By some miracle I’ve convinced my #gaplife partner in crime to guest post for the second week in a row! If you’ve missed Ryan’s first post, catch up here. When you’re all up to date, check back in for Ryan’s thoughts on our latest leg of the #gaplife journey.
Lying right in the heart of this vast archipelago, lies the tiny island of Boracay. Despite its meagre size (measuring just 7 km by 1 km) the island has an unrivalled amount of visitors and, with a disconcerting eye, it is easy to see why. The island offers its visitors the chance to indulge in a paradise seascape without having to abandon their modern day standards of comfort and convenience. The main attraction for said holidaymakers is a stretch of sand on the southern side of the Island, named White Beach. Here, along a 2 km stretch of bleach white sand, you can sit and admire the vast, never ending blue of the South China Sea, whilst indulging to your heart’s content on a Big Mac or Starbucks Coffee.
Despite this, the island is not yet utterly devoid of its natural charm. If you can detach yourself from the throngs of pasty tourists that scour the beach and switch off from the constant drone of dreadful pop songs being blasted from the innumerable bars that line the beach, it will become obvious that the popularity of this island is undoubtedly justified. Even White Beach, the epicentre of the tourism which consumes the island, redeems itself every evening with a sunset that rivals any I have seen in my short life, including, and I do not say this lightly, those which belong to the charming town of Margate.
Away from White Beach though the island opens up a little. On the opposite shore, Bugalog Beach is deserted in comparison. The wind whips against this north facing stretch of sand, driving away most of the tourists and replacing them with windsurfers, whose colourful kites dominate the patch of sky directly above it. A favourable substitute no doubt. And better still, on the Western tip of the island lies Puka Beach. The beach is just a short 20 minute cycle ride from White Beach and as the road opens up before you, the resorts slowly fall away and reveal a vision of the island as it would have been years before the tourism boomed. The beach itself is much more rugged, from behind the jungle encroaches offering a thin slither of shade from the sun and the only perceptible sound is generated by the waves which clatter unremittingly against the shore.
I have a tendency to sound pessimistic about most things but ultimately this island will leave a positive print in my memory. The island is undeniably beautiful and if you harbor just a little adventure it is clear that this island offers so much more than just White Beach. There are countless coves and minute deserted beaches dotting the coastline and considering the size of the island, a coveted spot away from the crowds is never too far away. The island offered an easy induction to island life and will no doubt put us in good stead for our next destination, Palawan. This island, on the far western edge of the Philippines which will offer the adventure and remoteness which I had come here hoping to find.