Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Group Travel Rules 101-4. Find the Positive in Negative Situations (Or, Sometimes the Unexpected Is More Fun )

Or, How To Make Sure We're Still Talking To Each Other At the End of the Trip - 4

Anything can happen on a trip..or not happen. We arrived in Cebu from Hongkong at 2am and found out when we tried to check in that the desk clerk of the hotel had mistakenly booked us for the following day. We had made a 50% deposit before leaving for HK but there she was, telling us they had only two rooms available for the twelve of us, and admitting that she had entered our reservation for the wrong day. 

Twelve tired and sleepy people slumped on the lobby, clueless desk clerk, only two rooms available..what to do?  Have a sleepover! We requested the hotel to provide mattresses for everyone, and decided to put all the girls in one room, and the boys in another - 6 girls in one room (2 on the bed and the rest on mattresses on the floor), and the same arrangement for the six guys in the other  room. We did not have the time and energy to argue with the clerk then (what happened the next day is best reserved for another story), and this did not turn out to be exactly more fun, but at least we got our sleep on proper mattresses. 

On another trip, we decided to fly from Davao to Clark, with plans of taking the bus from Clark to Manila. When the day of the trip came, there was a typhoon affecting the whole of Luzon, and the entire Metro Manila was flooded including the expressway from Clark. So we decided to go to Baguio instead, because we love the cold and we love Baguio in sunshine or in rain, and because in Baguio, we could stay in the terrace and just watch the rain and the pine trees, and still feel good. So we took the bus, got there in five hours, got ourselves in a cozy hotel, and met up with a dear friend, Flo.... 

..who took no time bringing us to activities indoors like bowling, and lots of eating. At other times, we simply had coffee and each other's stories and never-ending laughter. 

And one day, Flo decided to bring us down to La Union (an hour's drive away) for some sunshine, and brought us to the beautiful Thunderbird Resort.

Who would have thought that just a five-hour drive away, Manila was swimming in floodwaters?

On another trip, a road trip in Davao City this time, we had a flat tire that took much longer than usual to fix. 

So while waiting for the tire to be fixed, we decided to walk around the neighborhood, and made many interesting discoveries in the process. 

We found this neighborhood basketball court totally handmade of bamboo, for instance

And a saddle made of wood,rattan and abaca fiber...

And still another time, we were booked for the Underground River Tour in Palawan at 12 noon, but we arrived in Sabang (the takeoff point) at 10 am. We did not want to spend two hours in the hot pier waiting for our turn to board the boats, so when the van driver asked us if we wanted to go caving, we jumped at the chance..even if we were all wearing flipflops. The cave guides assured us that we would be fine.

So we climbed...

..and squeezed our way amongst the boulders..

...and ziplined our way out of the caves and over rice fields..

..and had the time of our lives. And this was even before we had glimpsed the underground river, our original destination!

Sometimes, you just have to make serendipity happen.

"If at some point you have not asked yourself, 'What have I gotten myself into?', then you're not doing it right." - Roland Gau