Monday, September 2, 2013

The Enchantress from the Enchanted River

Aug 22, 2013 - 4:00PM

That was the fastest island hopping I've ever tried.  There's something about ocean that is so mesmerizing. Part of me wanted to stay a little bit longer but we were on the go.  We didn't want to be on the road when night falls.  Our next destination would be 4 more hours.  We planned to stay in Hinatuan for the night for our next destination, The Enchanted River.

The same habalhabal driver waited for us and took us back to the main road. It cost us 15 or 20 pesos per ride. Then the sky became gloomy.  That's just great I thought because I didn't do water proofing.  If you're backpacking you needed to be ready with all weather conditions and I simply forgot.  Then there were light showers.  While in the main road we found a shed, thank god!  We took 2 buses because there's no bus that will go to Hinatuan directly.  First we took a bus going to San Frans (I remember I asked my friend, "Are we going to France?" For some reason locals couldn't understand me even we speak the same dialect, I usually let my friend do the asking and she was good with it, haha! nothing new actually, I even have to talk slow when I talk to my mom.  I mumble a lot, I really think words are coming out of my mouth but to the listener they were all gibberish.)  We alighted in Barobo terminal and waited for 20 minutes.  There was no bus going to Hinatuan. Actually there was one but all seats were taken and some people were standing already.  Luckily there was a van and the driver changed his signage to Hinatuan.

Four hours, it was a long wait. It would have been a great opportunity to talk to the person next to me at least get some direction and know more about the town we were heading.  This was time I realized, I'm not friendly enough.  First there's the speech barrier, second most people first impression on me is that I'm a snob. So i just let go of that thought instead I tried to feel my butt. At that moment, I just really wanted a bed.

We arrived in Hinatuan around 8PM.  We took a pedicab from the terminal to the hostel. I was craving for bread already. After we settled our bags, the receptionist recommended Jams Native Cuisine for dinner, then the power went out.  We brought our headlamp and strut the dark streets. It was just a few blocks away.

So read good reviews about Enchanted River.  It was the main reason I asked my friend if I could tag along. The next day after breakfast, we took another habalhabal ride for roughly 45 minutes from the town proper to the Enchanted River.

The first question that came into my mind was "what makes this enchanting again?" It was high tide when we arrived so the salty water mixed with the fresh water made the water brackish.  A local said that when sea water receded it would be more clear.

So while waiting I took a plunge.  The water was so cold. And since I was not as buoyant as in a sea water, we rented a floater for 15 pesos per hour. In less than an hour my hands got wrinkled already.

After some hours the water begun to be more clear already.  Too bad we couldn't stay until feeding time normally during noon, we needed to be back to the town proper and be in time for the next bus ride going south. Perhaps that would have made this experience magical.

Another friend of mine said we should have tried the banca cruise leading to the sea. It would have made the experience better. Maybe that's what you get for expecting too much.  It was fun really but not what I expected. I expected Tinkerbell to show up and leaked fairy and pixie dusts. or Ariel to go splashing and sing a marina song.. haha. By the way, one of their boards/signage has a picture of turquoise but I didn't see one. Nemo where are you? now I'm starting to read weird, perhaps this is the enchantment! (wink)

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