We woke up early in order to do some more exploring around Camotes before heading back to Cebu that afternoon. First, we availed of the complementary breakfast. It was just a simple fare of corned beef (canned version), rice and coffee. There are other viand choices; just check at the restaurant.
As our meal was being prepared, I decided to take a dip in the resort’s pool. No other guests decided to swim that time so I had the pool all to myself. The guy in charge of cleaning it kindly turned on the fountain, which was a nice touch. Then we ate breakfast and off we went gallivanting!
Mangodlong Rock Resort
The resort we stayed in, Coco Grove, did not have their own beach. Guests have to go to this neighboring resort instead. It is within walking distance, in fact just a few steps away. The beach was nice but not that wide. Lots of photo opportunities can be found there. We just spent a small amount of time there though since our hearts were set on visiting Santiago Bay.
We went back to our resort where our motorcycle drivers for the day were waiting. For this day’s exploration, we still hired Ervin, my motorcycle driver and tour guide the previous day. This time, he brought a friend. So yeah, Kristal and I rode one motorcycle each as it was just more comfortable that way. We did not want to squish into just one ride. We did not hire a jeepney or a tricycle because that would have cost us more, plus I really like going around on a motorcycle with the wind in my hair. Freedom!
Lake Danao Park
This was our first stop. The lake was huge and had an islet in the middle of it. Other visitors went kayaking and I also saw paddle boats there for guests. Kristal and I just took pictures though and soaked in the scenery for a little while. We also ate this Kiping (at least that is what they call it in Camiguin). It is a crispy treat made sweet by the latik (caramelized coconut cream syrup).
Beautiful Santiago Bay
We didn’t dawdle at Lake Danao since we were pressed for time and we wanted to chill more at Camotes’ most famous beach. Yes, you guessed it, that would be Santiago Bay.
We were not disappointed. The beach area was large, the sand was white and wonderfully fine, and the water was super clear. Unfortunately, it was low tide when we arrived; we did not get the opportunity to swim. We then decided to just people watch. There were resorts on the cliffs overlooking the bay. We figured we’d go to one of those and just chill at a restaurant with a good view.
We made the right call for we did find a good enough restaurant, which I unfortunately did not care to remember the name. So sorry. My attention was really captured by the view sprawled out in front of me. We ordered early lunch and drinks at the restaurant. Their menu is very much like Coco Grove’s.
We spent more than an hour there catching up and enjoying gorgeous Santiago Bay. It was an excellent way to relax and forget the worries of life, even but for a moment.
The Long Way Back
Around 11:30 AM, we headed back to our resort to check out. It was fuss-free since we paid everything via Agoda. Then we made our way to the port in order to go back to Cebu. We were at the port by 1PM. We left Camotes at 6PM. Whew!
The torture started when we arrived at the port and no ticket booths were open. And then we heard people saying tickets for the 3:30PM ferry were sold out. Fine, there were many vacationers in Camotes, understandable. Fortunately, we were able to find seats while lining up for the tickets. Then the ticket booth opened at around 4PM. We got tickets and waited some more for the 5:00PM ferry to arrive.
When it did, unloading the cars it carried took a lot of time. So we were able to board at 5:30PM. Then, apparently, one orange pickup did not board the ferry well. The captain made several announcements on the PA system asking the driver to fix his car’s placement. No driver ever showed himself! It reached a point where the captain was making angry announcements and the crew had to go around asking people if they were the driver. Still no driver claimed the car, the nerve!
Finally, at 6PM, we left the port. We learned that the captain offloaded another vehicle since it could not fit in anymore, what with the orange pickup unnecessarily taking up extra space. Until now, I still cannot believe how selfish and uncaring that driver was. He did not care at all that he inconvenienced everyone in that ferry. And think about the owner of that vehicle that got left behind? Poor him for he paid for the ticket but could not get on and had to wait the next day to leave Camotes. When we arrived in Cebu, the orange pickup truck was one of the first vehicles to get out of there, so obviously the driver was on board but ignored every call for his assistance. Grrr!
We saw a beautiful sunset while leaving Camotes, so at least there is that. Still, getting to and leaving the island is soooo hard. For all its beauty, I don’t think I will be returning any time soon. I hope that a positive change will happen in the near future because Camotes is a great place and it sucks that its development is hindered by its horrendous port system. Oh and to all selfish people out there, please learn some manners!
Thank you for reading this far. Do let me know what you like about Camotes if you’ve visited. For any questions or clarifications, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.