13 April 2008

Mixed emotions on our first day in Boracay

Friday Minnie and I arrived at Boracay, the part of our vacation I think have been looking the most forward to. I've been here three times before, which all were amazing. Of course, our last visit will always be the most special, that being our wedding and all :)

After a one hour boat ride from Bacolod to Ilo Ilo, and a four hour drive from Ilo Ilo (we rented our own car with driver this time, soo much better than a regular minibus-ride), we arrived at Caticlan. This is from where the boats take you over to Boracay. A woman from the resort we're staying at met us there and helped us through all the tickets other practicalities with great efficiency :). As I were to change from my regular shoes to my flip-flops (because of the wading a shore from the boat), I was told this wasn't necessary as we weren't gonna get wet. We weren't going to do the wonderful entrance to Boracay by wading from the boat onto the beach...

After the boat ride to the island, a short drive and the last walk to our resort (through a thick crowd of people), we finally were at our room. I was a bit put off by all the people, way more than I have experienced before at Boracay. I did know that there were going to be more people this time, since it is summer in the Philippines now, and thereby peak season, but it still was a bit of a shock.

Our room is quite small, and very narrow, but has all the facilities we need, including a fridge. We weren't really expected a grand room anyhow, since we got it quite cheap. After settling down in the room we went for a walk on the beach, and discovering that the water at the beach was full of green algae :( I was starting to feel a bit down, so far I hadn't felt any of the Bora magic I always experienced on my previous visits. I was even thinking that it might not have been a good idea to book for a stay as long as five nights. Minnie was also disappointed I think, saying that we just have to make the best of it...

The picture below was taken the day after our arrival, and show all the algae, but not how crowded it was.

After that disappointment, we decided to head over to Jonah's for a shake. Anyone who know a bit about Boracay, know that there is no shakes like Jonah's shakes. From this point on things starting to pick up :) Arriving at Jonah's, while looking for a table, we hear someone screaming out "Minnie!". Some of Minnie's Manila friends, also guests at our wedding, was there :) Check this picture from the wedding to see why it was so nice to see them again ;)

After a good time at Jonah's, where the shakes were as amazing as they always have been, we were feeling a bit happier about our Boracay trip. We also got to experience the amazing sunset!

After the sun had set, Minnie and I went on a nice walk along the beach towards the north tip, towards the Sea Wind Resort where we had our wedding. We were starting to feel that Bora magic now, enjoying the cooling breeze and the calming sound of the waves splashing on the beach. As we came close to Sea Wind I couldn't help to start feeling a bit emotional, thinking about the amazing time I had here on our previous visit. Not only the wedding itself, even though that was the best time of my life, but also the days after with my family and friends from Norway.

Minnie and I even went up to the bar in Sea Wind to see if Melchior, our favorite waiter from last time, was working there. Sadly we didn't see him, but Sea Wind looked just the same as when we left it in November 2006, they were even having the same evening buffet we enjoyed back then. It was really special for us to revisit this place again, together. Sea Wind will always have a special place in our hearts...

PS: The next day we found that not all parts of the beach was full of algae, and we have been able to swim in wonderful, algae free, waters. We are now really enjoying our stay in Boracay, all disappointments from the first day forgotten :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Rakvag,

We plan on going to Bora (first time) from April 19-24 2009. We have young children and concerned about the algae. Did you have more than one day of clear water to swim in?



André Rakvåg said...


The amount of algae varied quite a lot from day to day, but it varied even more depending on which part of the beach we were in. Generally it get better towards station 1 (the end of the beach with the nicer resorts). We stayed close to station 2, which is pretty much in the middle. The algae picture was taken there.

What we did was to walk towards station 1 until we found a algae-free spot, which we always did. I would not worry that much about finding a place with algae-free water, but it could mean having to walk a bit, unless you are staying around station 1.

If you have the budget for it, I would highly recommend staying at one of the resorts around station 1. The algae being one reason of course, but also because it is better for the children. It is more spacious there, the resort often have pools, which seemed very popular with kids, and it is a quieter area in the evenings. The downside is the price of course.

If you have any more questions please contact me at andre.rakvaag (at) gmail.com, or post comments here on the blog if you prefer that. I would be happy to help.

Anonymous said...

Mr. R,

Thanks for the prompt response and advice. I almost changed plans to Cebu but will proceed knowing that not all of white beach will be covered w/ algae.



Anonymous said...

the algae is a result of raw and untreated sewage seeping to the sea. algae feeds on impurities coming from animal and human feces.