We drove through Subic, where the US used to have a military base. Other than that, there were lots of tiny towns and lots of beautiful scenery.
Not that Jeepneys are so beautiful... but they were definitely part of the journey!
Rice paddies and mountains. Such a different view from being in Manila.
Leftover destruction from Mt. Pinatubo, which happened in 1991. This was the year that the US military left their nearby base, and never returned. You can read a really interesting story about the worldwide effect of the volcanic explosion here.
More mountains and lush jungle
And rice paddys... from what we were told (and saw) it's very common for workers to dry the rice on the side of the road as it's the only flat, dry place for them to do so.
And finally, after a five hour trip (which could have been much shorter if we didn't have to stop so much!) We arrived to see this:
and this: Our private little split level Nipa hut.
Actually, little is a bad description. It was actually quite big, with enough bed space for 11 people to sleep. But we had so many huts for the 20 people who traveled with us, that we got this one to ourselves. Below is the first floor, minus the private bathroom. I figured you know what a bathroom looks like.
The whole thing is made from bamboo and is covered with a thick grass roof. These things have lasted through hurricanes and typhoons over the past five years, and will continue to for quite some time.
This is upstairs, which is really just full of beds. And fans. Everything is wide open, so the hot air gets inside very easily. It's a bit like camping but with a little more comfort.
the rest of the property:
Haven indeed. We dumped our stuff in our assigned huts and headed for the water just in time for sunset.
Justin says this next photo looks like I'm picking the people next to me up and throwing them in the ocean as if I'm a giant.
The South China Sea
Nice and warm, super salty and the perfect way to relax after a long day of travel. Oh, or to have a photo shoot with Sean :)
after the sun set, we went back to the hut that sits on top of the pond (go back a few photos before the beach, you'll see it) and someone thought it would be a good idea to tell embarrassing stories about Justin.
Apparently he found them amusing enough to not protest, though. One more full day at the beach to go...