Up bright and early and out of the house at 0430. First cab that came by was vacant and gladly agreed to carry me out to Incheon. Nice guy, he even asked me to check and make sure I had brought my passport.
Got checked in with plenty of time to spare, so got some steps in by hiking around the terminal. Boarded up on a packed 777 and then waited for 30 minutes past departure time for some connecting passengers. Arrived in Manila about 1 hour late.
Driver I hired was there waiting and we made our way through the always horrible Manila traffic. He took me a back way to avoid the worst of it, and apologized for exposing me to the squatter shacks along side the road. I’d seen them before, but it is always shocking to see just what real poverty looks like. Always good to be reminded that whatever my first world problems may be, I’m completely blessed beyond the wildest imaginings of these poor folks.
Arrived at my hotel, the Treasure Island Resort, on Baloy Beach in Olongapo a little after 4:00 p.m. The room is quite a disappointment, but the pool /bar area almost makes up for it. Quaffed a few brews and enjoyed a well-prepared club sandwich. Then retired to the room for a short nap.
My intention had been to attend the S.O.B. dance contest at Rum Jungle bar, but alas, by the time I arrived it was nearly over. So, I walked around Barrio Baretto and popped into a couple of bars for liquid refreshment. As always, the go-go joints with scantily clad sad looking females shuffling around on stage left me feeling sorry and depressed.
Headed back to my hotel where I enjoyed a banana split washed down with a cold San Miguel Light beer. Then to the room for a really good night’s sleep.
Woke up early and Treasure Island was not serving breakfast yet. Walked down the road to the Blue Rock resort featuring 24 hours service. Sat at a bay side table and enjoyed some coffee and french toast.
Walked to the end of Balay Beach road, then circled back on the beach with my feet in the water. I’m such a hippie!
Off to a good start I’d say. Here’s the photographic evidence.
Not looking too far into the future, but I guess I know what I will be eating come April.
Anyway, I’m feeling good and looking forward to the rest of this adventure. Stay tuned.