Zambales: Potipot Island, at last!

Potipot Island in Candelaria, Zambales ~ June 2013

Despite the bad weather, Ronald of Puerto del Mar assured us that the boatmen would take us to the island as soon as the sea was calm enough 🙂 One of the resort staff also said that usually in less-than-perfect weather the boatmen would only allow up to 2 passengers, instead of the usual 4-6 passengers per boat.

After our filling longsilog breakfast, the boatmen signaled that we were ready to go 🙂 Wheeeee!

Having been to Magalawa Island before (also in Zambales), which had also been my first boat ride, I was all yeah-been-there-done-that. Big mistake. Hahaha. The waves were HUGE! And there was no dock or whatever for accessing the boat. Basically, the boatmen hold the boat as still as possible on the shore, while you clamber in.

I have many admirable qualities, but being tall and long-legged is not one of them :/ Needless to say, trying to clamber into a tiny fishing boat up to my chest while it tried to fly away with the waves was NOT a pleasant or easy experience. I went home with bruised knees AND a bruised ego XD

And yet the boatmen insisted waves like these were actually normal! Waaaah :O Good thing the boat ride was only a few minutes long. I don’t think hubby & I would have survived an hour or more with those waves XD

And finally…Potipot Island!

You can’t see it from this angle, but the waves are HUGE O_O

After a repeat performance of the shrieking/clambering/flailing in the sea scene (only in reverse), we crawled up the shore while one boatman held onto the boat, and his companion went to pay the island caretaker our day trip fee of Php100 each. Then we asked them to pick us up around 1pm; our hut at the resort should be ready by then. But they also said that if the weather looked iffy, they would come pick us up early 🙂

So we walked a bit and picked out our spot:

Tada! Not seen in pic: the mounds of trash and leaves/twigs scattered by the storm + armies of ants swarming over everything.

After leaving our stuff on the bench, we splish-splashed in the shallow water. I told hubby to stay close (he can’t swim) because even near the tables the waves were pretty strong O_O I started to walk around the island and nearly got swept away by huge waves a few meters away. So basically we stayed in a small area near our table where the beach sloped gently and the waves weren’t as strong.

So, our verdict?

Comparing it to my experience on Magalawa, Potipot was a disappointment 😦 The weather was mainly to blame, of course; the water was muddy because of the storm, and the waves were so strong. But also, even though we were the only visitors on the island, I expected the caretakers to at least clean up a little. They were the only other people on the island, and aside from taking our payment, they didn’t seem to be, well, taking much care of the island :/ There was one manong who helped me with the rusty poso (hand pump), but that was it. The bathrooms were…ugh. I can put up with a lot of things, but clean bathrooms are a must :/ I’m not sure I can stomach camping overnight on the island, what with the ants and icky bathrooms.

I think if the weather was better, AND the bathrooms were cleaner, I would have considered camping overnight. I was almost thankful that because of the weather we had an excuse not to camp, and just go back to the resort 😛 Unlike Magalawa, where we were so sad when we had to leave, I was actually relieved when the boat came to pick us up early, at around 10am, because the waves were getting worse. It was actually hot & sunny by then, but the waves were getting bigger.

So after another hair-raising in-out boat scene, we waded back to shore all wet and bruised, and almost salivating for a decent shower. We paid and thanked our boatmen profusely, and went off to our cottage. Thank goodness, the family occupying it had checked out early. At that point, all I wanted was a long shower, ice-cold drinks & a loooooong nap 😛

Next: Our cottage, “cooking” dinner & on our way back to Manila! 🙂
Related post: Puerto del Mar
Related post: Potipot Island, Uacon, Candelaria

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