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

Part One

sunny 34 °C

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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.
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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:
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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

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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....

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Like a bunch of 5-year olds we required plenty of time out for naps to prevent tantrums.
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Baler Beach:
large_IMG_0740.jpg100_2421.jpgAnd I'm ready to go swimming!

And I'm ready to go swimming!

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Gregg having a rinse off after a heavy surf session
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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.

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Local fishing village in the center of town

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

Driving Around Aurora:
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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.
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Quality main roads around Baler.

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

Drifting away into a paradise sunset.
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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!

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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)

Hong Kong Disneyland!!!!

Fulfilling all my childhood fantasies in one weekend...

sunny 31 °C
View Dive Master Lifetime Adventure on VascoDiveMaster's travel map.

I awoke at 4am in fear of having wet the bed, but realised the rain had made the roof leak (blush). Our flight was relatively uneventful 100_1173.jpg until we arrived in Hong Kong International Airport to begin our weekend food safari with a culinary indulgence at Burger King.100_1176.jpg

The Wax Museum:
100_1183.jpg After stuffing one-too many people inside an excessively small taxi, we took a = vertical train up to 'The Peak' where we had some fun with the wax figures....
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Disneyland:
It changed my life! All I wanted was a photo with Mickey and after 6 hours of ice-cream and fairy floss, way too much sugar and riding the Space Mountain roller coaster until I was sick, I got a big hug from Mickey and a kiss from Minnie :) 100_1296.jpg
Got chased by a mobile rubbish bin singing the YMCA100_1237.jpg
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The City:
Hong Kong has some of the most amazing modern architecture I have seen in my travels but their fascades are still attended to by ancient bamboo scaffolding!
100_1356.jpg100_1407.jpgThere is a really great mixture of old and new in Hong Kong that just seems to work.

The Hostel:
Finally made it to the alleged address of my hostel at about 11.30pm, absolutely shattered after 8 hours of Disneyland. It was in an ethnic ghetto full of old men loitering in the shadows, staring at the little white chick that smelled of gum leaves. 100_1352.jpgThe lobby full of Indian stalls selling fake dvd's, electronics and phone cards. I met one really friendly guy who was happy to call the hostel to find out if it in fact existed. I was given directions to 'C-Block, Level 15.' Yes, it my hostel was in prison block C. There were bullet holes in the stairwell 100_1350.jpgand my room was smaller than a prison cell. 100_1348.jpg Took my shower standing over the toilet and pushed my sandals under the door frame so I wouldn't become the victim of a 'Psycho'-inspired shower scene. Sheets were very clean but pulled the pillow case off to find my pillow covered in blood spatters. So grateful not to be raped in my sleep or awoken to the sensation of having my organs harvested. Hong Kong Hostel Horror

Ocean Park:
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100_1372.jpg Meeting Lazy Gator
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Deadly roller coaster which reached out over the South China Sea
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Resident sleeping panda at Ocean Adventure
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Panda Poo... That's enough.

Posted by VascoDiveMaster 15:56 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged disney hong kong disneyland ocean_park theme_park Comments (3)

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