.jpg100_2260.jpg
100_2267.jpg
Here is the boss, supervising operations...

Plenty of construction and interior decoration taking place at Vascos recently. Lolo is slaving over the timber varnish for Brian's latest venture; The Treasure Trove. 100_2270.jpg100_2269.jpg
Soon to be a very unique gift shop next to the restaurant where Brian's going to start selling a couple of his particularly special blue-glazed chinese antiques.
I like seeing people working hard.

Felt a bit down today actually. I can compare my life almost singularly to one Simple Plan song. Tragic.

....On second thoughts, Jimmy Buffet's 'Cheesburger in Paradise' might also do it.
100_2273.jpg100_2272.jpg

[Heading out today on our epic surfing road trip. So excited! Details when I return in 7-10 days :)]

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 23:19 Archived in Philippines Tagged boats surf market shopping storm philippines summer sun surfing paradise resort scuba marine manila underwater scuba_diving souvenirs luzon south_east_asia swell subic_dive_centre uss_new_york surfboard wreck_diving baler Comments (0)

The rain keeps on keeping on.....

snow 31 °C

The rain is falling in an impossibly consistent torrent. I’m worried that if I set foot outside I might drown. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it, it just KEEPS coming! Damn typhoon. There's nothing to do except sit in the bar and drink.... life could be worse I suppose?

3IMG_0013.jpg

We have ditched the dive boat this morning in search of an ellusive surf break just at the mouth of Subic Bay. We have a party of 3, four surfboards, a new underwater camera, diving boots and a pink floatie ring. Evidence of our awesomeness to be updated soon......

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 06:19 Archived in Philippines Tagged turtles boat diving beach surf summer sun surfing bay tropical scuba centre dive wreck break turtle zambales subic subic_bay dive_centre surfboard zambapalooza Comments (2)

Surfing Zambales

rain 29 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

We made the epic 40 minute trek to Liwa Liwa Beach in Zambales, in the torrential rain with the promise of awaiting sun and decent swell.... We got half way there at least.
P1010055.jpg
P1010059.jpg
Stopped in at Mommy Phoebe's Canteen and hired surfboards for next to nothing; I ended up with the retro; red, yellow and green 6'8" Bob-Marley inspired thruster from 1975.
P1010057.jpgP1010056.jpg.
I thoroughly recommend next time going with the local's advice and taking a long board. Unlike at home, people don't show off here about how short their board is and prefer to actually have fun.

P1010063.jpg
P1010062.jpg
1P1010060.jpg

Even in the rain, the air was still warm, the ocean even warmer and the scenery innocently beautiful. There was nothing around except beach shacks and surf huts. No resorts, no hotels, no casinos, nightclubs or tourists. Makes me think my Dad would say "It's like Bali was 30 years ago."

P1010058.jpg
P1010054.jpg

Two hours and only two decent waves later, I was shattered and we holed in the canteen for some unbelievable local food cooked by Mommy Phoebe herself. She even let us have a shower out the back, under the 'boso' or bore water pump-
P1010065.jpg
P1010066.jpg
(yes, I did it all by myself!) and which was the realest, most 'local' experience I've had in the Philippines to date.
Now it's only 8.20pm but I plan to be in bed in the next 15 minutes :)

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 18:34 Archived in Philippines Tagged ocean beach surf driving philippines surfing zambales swell surfboard carve barretto olongapo Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 5) Page [1]