Vail travel: Sea turtle soothes motorcycle wounds |

Vail travel: Sea turtle soothes motorcycle wounds

Luc Pols
Vail, CO Clorado
Special to the Daily/Luc PolsVail travel: A farmer plows rice paddies on Siquijor.

VAIL, Colorado ” I guess after all these years I have found the secret to bus travel “getting a first class seat. Riding deluxe on the Partas Bus line made the 12-hour ride very comfortable.

So, after a night in Manila I took a 1 1/2-hour flight that cost $55 to Cebu City. It was my luck to have a Formula 1 race car competitor as my taxi driver, but I arrived safely in my reasonably nice hotel.

Over the next day I walked all over this town and saw the Independence Monument, the beautifully restored cathedral and the old El Nino church, where there was a long line to pray at a famous and revered relic. I also saw the old Spanish fort, San Pedro, and the Gorordo Museum. Cebu City was a nice city without any tricycles, a means of transportation I had come to abhor.

It was dry for two days, but now the rain was coming down in buckets again and I decided to go further south, still in search of warm weather and sunshine. I arrived in Dalaguete (still on Cebu) in a mini-typhoon that broke and sunk one dive boat and blew another off its moorings and deposited it about a kilometer down the beach.

I kept on moving to Moalboal and its seaside resort, Panagsama. At last, at very long last, I found sunshine, white, palm-tree lined beaches and the beautiful sunsets I had promised myself.

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I relaxed there for five days, rented a motorcycle and was glad I brought Neosporin. Some turkey came around a blind corner and I had to brake and swerve and my motorcycle slipped. Not only did I get a bloody elbow, but cut my leg in several places.

After the motorcycle debacle, my leg needed time to heal so I went snorkeling. Due to dizziness, I don’t dare scuba diving, but the snorkeling was absolutely magnificent.

There was a diversity of coral and a great number of colorful fish. I went snorkeling the next day and saw something I have never see before ” a 5-foot long sea turtle floating along the reef near the hotel. I floated with it for about five minutes, before it disappeared in the blue deep yonder.

One doesn’t really need to scuba dive as snorkeling will show you about everything there is to see. Even though the wounds on my leg hurt because of the salty sea water, I would not have missed the turtle for the world.

I took the ferry from Tangil to the island of Negros and then a bus to Bais City for the sole simple reason to try to watch dolphins and whales, supposedly the best spot in the Philippines.

I was able to arrange a “reasonable” price for a single boat ride, but when I asked the people what the chances were to see a whale, I was between slim and none, so I skipped the boat ride.

Another first. I witnessed a team Frisbee match between two teams of seven, and that was about the only thing worth seeing in that town, so I moved on to Dumaguete, which was a nice town where I experienced another first.

My leg continued to give me trouble, so I visited my first-ever foreign emergency room and, no comment. Tetanus and antibiotics hopefully would restore me to my former self and in the meantime I just relaxed.

On to my fourth island Siquijor ” which was a tiny one with a circumference of about 50 miles. I found a nice resort, which was quiet, but perhaps too quiet ” I was the only guest!

Even though the leg was still hurting, I rented another motorcycle and cruised the island for 1 1/2 days and spent the rest at an absolutely gorgeous, palm-tree lined, white beach. This was about how I envisioned the Philippines and additionally, the weather was just great.

One last observation today ” and this phenomenon was reinforced by my cruising around the island once again. There were no soccer fields. Everywhere you go in the world, kids are playing this sport. But Philippines, the sports craze is basketball.

Every school playground has a court and the kids were busily practicing this sport, which seems to be growing in popularity more and more.

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