On Saturday after almost 2 days in the air with stops over Doha, Bangkok and Manila we finally made it to Carabao island.
The airport in Caticlan was tiny and you felt like you were entering a secret place. We knew this was not the case since Boracay has been having his moment of fame for the past five years or so but it didn’t matter.
A lady from the resort picked us up and had booked a tricycle to bring us to the boat, why not?! Excited, the ride showed us parts of Boracay we would not have seen at all if we would have been on our own.
Since the resort’s boat was broken we had to use a public one, even better we thought, completely enthusiastic. They even allowed us to ride on the roof with some other locals. How more authentic could it have got?!
The ride was simply fantastic, about an hour of sun, warmth, powerful waves leaving us soaked and excited like kids. A pure enjoyment!
When we reached Carabao island, we realized it was beyond our expectations: we were really in the middle of nowhere, back to the roots (tho I never lived per se in a rustic area…) but the first sight of where we would spend the next few days definitely satisfied us.
The ride on local motorbikes was short and pleasant. Drove through country side to reach the resort ‘Boracay Outlook’.
We were welcomed by Shirley, a lovely Philippine woman. The typhoon did damage some areas on the island and stopped the island being supplied with materials needed in construction. Our room was therefore not ready and we had to be relocated.
The house was simple and comfortable. Of course, as a westerner, I saw many things that should be fixed but as a traveler, I was happy to have found a peaceful place where smiling (without overdoing it) people welcomed us.
If you expect luxury and western standards, this place is not for you but if you need a place to mainly relax, read, swim in the ocean and enjoy some delicious food (for instance Kinilawo, a traditional dish made of raw fish, chili, lime and onions – served with rice), then this is a paradise. At least it has been mine for three days.
We arrived quite tired and in desperate need to release the stress we gathered along the year so we did close to nothing and it could have got boring after a while.
But! they also offer some cool on and off water activities we would have checked out out if we would have had more time…
The owner, Gord, is a Canadian gem who tries his best to accommodate you and he is a very funny character. He shares his love for the island with his guests and definitively makes them feel at home.
At night we sat on the terrasse with a cold beer (quite difficult to obtain tho – I was told that Filipinos like their beers warm!) and listen to the sound of the waves. Simple and efficient.
On the plus plus plus side for this Carabao island, my friend and I were the only tourists in sight (certainly there were some others staying on the island – the island is only counting three resorts but tourists still like to come in, spend the say and leave at night) and there was no vendor to hassle us on the beach – priceless nowadays!
This morning we did an island tour that brought us to a view point – breathtaking! This island is so unspoiled, this is almost a shame to write that article that might send more tourists on it but it is too beautiful not to… Dilemma!
Anyway today we are leaving for Boracay island with mixed feelings. It is supposed to be a modern version of Carabao island with billions of tourists, drunk and in need of good times but the beach is supposed to made of white sand.
Ok then let’s check it out!
Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!