Back to the witches.

OK, OK, I know, I haven't posted for ages.  Such time as I do spend online has been pretty much devoted to keeping my Virtual Tourist pages up to date which does seem to take quite a lot of time although I do enjoy it.

I left you at the start of my trip to Siquijor Island, the land (allegedly) of witches and medicine women and I think we had just visited the church of Mt. Carmel in Enrique Villanueva so let's get back on Suzi, the trusty motorbike as there is a lot to see yet.  Here we go along this lovely road.

The road goes on forever.
Next up the little village of Maria and again the same set up.  Big church, small houses and quirky little market.  Here's the market as you are probably fed up looking at churches by now.

Maria Market.
It really is hard to describe adequately the great sense of freedom even on a small bike poodling along virtually empty roads in decent weather with stunnng views just appearing every second bend in the road.  I suppose it is partially because of the huge regulation at home in the UK.  I have no idea if my bike was properly registered (most of them aren't), I wasn't wearing a helmet (OK stupid I know but they just about don't exist here) and if the police do stop you a small "donation" sorts everything.  It is just happy riding.

Having almost circumnavigated the island, I decided to stop in the village of San Juan and managed to score myself a staff room in a restaurant run by the most opinionated American I have ever met.  God, he talked some crap, so I spent a bit of time making points he didn't even seem to understand.  What is that quote about empty vessels and noise?  here is the room, basic but clean and comfy enough, right on the sea.

My humble abode, San Juan.
Saturday night in San Juan, there must be something going on.  Wel, not exactly.  Having had a good look round there appeared to be the sum total of nothing happening.  Well, at least I can have a feed so I headed to the other of the two restaurants in town, a delightful place situated by the swimming pool which is fed by the natural spring called Cipalay.  Here is a photo from the next day to show you what it is like.

Cipalay Spring.
Ater a decent meal, I was enquiring as to what might be done that evening and was told that Czar's was the only place to be.  It is a backpackers place about a mile out the road and it boasts a local live band on a Friday night.  When I got there, about ten o'clock, it was absolutely heaving.  There were scooters parked up for about half a mile on either side of the road and inside was crammed.  The police had even set up a post in the place, although I didn't see any trouble all night.  And still they kept coming.  I reckon by midnight there must have been six or seven hundred people there, a figure that was confirmed to me by a policeman the next night.  I left pretty early as I wanted an early start the next day but I did hear later that the revelry went on until about 0500.

Back to my little room which is where the problems started.  The external walls were hollow block but the interior construction is of nipa, a woven grass sort of affair.  I love nipa and currently live in a nipa hut.  It has many wonderful qualities but nfortunately soundproofing isn't one of them.  Philippino pop music played through a tinny mobile 'phone or something similar on one side and a crying baby on the other did little to send me into the arms of Morpheus.  I think I eventually dropped off about 0400 or so.

I did manage to get up pretty early and headed off on the bike again, this time up the mountain.  The term "up the mountain" has a meaning in Visayas much more than merely gaining altitude.  The mountains are where the witches live, the strange people, the place where all sorts of odd things go on.  Obviously this sentiment is propogated by those who live on the coast and see themselves as much more sophisticated than their country cousins.

The road varied from passable to pretty atrocious, a mixture of lack of investment, lack of maintainance and the fairly catastrophic typhoon and flooding of a few months previously. 

Well, once again, the vagaries of Philippino internet connections and this damned website have defeated me.  I have just spent an hour tryng to upload two photos without noticeable success so I shall reboot the computer, or perhaps just boot it, and try again shortly.  Apologies for the hugely disjointed nature of this, but it is just the way it is.  I am seriously thinking about changing to another blog site.  A guy I know from VT although have never met personally, has the most onderful site which I'll tell you about next time.

Stay tuned.

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