We found a nice place to stay on Saud beach, a picturesque crescent white sand beach dotted with hotels of various value. We de-booted, unpacked our bikes and went to the restaurant downstairs where we experienced the least impressive meal yet. That night we got on the bikes and cruised a road that parallels the beach in search of some socializing and cold beers. We found the latter, and learned that night life here is yet to be developed. As we pulled into our hotel area that night I met a local girl who wouldn't let me go without agreeing to hangout the next day. We made a plan to meet on the town basketball court at 4.
The next morning there were beautiful head high waves curling into the bay with a slight offshore breeze and not a single person out. Pumped up, I rather frantically searched for a board to rent or borrow at the hotel/restaurants along the beach. Much to my surprise, given the perfect waves, i was repeatedly informed that boards were not rented anywhere on Saud beach. So we ate some squid, pork and rice and watched the waves roll in.
Back in Saud beach Chris and CJ rode into some nearby mountains and I walked down the road to meet up with Gema, the girl who invited me to dinner the evening prior. She lives in a small dirt floor shack made of palm frauns, mud, wood scraps and some sheet metal. The kitchen, parent, and kids room are separated by hanging blankets. I spent some time there meeting aunts, uncles siblings and community members as she tried to translate with her limited english. It was a little awkward because it felt like she was showing me off, when I showed up on foot she made me go back and bring my motorcycle (which is a very nice machine for these parts) to park it in front of her house like a status symbol.
We said our goodbyes, took some pictures and headed back to her house to eat. On the ride back I saw Chris and CJ come out of a trail head from their ride, right onto the road in front of us. I pulled up next to them and we had a good laugh about the coincidence.
Back at the homestead, her mother had prepared a table for two with rice, seaweed, and some other unidentifiable greens. Mom watched over my shoulder as we ate, making comments that I didn't understand throughout.
After walking Gema back to her house, her mother insisted on walking me home with her big wood stick to beat off any dogs that bark or snap at me, it was comforting and a very sweet notion. Such kindness from the people here is what has impressed me more than anything in the Philippines. They are always looking to help however they can, often dropping their task at hand or changing their day to assist us.
(This post below by Chris)
While Bryce was off on his local experience CJ and I had our own little adventure. I had scouted some trails earlier that I wanted to check out so we headed for the hills. The trail which was just a cow path wound through a green grassy field that ended at the bottom of a very large and steep mountain. The top looked like a great place to watch the sunset so we tried to find a way up.
I thought I could see a trail on the far side but there was defiantly no trail to get to it just a large overgrown patch of tall grass and shrubs. I think I can make it through so I pound it 1st gear through head high grass not being able to see where I'm going. As the bike goes over the very tall grass it lifts the front tire off the ground so you felt like you were in a wheelie the whole time. Went as far as the bike would go until it came to a dead stop and I fell over. CJ got a running start and plowed past me and made it through leaving me a trail to follow.
Once out of that death trap we headed further through the field which was littered in large rocks hidden under the grass. CJ took a unlucky line and hit a rock head on which stop him dead in his tracks and he almost went over the front and fell sideways pinning his knee between a rock and his bike. I rushed over to help him get the bike off him and saw how bad it could of been. His knee was being hyper extended between the weight of the bike and rock, he was hurt but not bad.
The mountain we were trying to get up kept getting worse and worse so we gave up on that plan and rode the trail towards the ocean where we found some awesome deserted beaches and great dirt trails and roads.