White Beach, Boracay
The journey to Boracay was not our finest hour. Lucy left her mobile on a bus in Kuala Lumpur and after 24 hours of travel (nine stuck in Manila Airport) our eyes were bleeding and our mood was grim. In dire need of merriment, we immediately embarked on the not-so-famous Boracay Pubcrawl, a night-time tour of ten bars along White Beach with free shots, “iconic” yellow t-shirts and lots of shouting in unison.
Needless to say we remember mere snippets of our first evening: press ups in a packed club, karaoke so terrible it caused a power cut, being handcuffed to two complete strangers and an (semi-playful) attack by three street urchins, who stole our free plastic shot glasses. They also learned our names and proceeded to follow us around for the next three days chanting them.
Everyone we met in the Philippines claimed their island was the most beautiful but when we stepped out onto White Beach it was hard to imagine any place, anywhere could be more magnificent. Four kilometres of sugary white sand, cool underfoot, leading to a pristine transparent sea, warm and flat and wonderful. So proud are the islanders of their beach that local volunteers politely remove smokers to prevent it becoming littered with cigarette ends.
With nothing else but White Beach, Boracay would still be a dream but it offered plenty else to keep us entertained and we ended up staying four days longer than planned. We spent an inordinate amount of time in the local Italian Aria, whose speciality Pizza Rolls we still talk of with deep sighs and longing.
Happy Hour at the trendy Epic beach bar began at midday and ended at 10pm, making it tricky not to drink two cocktails at a time. We were relieved, therefore, to discover Sunnyside Cafe, whose Chorizo baked Mac & Cheese and speciality coffee were the perfect antidote to a big night out. The extravagance continued at D’Mall shopping plaza where we blew our budget on new swimwear, an extortionate pair of snorkels and several chocolate button and banana crepes.
At dusk on our final evening, we sat for the last time on White Beach. We watched the sails of a dozen blue and white catamarans slowly turn to silhouettes and the sky suddenly erupt in the most incredible sunset we’d ever seen. Boracay, stay just as you are. We’ll be back.
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