Finally! I am writing about the second leg of our Summer Adventure this 2011 – Experience Camotes Island! It took me awhile to write a blog post about this tiny group of islands on the north of Cebu as i was finishing up my stories on Bohol. We went to Bohol on a saturday and the monday after we were heading to Camotes, so you can imagine how jam-packed our schedule was. BUT It’s the kind of jampacked days that I like so I am not complaining hehhe
Our trip to Camotes was very eventful, i’ll explain later.
Anyhow we commuted all the way to Camotes with no reservation except that of where we were gonna stay which happens to be Mangodlong Rock Resort in San Francisco, Island of Camotes. How to go to Camotes? It’s easy to go to Camotes, if you are somewhere from Cebu City go to either SM terminal or Mandaue Highway and board a jeepney to Danao. Mandaue highway to Danao fare is P30 per passenger, estimated travel time is one and a half hour. Tell the driver to drop you off at Danao port, the drivers are very kind this way, if they know they have passengers bound for the port instead of their last stop being at the terminal, they will go the extra-mile and drop you off the port. Truly appreciated manong driver!
On going back from Danao to Cebu City, go to the vhire station in the town proper. These vhires go all the way to SM, more convenient and faster than commuting by jeepney.
Happy traveller at Danao Port
We arrived in Danao port minutes late for the 8:30 trip to Camotes! We saw the Jomalia boat still docked at the port but they no longer accept passengers, bummer. Total wacky bummer but missing it lead us to another adventure hehehe (I’m sure if titus is reading this, he is cringing at this point hahahahha). The next trip is at 10:30am by RJR pumpboat. SO we bought 4 tickets non-aircon at P180 each for titus, nicko and tantan (kenneth has to work already, so i got all the pics opportunities by myself hehhehe). Pumpboats does not have airconditioned area and a lot smaller compared to big boats that serves the Camotes Island – Jomalia and Super Shuttle Ferry. Anyhow we still have to wait for more than an hour for our ride, so to kill time we checked out Danao Church for quick pictures, which is a short distance from the port.
We walked back to the town center and decided to eat at Jollibee inside Gaisano Mall Danao. We also bought chips, chocolates, candies and bottled water. Good thing as we found out later that stores are hard to come by in Camotes, the one store we saw near Mangodlong Resort even run out of candies. Travel tip to Camotes: Bring food and chitserya!
After an hour, we went back to the Danao port to pay our terminal fee of P5.00 each. Then finally we were allowed to board RJR pumpboat. Mannn were we excited! We are finally going to experience Camotes!
Walk the plank
Sea travel time from Danao port to Consuelo port in Camotes Island is around 2 hours. We must have been 3o minutes into the boat ride when we felt big waves rocking the boat, it woke me up from my nap. Waves after big waves were coming at us. Some waves were really rough, I was looking over the locals and they seem unconcerned so i figured there is nothing to be alarmed about. An hour into the ride, it seems like waves are becoming bigger and rougher that I can’t help but take a video of it which i will post later. I was not really afraid, I mean i have lived all my life in an island and growing up i have my share of boat rides and big waves are well big waves. But the waves to Camotes that day were really interesting. Some passengers have succumbed to the dizzying ride and vomited. Nicko was saying our line was cursed because it seems like there is a passenger per row who is emptying his/her stomach.
Titus asked me for candies, and he was already looking pale so i thought he is next. Heh! I handed him a candy, later on he told me that he was munching the candy with its wrapper on it because i did not took off the wrapper. He was in real sorry state with large beads of perspiration. Good thing we have plastics from the grocery for his used He was really vomiting, poor baby.
Unfortunately because i was sitting behind titus and medical evidence suggest when one gets a whiff of vomit chances are one gets affected too, the next minute i was asking nicko for candies Hahahha Nicko was telling me to regulate candy eating as titus needs it more than I do and we were running out of candies. I was looking over if we were near land because i felt my stomach was starting to revolt, we were still far off. The boat was still being rocked, so i too have fallen victim to the waves but mine was just once and it was just saliva nothing from the stomach. LOL.
Sorry for talking about this for those with delicate sensibilities
Finally we were seeing land a bit further away! Err this is where it got really interesting. Our boat captain decided not to risk going to the original port of destination which is in Consuelo because to get there we have to navigate round the island’s curve, waves there are suspected to be higher and rougher than what we have experienced thus far. So we have to detour and disembarked near Dapdap’s (not sure of the name) shoreline.
There is no port there and the pumpboat couldn’t get near to shore, the only way to leave the pumpboat and reach the shoreline is by transferring to these smaller canoes which were awaiting our arrival. They probably saw our Consuelo bound pumpboat diverted so they were there ready to assist ferrying the passengers. With sea water still deep, one by one we have to ‘jump’ into these canoes while waves were still big. It’s real tricky and difficult, imagine the waves were still coming and the canoes were small and not stationery then you have to time your jump and make sure you will not rock the canoe when you hit it otherwise the canoe could turn-over and you’ll fall into the sea.
Titus in his groggy state was the first one to attempt the transfer among the four of us. My God! His timing was off! We saw him hanging on for dear life on the bamboo pole of the pumpboat. The men were screaming ‘Let go! Let go!” so he’ll fall safely into the canoe. We saw him got twisted, his backpack almost hitting the water. I really, really thought he is going to fall into the water! Finally he got his bearings or was just plain lucky and got safely into the canoe. We were laughing so hard of relief for we saw him sitting in the canoe all straight-up like a school boy who got chastised!
Actually we were laughing so hard period. Even tantan his elder brother said that’s lesson for him for going first. I’m sure titus would not forget about his Camotes adventure, it didn’t help that we were constantly reminding him of what happened. He just looked sheepish whenever we bring it up hehehehe
Tantan comfortable on his canoe ride
The four of us were safely back on shore and we were bombarded with offers of habal-habal or motorcycle transport to get us to Mangodlong Resort, a white sand beach resort. Going around Camotes is either thru this habal-habal or mini-vans as there are no public jeepneys and tricycles there. Tantan does not want to ride the motorcycle as its riskier so he and titus negotiated with a van driver and we struck a deal with him to bring us to the resort at P50.00 per person. I think that’s more expensive than normal but what the heck we don’t want more adventure at that point.
So you asked was our trip to Camotes Island worth it high seas adventure and all? Heck Yes! Find out why here –> Camotes Island: Frolicking in Mangodlock Rock Resort
By the way, what we experienced is not the normal waves when one travels to Camotes, it was just ill-timing for us that we went there when Amihan winds were in full swing. Now that i think of it, travelling to the island is okay even with the same huge, rough waves as long as you ride the big boat like that of Jomalia Shipping and not regular pumpboats like what we rode in. Just a friendly suggestion
Lesson learned: our boat on going back
Guide to Jomalia Shipping Lines schedule for it’s Danao to Camotes and vice versa
By the way, there are no atms available anywhere in Camotes and phone signal is not so good on many areas. What can I say – Camotes Island remains to be a charming small town and I love it!