Negros

We had exactly one week to make it to Boracay overland and that meant crossing two fairly large islands with loads of things to do and see. Instead of trying to do everything available, we chose a few highlights. Since we’d been doing many beaches, we figured some fresh mountain air would do us good and Negros was the place to do it.

Negros is the 4th largest island of the Philipines and has two provinces: Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. From Siquijor we took the ferry to Dumaguete, capital of Negros Oriental. It’s also the capital of good food apparently. We only had lunch there – so we really cannot tell – and then took the bus a little further up north to San Jose. We had booked a few nights in the Wuthering Heights hotel.

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Breakfast at Wuthering Heights with the best view!

It’s off season at the moment in Negros, so we were the only guests in the hotel. We were fine with that, as we had a really nice room, with a great balcony and an awesome view. It also looked freshly renovated, so we were very happy. Until we got hungry…

There was no restaurant at the hotel and Tripadvisor only had two restaurants listed; one to the left of our hotel and the other to the right. We just picked to go right, for no apparent reason, and ended up at a dive school/hotel/restaurant with a very large closed gate. The lady answering the gate, told us that yes they were a restaurant and no they did not have food as the boss and some guests had gone to Cebu for the day. We asked if they had drinks then maybe, as we had gotten a little thirsty and we were curious after the place as reviews had been so good. The lady answered that yes we could have a drink, but they had only beer. Since that suited us fine, the gate was opened and we entered the dive school/hotel/restaurant via a long walled driveway.

That must have been the weirdest drink we’ve had so far, tons of staff just trying to keep busy with nothing while we had our beer. It is possibly also the fastest drink because we just weren’t very comfortable for all those people to have to wait to get back to their day off.

Anyway, we found a tricycle to take us to the place left of our hotel. When we got there, we found another closed gate, this time with a sign ‘Closed permanently’ on it. Our driver, who did not speak English, pointed to hubby to get back in the tricycle. It was as if he didn’t get why we wanted to stop there. When we were all back in the tricycle, he kept going in the same direction for quite a while and we got a little nervous. Where was he taking us? Our questions were not answered and when we looked again our driver didn’t seem that trustworthy, or did he? It was getting dark and no one knew where we were…

img_20181209_1900107767820140621358041.jpgAfter a while he stopped at a driveway that went kind of steep up and around a corner. He told us that’s where the restaurant was and he couldn’t take us further. Well that’s what we understood at least. So we got out (kind of relieved I’m not lying) and climbed up the driveway. When we got around the corner we saw another big gate and this one again was closed. We didn’t even bother to check it out, we just turned around and then made our way back down. Hungry. We had no plan C.

And then our savior drove up the driveway on a scooter wearing a t-shirt of the restaurant we were trying to get to. He didn’t know he was our savior, so he just passed us by, we turned around again and we ran as fast as we could up the hill. When we got around the corner, the gate was closed again, and it was almost as if he had never been there. We walked up to the gate and were greeted by a guard with a big fat ass shotgun. Behind him stood scooter guy and they ushered us inside the gate, walking along with scooter guy. We had no idea where we were, it looked like some complex with really big houses on it, all with walls and gates and we felt a little eerie. And hungry, so we kept going. After 500m he opened a door in a wall and the garden we walked into was so incredibly lovely, that we forgot all our worries. It was amazingly nice, nicer than we’d seen before in the Philippines or in the last few months I have to say.

Turns out we had found villa Pedro, a spa/hotel/restaurant and since a few weeks they also catered to walk-ins. Lucky us! Food was delicious, service was fantastic and our credit card was accommodating.

Apart from this memorable meal, we saw the Twin Lakes (cute), went to Bacalod (City of the smiling people. That much is true, for the rest: mwah) and stayed at the Mambukal Mountain resort (if you live on Negros, it’s a great place to go with friends, if not then don’t bother). From the resort we took a very slow bus back to Bacolod and from there the ferry over a fairly choppy sea to Iloilo.

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Iloilo is nice, seems a bit more sophisticated than Bacolod. People are equally nice, but from what we’ve seen it’s just a nicer city. From here we took the bus/ferry to Boracay and on the way it started to rain…

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