Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Underground River, Monkey Trail, and the Beach

On Monday, we had the choice of either going Island Hopping in Honda Bay or of touring the world's longest navigable underground river. A third choice -- a bus tour of historical sites in PPC -- didn't get enough takers to happen mostly because these other two things were so cool and because there were two differnet flights out and back to Cagoncillo island (where Jacqueline lived for most of her time working with the KAgayanan) and many people took that opporutnity.

The journey was long and had it's ups and downs. Lots of them, actully. It was a journey over and thorugh the mountains and thecsecond part of the journey was over a road that is under construction. Our van was as comfortable as it could be -- not crowded and reliably airconditioned with a good driver and able tour guide -- and still we were flung around a good bit. Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again. Yes.

So, let me give you a brief outline of the day:
  • breakfast and early departure from the hotel

  • 2 hour van trip over the mountains and through the forrests (Dex was our guide)

  • motorized boat trip out to the island

  • boat ride into the underground river (with a guide who paddled the boat)

  • a "walk" on the monkey trail (that included steep, wooden stairs and then cement stairs)

  • motorized boat trip to the beach back on the main island

  • lunch on the beach (tuna, pork, salad, rice, soup, soda)

  • 2 hour van trip back over the mountains

  • quick stop at a Vietnamese refugee community with few inhabitants

  • hotel for a shower and pre-packing before the evening banquet

I traveled with Sandy, Cory, Kristy, Donna, and Jeanne. Great group. We laughed...a lot.

And, for me personally, after a week of GREAT events held mostly in hotels and other buildings and in the city... I was SO READY for some outdoor time. I needed to see trees and sand and sunshine and flowers and critters of all different sorts. This was a very refreshing day for me. Yeah, nature and time with smart, fun, women who like to laugh a lot -- a very good day.

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