It was my third time in Cebu and I finally had the chance to visit Bantayan Island. But with a 1-hour 10-minute flight, 3-hour ordinary bus ride, and a 1-hour 15-minute ferry trip in one day... At two months pregnant, I shall say getting to the island wasn't a breeze.
Our plane touched down Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 11:20 AM. After quickly grabbing our backpacks from the belt we got out of the arrival area, walked the pedestrian crossing, climbed up a flight of stairs, and ended up at the regular taxi queue (airport taxis start at P450 to city center).
Our driver asked for P200 which was reasonable, given the distance and traffic condition at lunch hour. We dropped off Shervin at Alpa Suites where his Aussie friends were staying (they were in Cebu to have a tattoo done). We'll be seeing him again the next day after our beaching. As for us three, the driver took us to the North Bus Terminal near SM Mall.
We did not find a Ceres Bus. Since we wanted to catch the last ferry to Bantayan Island at 5:30 PM, we boarded the first ordinary bus we saw (P80, 3 hours) after having lunch at the terminal's Lucky Me Carinderia.
The road to Hagnaya is paved, but can make a preggy traveler nauseous nonetheless. It's actually good that we were on an ordinary bus. Just a week before this trip, a Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan air-conditioned bus ride made me dizzy to the brink of chucking. I was glad we were out in the open.
At the terminal, no other tourist was in sight. We were there in time for the second to the last trip. Ferry ride was P135 for regular, and P160 for first class (air-conditioned). Terminal fee, P10.
As our ferry cruised at an unhurried speed, Gabe and Xhy ordered a bottle each of San Miguel Pale Pilsen. No alcohol for me so I drenched myself with the bewitching charm of the setting sun.
When we docked at Sta. Fe, it was already dark. A mosh pit of dudes offering vacant rooms loomed from every direction. Soon we were standing in a claustrophobic circle surrounded by them. We managed to pull away (not an easy task though), and got in a tricycle. I asked the driver if he could recommend us a cheap fan room.
Obediently, he drove us straight to Onde Guesthouse, beside Seaview Apartelle. Fan rooms were at P750, air-conditioned P1,500. We took the remaining vacant fan room (they only have two). We were exhausted and didn't bother scouting for cheaper options. Shelling out P250 each for a room isn't so bad anyway.
Dinner was at a carinderia selling different sorts of barbecue and grilled seafood beside Arjaymay. All of us weren't feeling too social that night. Instead of hitting some bar, Gabe and Xhy bought vodka to drink at the guesthouse to cap off the night. And me? I downed my materna milk.
The day after will be a hectic one too for we'll wander around Sta. Fe's beaches, explore a small cave, and sadly head back to Cebu City. Nothing a preggy backpacker couldn't handle. Bow.
[This is part of the Voyaging Visayas Series which took place February 2010. Price of goods, transportation and so forth may already be different.]
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