Saturday, December 15, 2012

Adventures in Siquijor

Following Lonely Planet's advice, we rented a motorbike to tour the small island of Siquijor. As promised, it was a really fun way to see the island and do things on your own terms without having to bargain with tricycle or jeepney drivers, which can quickly become tiresome.

What we didn't count on, was Spencer being incredibly ill. That morning Spencer wasn't feeling well but he still really wanted to go on the trip. So, we went.

We set off on the motorbike a bit shaky at first. We were wearing helmets and full of determination to make it a success. We planned on taking turns and I was driving first since I had some previous motorcycle experience from when my dad taught me to ride a quad (aka ATV). As I was starting out, I was a bit nervous but I kept hearing my dad say, “Listen to the engine! Hear that? Okay, let up the gas and shift!” We would have been doomed without those lessons from my childhood! (Thanks, Dad!!)

As we hit the smooth main road, things got easier and I got more confidence. We were doing it! We were riding a motorbike and it was scary, exciting, and absolutely beautiful. We passed fields of rice, countless coconut trees, thatch huts, brightly painted cement houses, goats, chickens, pigs, cows, schools, villages, and the endless, shimmering sea. I felt so free but at the same time, I was constantly clutching the handlebars and never going over 45 kilometres/28 miles per hour.

After stopping a couple times for Spencer to be sick, getting lost once, and asking for directions multiple times, we finally made it to our first stop: Cambuhagay Falls. We planned on our second stop being a beach, but we never made it. You'll see why later.

Cambuhagay Falls is a set of three cascades in a river headed for the ocean. The water is a beautiful shade of aqua and the biggest swimming hole comes complete with an old jungle vine to swing into the water. The swinging vine along with the lush, green jungle surrounding the falls brings up thoughts of Tarzan. It was like a tropical dream! It's a must see if you come to Siquijor island.

The beauty of the location was the exact opposite of how Spencer felt. He was miserable. I kept telling him we could go back to our resort but he kept saying no. Even though he was sick, he still wanted to see the waterfall and hang out. What a trooper! So, I went swimming while Spencer threw up some more. Then we both took turns on the rope swing.

After a while, Spencer couldn't tolerate it anymore and we got back on the motorbike and headed towards home. I was getting more and more worried about his inability to even hold down water so when I saw a sign for a hospital, I immediately turned into its driveway.

We had to wait about 40 minutes for the doctor to come but I was happy we did. While we were waiting, the nurses gave Spencer a pill for his fever and by the time the doctor showed up, he was feeling a bit better. The doctor was very kind, she spoke perfect English (as a lot of Filipinos do), and prescribed Spencer some probiotics and re-hydration salts.

On doctor's orders, we skipped the beach and headed back to the resort. By the time we got back, Spencer was feeling better and even ate some toast for dinner. The day had not turned out how we intended but we had survived.

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