10 November 2017

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Boracay, Philippines

There is a sandy pathway that runs the whole length of, and parallel to, White Beach. It is here that many of the resorts restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, and shops are located.  Motorised transport is not allowed on the pathway, so although it’s traffic free, it is full of humans. Hawkers roam along here, trying to sell you: boat trips or dives; sunglasses, phone cases, or hats (or anything that glows in the dark after sunset); offer massages on the beach, which sounds better than the reality, which was a grubby mattress on a lounger under the shade of a tree, while the world walks past; henna tattoos or braiding hair; and tempt one to eat at a particular restaurant. As I have said previously the hawkers here are not terribly aggressive, so it is easy to ignore them, however there is no escape from them and they are encountered every time a trip is made along this path, so it can get annoying. There is a tacky side to Boracay, and for me, this is it.

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White Beach is a haven for water sports, diving, paddleboards, windsurfers, snorkelling, and parasailing. Most days there were people parasailing, and from the beach, they looked like air borne jellyfish, gliding under the clouds.DSC_0016 (5)

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While the middle of the beach is popular and so quite busy,  either end is quiet .

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Every evening as the sun starts to set, the beach takes on a different vibe. Humans head to the sea for a sunset selfie, and the paraws line up on the sand ready for sunset cruises.

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The sunglass sellers now sell glowing, neon, nonsense, DJs arrive at the bars, and the volume gets turned up a notch or two, nature is putting on one of it’s best shows, and we are all invited.DSC_0127

I finally got Boracay. Since my arrival I  couldn’t really see what people rave about here. Yes the beach is amazing, it’s long, clean, wide when the tide is out, and shallow, one can walk a fair way out before getting out of ones depth.  It’s not a great journey to get here, when I arrived, passengers were piled into an airport bus and taken a weird route, that involved getting stuck in traffic for 30 minutes, just to collect luggage.

There are better beaches that are easier to get to, I would even go as far as to suggest you can get all this at say Blackpool Beach in the UK, (if you haven’t been there, try it, it will surprise you) although one wouldn’t be laying on a lounger on a British beach in November.  The lack of motorised sports on white beach, makes it quite a peaceful place too. DSC_0140This evening there was an amazing sun set, the best one since I arrived, and as I was laying on my lounger, sipping a frozen margarita, listening to the mellow tunes being played by the hotel DJ, watching nature entertain me, I got why this island draws so many people here. Maybe I’m getting old, or I’ve seen too many amazing beaches, to be impressed by Boracay, but I do get the vibe that is Boracay, even if it’s not for me.DSC_0188

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