c3 and I were back in Boracay last weekend. We made the reservations way back in January. We were actually afraid that rehab might take longer than 6 months and affect our reservation.
Luckily the island opened up as promised on Oct 26. And we were excited to go back after almost 2 years away.
From the arrival terminal we noted that it wasn’t going to be easy to arrange transfers to get to Caticlan Jetty Port. There were no tricycles. We had to go with Southwest Tours that offered terminal to hotel transfer at P700/pax. Quite an amount but they also made sure that you were ‘herded’ properly into the aircon bus to their waiting lounge at the Jetty port. It was good save for the waiting at the Boracay port. We had to wait for an hour before the van arrived to bring us to the hotel. Traffic was that bad because of the ongoing road works.
While on that van going through the back streets of the island you get a sense that it was still work in progress. It shouldn’t have opened yet as everything was still build build build. The main road became one-way. Despite that traffic was still bad and terribly dusty. Lucky for us we were chatting with cute bedimpled German guy who looked like Oberyn Martell hehehe.
Immaculately clean bright and white the beach is. Though we noted that the algae formations usually disappear this time of the year. But still it was wonderfully refreshing. Not much people (as the tourists were still arriving or they have delivered on the promised maximum tourist arrivals control). And very few pesky individuals selling items and tours to your face (at least in Station 1).
So if you don’t wander over to the main road at the back you would still feel that paradise was finally reclaimed.
We had a grand time just enjoying the sun sea and sand even during midday.
Not many choices in Station 1 as many establishments were still closed and/or renovating. But we were staying at Two Seasons which still had its Bar Lo resto. So we ended up having many of our meals there.
Station 2 had more restos open especially around D Mall area. Best part is that they prohibited restos from extending to the beach area. So no more tables and chairs from the pedestrian lane to the shore even in Station 2.
Jonah’s Shakes along the shore still closed. But the original one on main road is still operational. Real Coffee is open. Starbucks still closed. Over at Station 3 Sunny Side is operational. Aria and Cafe del Sol are open but Epic is closed.
Station 1 area is almost dead for night life. You have to head on out to Station 2. But even there you get a sense that there are very few open. I believe that loud music was restricted so maybe that was the reason. Our fave Om Bar is non existent. But Summer Place now enclosed is open. So is Exit Bar. We noticed Aplaya Bar had a nice vibe. But we decided not to sample night life yet.
This won’t be complete without a mention of my fave service hehehe. It seems that the manangs roaming the beach area for massage were not there (or not in Station 1). We missed that. But there are still spas and massage centers in Station 2 so you won’t be wanting. And sadly there are still those roadside pushy offers from ‘commissioners” (commission-based). And they can get annoying.
I loved this trip of ours. With less choices (especially the night life) you are forced to enjoy the beach from sun up to sunset (still as glorious). It reminded me of what I loved about Boracay and it’s not the hangover and sleeping in the hotel till lunch time.
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