It takes a bit of effort to reach true paradise but we were certainly rewarded with a place that we will never forget. From Boracay we spent a whole day crossing Panay island and onto Negros island pitching up for the night and eating the local specialty of bbq chicken. When we asked the waitress to translate the menu she said the normal “breast, leg…” etc but we couldn’t catch one word she was saying and it sounded remarkably like arse, “Craig did she just say arse?” We just giggled thinking we’d misheard, but then she pointed to her bottom and said “butt” and Craig was like well that sounds great, thinking it was like cow rump. Boy was he wrong. He was given a plate with a neat bowl of rice and three chicken arse-holes on a kebab stick. We couldn’t believe it was actually a bum hole…from a chicken!! I spent the whole meal doing bum and chicken innuendos while Craig finished every bit of the grisly butts, he said it wasn’t bad butt he wouldn’t have it again. Excuse the awful pun.
Another full day of transport took us to Sipalay, just 3km from our final destination, Sugar Beach which is cut off by a tidal river. This means there’s no roads leading to it so we had a choice of a Bangka around the coast or the cheaper option of a tricycle to the river and then a paddle boat across it. We opted for the latter and had to barter pretty hard to get a reasonable price. Across the river we walked with our backpacks along one sandy beach, around a headland and onto Sugar Beach, aka paradise, just in time for sunset.
Our accommodation was awesome, I’d go as far to say it was the coolest place we’ve stayed in our 7 years of travelling. It was a traditional Nipa hut made from woven leaves and bamboo, set in a well manicured garden with coconut shells lining the paths and exotic trees towering all around. The hut was two story’s tall and the downstairs had a shaded lounge with chairs, table and hammock. To enter upstairs we had to pull a weighted rope and a trap door opened! It was a huge room with thin bamboo floors, a super steep ceiling and a large gap between the walls and the roof creating a constant cool breeze. We had a bamboo sofa and chair, shell lampshade, comfy bed with a nicely tucked in mosquito net and a clean ensuite bathroom which was tiled and clearly built with concrete but hidden cleverly from the outside. Even the walls on the hut had their own pulley systems and would open up like flaps on a plane ready to land. Man I loved the place!!
The beach wasn’t perfect, but it was for us. The sand was brownish but spotlessly clean and the sea wavy but crystal clear. The beach itself was empty, a couple people here and there but it just looked like a remote, uninhabited beach due to the handful of resorts all being hidden behind the palm trees.
We grabbed a beer, watched the sunset and had the friendliest dog accompany us, I think his name was Yamah and he loved the attention. The food was reasonable considering our location, and pretty damn tasty too! Our resort had a rustic wooden bar with pool table, foosball, book-swap and wifi, what more could you want? At night we’d lay on the bamboo beach beds and look for shooting stars in the clear sky, Craig saw two!
I think it’s the first rustic hut we’ve stayed in and actually slept well, I didn’t feel like a spider was going to crawl over me in the night however on our last night here Craig did spot a giant lizard high up in the roof. It was brown and creepy and his eyes were bulging out like he was being squeezed. He was probably hunting our resident firefly who lit a green light on his back every night high up in our ceiling.
Our days were spent getting sunburnt with in-effective Filipino sun lotion, riding the waves in our tubes and chilling in hammocks, deck chairs or loungers under the palm trees. When we came back to the beach after lunch one day a huge palm frond had fallen onto the hammock we’d been sitting on and after that I became rather weary staring up at the hanging coconuts and wondering when they’d fall.
It’s the sort of place we could of chilled at for a week, but we had to leave, but now I regret not spending an extra day in paradise and having Yamah follow us around the grounds and waiting outside our hut for us.