Boracay is actually a sneaky little gem that does not get enough love from the internet. We had decided to start here because the Boracay frisbee open tournament was happening at the time we arrived, and we thought it would be an easy way to have a Korea reunion. However, with all of our research telling us to skip Boracay, we only booked for 4 nights (and only got three, because, well… Manila travels.) I would happily have stayed here for much longer! In fact, one day, I hope to come back for a month and just live and chill for a bit.
The catch? You HAVE to stay at Elsa’s Place. I cannot emphasise this enough, it’s an absolute (and crazy affordable) dream. Everyone (on the internet) raves about staying at Station 1 or 2, and true, Elsa’s is at Bulabog beach (which looks really far on the map). But, it was easily walking distance to the beach, and a cheap tuktuk back (no one wants to walk back after a day on the beach). After chilling on the beach for a bit and watching the sunrise on day one, we decided we should probably head home, clean up and have a nap before meeting up with our friends and watching some frisbee. We grabbed our bags, found a tuktuk and asked him to take us to Elsa’s.
Unexpected, he laughed at us and said no. Um, what now, please? Eventually, we figured out, he could take us to Bulabog beach, but that his tuktuk is not powerful enough to get up the hill to Elsa’s. Ooooookaaaay… Well, in my experience, tuktuks aren’t crazy powerful, having the engine of a bike with the aspirations of a car. But, hey, how bad can the hill be?
The Hill is the challenge when staying at Elsa’s. Just know this, if you are reading this blog and feeling that maybe it isn’t worth it? I promise you, it is. And, if you stay long enough, you will have killer legs! It is about 500m long (although it will feel like a km) and is pretty much vertical (so those with packs, be careful not to turtle). Just keep reminding yourself of the calories you are burning (and that can be made up for with all of the delicious rum smoothies you will be having), and that climbing a hill means crazy good views!
Elsa’s Place is pretty kitted out, and Elsa is amazing. Either her, or her assistance Dexter will check in on you pretty much daily, making sure that you have fresh water and that you have all that you need. They have multiple apartments that cater for different sized groups. We took the two bedroom one (one bedroom had a fan, and the other an aircon, but to be honest it’s not too hot in April, so we just kept the doors open and enjoyed the breeze from outside). There is a massive lounge with super comfy couches and then a deck to die for, with hammocks and more couches (seriously awesome for just relaxing). And, (possibly a highlight for me), the kitchen had a blender… thus allowing us to start our own bar Smoothie Operator, the proud makers of fruit/rum smoothies.
Now’s probably a good time to mention the rum in the Philippines… Tanduay Rhum is the local rum in the Philippines. Not only is it delicious, but it costs a whopping $2 a bottle! So, we felt that we needed to get our money’s worth and add it to everything.
Ok, slight sidetrack there.. back to us arriving to Elsa’s. So, we crawled up the hill, got to the balcony and looked around. *Insert profanities that mom wouldn’t approve of*- it is beautiful! The sun is rising, there’s the sea, we’re here, there’s rum, there’s run, we need to get our bathing suits on, sleeping is cheating!! (this needs to be said an octave higher than your normal voice and at 4 times the speed) And, well, we did just that. Suited up, splashed some water on our faces and decided that we could totally have a nap on the beach if need be, but actually that the best way to get over jet lag is to not sleep for at least 48hours, until such a point that your body has no clue what time zone it is in.
We strolled down to the beach and found our frisbee friends (ironic that I support this being that I am actually quite terrified of frisbees and their weird attraction to my head), and spent the next few hours being mermaids and chilling in the sea. Eventually, the whole combatting jet lag by not sleeping started to take effect and we went home (yes, that is how long it took for Elsa’s to become our home) for a little nap.