Siargao was one of the first places that was on the ‘to visit list’ when preparing our travels to the Philippines. It is first of all a world renowned surf island and the most famous break is cloud 9. After checking some clips on Youtube you will see why! The big advantage of having the combination of a world famous surf break and a super nice island is that some foreign people settle in. This means good food and superb accommodations in all price ranges, this was heaven after Leyte, where sweet Philippino food was the norm. More on the food later!
We arrived a couple of days earlier than expected on Siargao, because our stay at Leyte was shortened by a couple of days due to bad weather and so on… A blessing! The ‘island feel’ and the relaxed atmosphere that goes with being a surfer’s paradise made us want stay even longer in the end.
The first 3 nights we stayed in General Luna, the town closest to cloud 9. We met up again with Chris and Helen, the German couple we met in Manila. We decided to go and eat out at Kermit’s surf resort, awesome choice! The nr. 1 tripadvisor restaurant on the island, and rightfully so!! Dorien had the best pizza she had in the Philippines and I had the best pasta since we left (with truffle and Italian ham, decadency all over, but o so worth it). Accompanied with some San Miguels (beer) this was one of the best meals we had. Not the best choice for our budget, but it all made for a very nice evening with our German friends.
The hostel we stayed in was ‘The smiling pig’, a veeeery open minded hostel where you are immediately greeted by everybody. Lots of people extend their stay for weeks and weeks, we got why, but we must say that for us as a couple after 3 nights we had seen enough of it. The first evening we went for a party with the hostel crew and guests, let’s say that we drank and danced a lot, details of that evening are for our minds only 😉 .
The second day we visited cloud 9, relaxed on the beach and ate some good food. That’s what you do on Siargao! We also arranged a surf lesson for our last day in General luna at Jing’s place, we couldn’t leave without trying at least…
Surfing day! We picked up our motorbike with ‘board handles’ and went off to Jing’s place at 8 AM, because that’s what he told us the day before, only to hear that we should only be there around 2 PM again… So what do you do whit the remaining time? Yep, eat something, drink a coffee, read a bit and go back. I must say that the new bike was kind of a challenge, it was a semi-automatic, what was new to us and the board handles where quite dangerous in a way because it made your bike 50 cm wider to one side. Dorien kept reminding me of this after a first close call with a nearby fence and tree.
At 2 PM we went off with a board to ‘the secret spot’, a hidden beach somewhere with good beginner waves. After 200 metres the local surf guides took over our bike because we were not fast enough I guess. The ride that followed was one to remember, the guides where clearly used to them AND the road, we flew to the spot in half the time that we needed to return from it (in the dark, to our defence). It was not without relieve that we got off the bikes.
The surfing lesson went well, besides an occasional nipple slip from Dorien (the wrong bikini for surfing apparently). I managed to stand up most of the times, I could see the jealousy dripping of the faces of the surfers that where in their third or more lesson and didn’t get to my Kelly Slater level yet (not true, they were super friendly and asking for autographs. Not true either, but they were friendly). Dorien pushed through albeit that her instructor didn’t really instruct, which was a pity because she really ‘felt it’. I must say that I was quite proud of her, after diving she was out on a surfboard… Woman of my dreams!
We were exhausted afterwards so what can you do? Eat, drink and talk about our surf initiation! Gotta love Siargao!
The next day we had to get TO THE NORTH! A gruelling ride through the snow and winds was awaiting. The winds where there and the snow was replaced by heavy rain, but it was all in all a nice ride. We saw the rain literally approaching us from over the mountains so we knew when we had to take shelter. We also discovered that the rain coat for my backpack wasn’t waterproof anymore and that our raincoats from Uniqlo where not waterproof to start with.
Bamboo garden was the place to be in Pacifico. It didn’t disappoint, the huts are basic but nice. We decided we would do a trip to Sugba lagoon the next day and we didn’t regret it. The pictures hopefully give an impression. The prepared lunch was amazing!
We also visited ‘Magpoponko rock pools and flats’, during low tide some tidal pools are formed and they are stunning. Lots of locals come during the weekend to spend their day in the pools and on the beach.
This is one of our longer posts… And rightfully so, Siargao is a paradise, hopefully it stays that way. Apparently the amounts of flights to the island are increasing rapidly, so chances are that the peace and balance of it will be disturbed in the future… But at the moment it is what it is… Awesome!