DAY 2 - Camotes Island
Day 2 was spent at Camotes Island with Sabb while Toni stayed in the city. Cebu is known not only for lechon and world-class furniture but also for amazing beaches and natural tourist spots. So Sabb and I really made sure to go to a beach as part of our four-day sojourn. We first planned to go to Bantayan (Joie even had a prepared itinerary for us) but it was way up north of Cebu and the travel duration would consume much of our precious time. 

We opted for Camotes Island instead, heeding Joie's recommendation since a week or two before, she was there with her office mates and the approximate time for travel was only 3 hours from where we were staying. And no regrets! Joie still had the contact number of the driver that toured them around. She contacted him, made arrangements and voila, Sabb and I are on our way to Camotes! 

(for commuters)
  • From Robe's Pension House we rode a taxi cab going to Cebu North Bus Terminal. It was a good thing that GrabTaxi is still on promo in Cebu! P50.00 off plus the P10.00 less on flag down. [as of writing]
  • Look for the bus bound to Danao Port. Bus ride will take at least 45 minutes. (Tip: Danao Port is right in front of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church)
  • When we arrived at Danao Port we were welcomed with two ticketing booths. Buy tickets at the ticketing booth second from the gate which was Jomallia Shipping (not the first one, just like what me and Sabb almost did haha). The ticketing guy at the first booth asked us where we were heading, we answered: "Camotes Island" and he replied with: "Day, dako kaayo ang Camotes Island, asa sa Camotes Island,? Sa Poro? sa San Francisco?" (Girl, Camotes Island is so big. Where in Camotes Island? In Poro? In San Francisco?) Turned out the magic word was "Consuelo Port". Needless to say, you board in Danao Port and you dock in Consuelo Port when going to Camotes Island (the tourist spot part) and vice versa. That was one little detail we forgot to research or ask our friend Joie. Lesson learned!
  •  The Ro-Ro Vessel has a Tourist Class (P200.00) and Economy Class (P180.00). We opted for the Tourist Class what with its only P20 peso difference. It's air conditioned and has comfy reclining chairs and it was such as smooth sailing trip! (Will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours)
  • Going back to the city, instead of riding the bus, we rode a jeepney. It will stop at SM City Cebu and from there we took a cab going back to Robe's.
Once we stepped out of the vessel and walked at the arrival area of the port, we were greeted by Kuya Juanito, the habal-habal driver. We knew it was him because he was holding a placard with our names! He drove us at Santiago Bay, a public beach with (obviously) no entrance fee and we had our lunch over there. 

After lunch, our Camotes Island adventure began!

  • Paraiso Cave - It's an underground cave with a small pool at the end of it where you can swim at the pristine water. The vibe was kind of divine (in a good way). I couldn't resist swimming and floating because the water was so clear!
  • Timubo Cave - This was the second stop but we didn't take that much photos or the quality was not that good anyway. It was more crowded there and the way down was longer and I gotta say that it kind of stink of pee underground what with the number of tourists and the cold temperature. But the rock formation was stellar and the part where you can swim is bigger compared to Paraiso Cave. I was right with the divine vibe because at this particular cave, there was a Mother Mary Statue.
 Baywalk in San Francisco, California - Kuya Juanito dropped us here for a quick photo op.

Buho Rock, Poro -This was my favorite part since I got to cliff dive twice! But only with the 10 feet plank not the 40 feet. Once you reach one goal, you'd find out there's another better! Anyway, the trek down the steep stairs was tiring. Sabb and I even thought that it's not a good idea to bring our Moms if ever there's a next time. Hahaha. But we enjoyed it! There were also a bunch of Korean tourists and we were cheering scaring whoever it was brave enough to jump. 
Lake Danao - Such a vast lake with an amazing view! Activities offered at Lake Danao are boating and kayaking. Sabb and I were kind of tired from the long habal habal ride (our butts hurt) and I was kind of tired too since cliff diving and swimming took most of my energy. Baka pag nag-kayaking kami di na kami makabalik! Hahaha. So we enjoyed instead eating the P10.00 salbaro and P5.00 buko gulaman. There's a pool too nearby so after the kayaking, everyone can enjoy and opt for swimming.
We capped the day off back at the public beach and witnessed the sunset.You'll be amazed how low tide it is at Camotes Island. It's like a one big soccer field by afternoon down to night time and yet by morning it will be filled with ocean water. You really can't help but marvel at God's amazing creations.
As for our accommodation that night, tourists were flocking and it was peak season so tents for rent were scarce. We were lucky enough that a middle aged couple showed a little concern towards us and allowed us to sleep at their residence for the night but with pay of course (P500.00). A bit more pricey from our first option which was to rent a tent for only P350.00 but the bright side was that we were able to charge our phones and it was safer to deposit our things that's why we had enough time to stroll at the beach after dinner without worrying over our belongings. Fresh sheets and well-ventilated room too! But when going, it's better to make your reservations a week prior especially when peak season. Wag niyo kaming gayahin! Hahaha.

If you ever find yourself going to Camotes, fire me an email and I'll give you Kuya Juanito's number! We paid him P1,000.00 for the whole afternoon drive around Camotes (not to mention, him guarding our belongings) and the additional P200.00 fee was for the picking up back and forth Consuelo Port.

Do not be daunted with the habal habal fee! The entrance fee for Paraiso Cave, Timubo Cave, Lake Danao and Buho Rock will only range from P10.00 to P25.00 (as of writing). I suggest you take a handy sling bag with you and prepare coins so as to prevent you from the hassle of fishing money from your bag. The public beach has no entrance fee and you can rent tents for as low as P300.00 - P350.00 and the food available will cost you around P80.00 per viand but serving is good for sharing already (at least for two).

I enjoyed most was actually the habal-habal ride! Rain or shine, 4 in the afternoon or 4 in the morning, the awesome feeling of being on speed was just 
exhilarating! I felt so free! Naks. The roads are paved so it was really perfect to go cruisin' and just put your hands up and feel infinite. Though as I mentioned above, our butts hurt later on. Hahaha.

No regrets we deviated from our original plan and opted for Camotes Island instead. (But the dream to go to Bantayan is still very much in the pipeline!) I mean with the limited amount of time we had, we were able to tour around caves, beaches, cliffs and a giant lake! And we were back in the city the next day just in time!

Day 3 of #CebuPak Chronicles next!

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