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Tagbilaran

Tagbilaran. Not even 10 pm yet, but dizzy with fatigue. It doesn't seem possible that just this morning we were in Malapascua, gazing at the starfish as the boat slipped away from shore. Small boat, big boat, small boat, van, taxi, ferry, walk, and now we find ourselves in Bohol's largest city. We opted to stay at Nisa Travellers' Hotel rather than push onto Anda. This place has the feeling of a dorm or hostel, except the rooms are private. Japanese and German tourists abound. Unsurprisingly we seem to be the only Americans again, not that anyone would guess what we are. Everywhere we travel the locals want to know where we're "really" from.

Days of moving from one place to the other are the worst part of traveling, especially when you know you have to fight off the tricycle/taxi/boat men and the hawkers of various snacks and souvenirs. And then the tiresome search for a place to stay, not sure when to stop looking, shy of negotiating, and led reluctantly by an insistent Filipino who brings you from place to place, and you don't know how to feel--is he being helpful or are you being had somehow? We never know how to disperse the cloud of followers who attach themselves as soon as we arrive, large bags in tow and looking sweaty and tired. They never give us time to think, always chattering on, pushing--I just need some time to think--so we say over and over again, "No, thank you, we don't need help" until they drop away one by one, and we're left alone, wondering if we might have needed them after all.

In Anda we will be without a home base--no dive shop at which to spend all our free time, chatting with the dive guides and other tourists. We'll be left on our own, just like anyone else. I wonder how it will be.

Posted by chschen 08.17.2012 17:00 Archived in Philippines

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