A Travellerspoint blog

Long day for short flight


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We had been booked to fly from Cebu to Hong Kong non-stop today on Cebu Pacific Air, a three hour flight.

Unfortunately the flight was cancelled ... but fortunately I had by chance stumbled on the cancellation just before we left Auckland and managed to rebook on connecting flights through Manila at no charge, but stretching the journey time to 7 hours. I suppose such schedule changes should be expected when one books nine months ahead to get cheap fares!

But today, our first flight (Cebu - Manila) was delayed. Our four hour transit in Manila became 1:40 and it was pretty tight as the domestic and international terminals are separate and requiring a bus ride between them. All went smoothly from there on from Manila to Hong Kong.

Actually, I've never had so much go wrong with travel arrangements. We've had:

- Four delays totalling 10 hours
- One cancellation, and
- Bags held-up overnight.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

A little piece of Spain in Asia


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We had some time today to explore Cebu's historic centre. It seemed so strange (to me, at least) that there is a little piece of Spain in the heart of Asia ... it felt so South American or even Californian as well.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

PADI Open Water Scuba Course Day 3


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large_5550_12115170332649.jpgBeing ferried to the boat in a box dragged by a man walking in the water (left)... along with 20 air tanks.
Out to sea by boat today for three dives as part of our certification. We had a dodgy start ... we were ferried to the boat in a rectangular box towed by a man walking along the shallow sea floor. It was already heavily laden with 20 compressed air tanks. It saw low in the water and obviously had a small leak ... water was just starting to cascade in from the sides when we made it to the boat.

For each of the three dives, we did additional practice of the various skills we learnt yesterday, plus a bit of the fun stuff like feeding fish with bread from your hand, or going around a shipwreck to enjoy the sight of colourful fishes (which finally made the hard work worthwhile). On the second dive, we went down to the maximum permissible for our intended certification, at 18m below sea level.

Underwater photos here courtesy of our instructor.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

PADI Open Water Scuba Course Day 2


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We got picked up from our hotel to go to Vista Mar Hotel for our first day of hands-on training. We started off in the pool with basic skills for about one hour then walked down to the beach for my first ever dive in the sea, followed by more in-pool skills training.

The in-pool training was a bit distracting as there was a local party being held at the venue ... lots of drinking (hard spirits) at breakfast time ... Filipinos really know how to party ... and then later kids, kids and more kids in the pool while we tried to do our training.

The sea was unseasonally rough and I really didn't enjoy swimming back after our first dive ... and the instructor said "You don't look like you're enjoying yourself". I actually think diving is easier than the swimming and the walking around when fully-kitted out.

We spent the rest of the day continuing with the skills training. The skills are mainly related to emergency situations or when things go wrong ... eg. how to clear water from your mask, how to find your regulator (mouthpiece) when you lose it. There was one which I really struggled with ... how to take off your BCD (buoyancy control device, or basically a inflatable jacket) and re-don it while floating.

It was a long day starting at 8:30 and finishing around 5:00 most of which was spent either in the pool or at sea.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

PADI Open Water Scuba Course Day 1


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Didn't want to do too much this morning as we didn't have any clothes ... spent 5 hours at our Scuba instructor's home for the theory part of our course. The theory was (and the practical would also be) rather fast-paced. We were doing this course in 2.5 days when most courses take about 4 days. Fingers crossed we'll be fine!

Malaysia Airlines delivered our delayed luggage to our hotel while we were on the course. If we hadn't pushed the issue of compensation there would have been none. But because we did, we ended up with USD60 per person (even though there were only 3 pieces of luggage between four of us). We happily collected this from the airport on the way from the course back to the hotel.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

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