When I planned my trip to Bohol, I knew overspending would be a possibility since I would be going solo. Accommodations usually take up a big chunk of my estimated budget, so I had to be careful of the hotels I pick. I wanted one that was affordable, but would have the basics I need for a comfortable stay, and that’s how I stumbled upon Alona KatChaJo Inn.
(If you haven’t read Day 1, here you go.)
On my second day, I got up at 5 to get ready for my dolphin watching/island hopping tour. I had to skip breakfast since my pick-up arrives about the same time they serve it. I just stuck a few crackers into my bag to have something to eat in case I get hungry during the tour. At precisely 6 AM, a tricycle arrived to take me to Alona Beach, the jump-off point for the tour.
Growing up, I was bombarded in school by books showing off photos of tiny bug-eyed primates clinging to branches with their tiny little hands, and hills that supposedly imitate Hershey’s Kisses in the summer. It piqued my interest enough to harbor a secret desire to see these things myself, and it didn’t help that I was constantly being reminded by Instagram that people were enjoying these attractions and I wasn’t. Having to constantly live on a budget restricts me from covering as much ground as possible, travel-wise, so when another Cebu Pacific Seat Sale came around, I immediately hit “Search” on Manila-Tagbilaran flights and booked a four-day trip.
(Finally, the last of my Davao updates. Thanks for bearing with me.)
This is the first hotel we actually booked, when only two of us were confirmed for Davao. Again, I only learned about this on Agoda. The photos looked good, so we went ahead and booked it. It’s slightly more expensive than our other hotels, but we were prepared for it. We wanted a great hotel with a pool so we can relax on our last day, and Hotel Tropika is rated as one of the best hotels in Davao on Tripadvisor, Agoda, and Booking.com.
Day 2 of our Davao trip brought us to Samal Island. After paying a visit to a couple of beaches and waterfalls where we didn’t swim, as well as a beach where we did swim and partake on some finger-lickin’ chicken, we checked into Camp Holiday Resort, which we had booked before we left Manila.
(Okay, so when I was looking through my travel photos, I realized that I hadn’t reviewed the hotel a companion and I stayed at during last year’s trip to La Union, so pardon me while I put off the Davao hotel posts for another day and tackle this one first.)
First of all, let me just say, when traveling somewhere, I make it a point to do a bit of research on the place where I’m going so I don’t look like a sitting duck when I get there. But excitement caused one of the biggest oversights I’ve ever made as a traveler. I was so looking forward to trying out surfing again that I overlooked an important detail while searching for a place to stay: the location. Yup. Travel 101, right? Stupid, stupid me.
Day 4 started with us getting up early for a buffet breakfast, which we wanted to finish right away. It was, after all, our last day, and we wanted to make the most of it. First thing we did after eating was take another dip in the pool, then when we could no longer put off the inevitable, we freshened up, packed up our stuff, and checked out of Hotel Tropika.
In the morning, I got up early (around 6 a.m.) and went to the beach to have a look around. Today was our second and last day here, so I wanted to make sure I soak up the scene before we left. My sister joined me about an hour later, and eventually, everyone else made it out of bed to converge and have breakfast at the hotel’s dining hall. Then, it was check out time.
(Haven’t read the first part? Click here)
We got up early the next morning excited to start the day, which happens to be Samal Island day. Beach day. Swimming day. Kick-of-your-shoes-feel-the-sand-between-your-toes-and-splash-around day. Yep. Excited. After a quick breakfast, we hurriedly packed up, checked out of Pacific Palm, and met Kuya, who was waiting for us at the parking lot. He suggested that we buy lunch here at the city that we could take to and fork down at the beach. So after stopping at KFC for a looot of chicken, we headed to Sasa Wharf, where barges take people, whether on foot or on wheels, to and from Samal. We were in Kuya‘s vehicle, so we paid Php250 and off we went.