In Mindoro we stayed at a place called White House. It is owned by a Dane and his Philippine wife Joy. Two places are named Whitehouse in Puerto Galera so it can get quite confusing in terms of transport but this one is the one we are referring to.
We had two apartments, one big with a large bedroom and kitchen/living area, and one smaller mainly for sleeping. All in all plenty of space and probably close to 130 m2 for the 6 of us. An important feature of Whitehouse is that a cook/housekeeper is included in the price. It took some time getting used to having a person shop, clean, wash clothes and cook for us, but once we overcame the feeling of “you should not have to do it all” it was fantastic and made it possible to spend much more time together since we did not have to worry about anything. Really recommendable:-) Our house-girl (that is what they call themselves) was amazing and we had lovely breakfast and dinner served everyday. Laundry was done when we needed it and while we ate she tidied up the house.
1 day in Puerto Galera
After a good nights sleep we got up late and after breakfast we hired a boat to take us to Long beach (800 pesos return).
Weather was great, snorkeling fantastic but due to corals stretching all the way to shore it was not an ideal beach for swimming. Waiting for our boat to get ready we asked a local hanging out at the pier for advice on what to see and do. His named was Dante and apart from freelancing as a tour guide he owned a small restaurant right next to the pier. We quickly arranged for his wife to make us some take-away lunch we could bring to the beach. That was delicious – as in REALLY GOOD.
We got more food that we could eat at only 750 pesos (around 100 DKK) and had we chosen more traditional Philippine dishes we could have had it for half the price. At the beach it was fantastic to see how well the boys played together.
Straight from the Danish winter both Alexander and Anne managed to get sunburn and falling several times Alexander had wounds on both his back and knees 🙂 Being used to water temperatures of 31-35 degrees Celsius from Thailand, Vietnam and Palawan it was however quite a chock to suddenly find yourself in 25-27 degree water. First we thought it was only at long beach but turned out that goes for the entire Mindoro in December. But all in all a great start on our Mindoro adventure and so good to see Anne and Alexander again.
Anne had brought some Christmas presents from home and having lost “Cars 2” on the way Vitus almost could not believe his eyes when he got it and kept repeating “I got the one with Finn McMisile, I got it, I got it, I really got it”
The day after we had booked a snorkeling tour with Josephine (tour guide “attached” to Whitehouse). Due to a mix up with the apartments we got it for free. It was not the best tour we have had and besides a missing guide and boats-men that did not speak a word of English we had to put our feet down when they wanted the six of us with all our snorkeling and beach equipment to go in a boat with a maximum capacity of 4. Lunch however was great and the boys had a blast playing at the beach where we had lunch.
On the third day we had booked an inland trip with Dante.
We would pass by the famous waterfall and go by a carriage driven by a water buffalo to a local village and a beautiful waterfall for swimming.
It was very nice and a big contrast to the day before in terms of guidance, service. We were offered the same tour by Josephine but costing 2,5 times more and with the experience from the day before we naturally declined 🙂
Lunch was great, the waterfall beautiful and you could even jump from the rocks next to it.
Jesper jumping from the cliffs:
It was however terrible to see the destruction the Typhoon had wrecked in-land in Mindoro. Many houses were totally gone, others filled with water and we saw people in knee -eep mud inside their houses trying to clean. Normally we do not buy many souvenirs since we cannot carry them, but this time we gladly paid overprice for two (actually not so pretty bracelets).
Houses used to stand on the stretch of sand in the foreground:
Unfortunately Noah got a strong headache so we had to turn back a little early. Being the terrible parents we are we assumed he was really just whining a bit but really he had grotten sick and 4 days later we found out he had pneumonia – OOPS! Poor Noah, but luckily he got the right medications prescriptet and is now well again.
On the way back we skipped a trip to a nice beach but did get to walk on the most rusty and worn bridge we have ever seen and damaged even more by the recent flood caused by the Typhoon. Sometimes you just do really stupid things when you are travelling.
In the foreground you can see how the bridge is no-longer attached along the side, and further on there is a large gap – very wobbly to walk on: