Week 7 (April 17th-23rd): Hundred Islands Camping

 

April 24
Friday night late (or rather Saturday morning) around 2am, Fred and I left Manila and made our way to hundred islands in Pangasinan, just off the coast of Alaminos. Its quite a touristy destination, with many people visiting the main islands (Governor’s, Quezon and Children’s island).  A number of tourist make it out to the dozen other islands that have a beach front. Of the 134 islands part of Hundred Islands, most are a rock bed protruding out of the China sea, and most difficult to explore (rather to get onto). We are camping on Shell island,one with a beach front but less frequented. We only figured out late last night that we aren’t supposed to be sleeping on other islands then the three main ones. My understanding is that this new rule is due to the overcrowding and poor garbage management from campers. An other island we walked to through the sea (it was shallow the whole way across, about 75 meters) was also covered in garbage. We explored the island a bit (there was a trail some what over grown, but still nice to walk along).
We swam, we ate fish in miso sauce which I had packed for supper and crackers and peanut butter for lunch (less exiting). It was great to explore the islands a bit, though I must say I have un healthy fear of the creatures inhabiting these tropical islands, I am not quite sure why, probably all those horror movies with snakes and spiders (hehe). The evening was the most fun. We had a lovely supper, as I mentioned, did dishes. After dishes, Fred and I found the strangest creature half way between a muting snake and a sea sponge wallowing in the shallow waves (a bit of googling and align to friends leads me to believe this was a sea-worm but I have yet to pin point the species). We also found a crab, the width of my two hands, with the most protuberant eyes and grey shell. At one point it even Burrowed into the sand and its colour became a clear source of camouflage. Then we settled on our towels, the sun mostly all down the sky becoming beautiful starry and devoid of just about any city lights, the big orange fiery moon behind us (which we noticed much later), starring up we heard creature-ish noises around us, only to find dozens of hermit crabs making their way around our towels and hundreds walking around on the beach more generally.
We also read to each other from the outdoor survival book I bought years ago. It’s quite alarmist and not that helpful, but we did manage to pick up some tips here and there. I fell asleep Fred reading to me and mostly slept like a baby. This morning we had 3 in 1 coffee, the sweet diabetic’s downfall and I made oatmeal with dried papaya, mango and jackfruit as well as powdered milk. We are hoping to do some kayaking. It’s nice sleeping on a sandy beach, less taxing for the back so I woke up this morning with no sores whatsoever
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