Unfortunately, we left the Robinson Crusoe Island to my taste far too hasty. A few hours later we arrived at Secco. A crescent-shaped, white sand strip in the South China Sea. While we pitched our tents in the sand (mine was a thin blanket and a backpack as a pillow), the boat crew was already busy preparing fruits, salads, tuna, shrimp and chicken for the BBQ. The captain who became a chef – or better – the cook who turned into a captain. His food was definitely divine. Bloated with food and surrounded by the sea in the sand under the stars next to a warming fire i felt more than satisfied asleep..
After about an hour inclement pitch and toss, another sailor passed, towed us and brought us to his island . Whether we have been the first „aliens“ here? Our captain, who turned out to be an zealous businessman, exchanged his nutshell for a still floating boat, which was just smaller than the first one, but we were safe for traffic again. Meanwhile, I wandered around the island as a child magnet and enjoyed the delightful sight of self supply households. A rice field as basic food source plus fish, pork and chicken, mango trees, coconut palms and banana shrubs. Delicious. Hmmmm … masarap! What with perplex views begins, converts quickly into warm greetings. Everybody is immediately willing to give a smile. I love this country and the people. Mahal nito!
We began our trip before sunrise early in the morning with the tricycle, switched on the boat and transfered to a minibus, which took us for a few hours through philippine plains until we reached a small village, where we finally started. The boat,.. rather, the nutshell broke the first time after assumed 50 feet creeping-sprint. The „captain“ and his „crew“ remained unfazed and brought the engine by cable after several attempts back to life. „Overheated“ was his implausible analysis, that made me smile a little though. After the boat began moving and we’ve sailed two hours over the sea the engine died again and „Overheated“ sounded somehow rather plausible. However, this time it was completely broken, which made moving on impossible. The scenario let me reminiscing a bit about the movie „Open Water“ – lost somewhere in the sea. But thanks god, it didnt happen.
I was just on one of the nearby islands of Boracay when I got to know some filipino children who came along the beach walking home from school. As hospitable as filipinos are they wanted me to bring to their village. Off course i didn’t hit this invitation off and followed over rice fields and trails to their small village. Once there, they proudly introduced me to about forty family members. The grandma of the association tried to catch the fish (me?!), showed me four girls and told me i should pick the prettiest for a marriage. The four filipina lined up standing in front of me I must have looked a a proper charlie bit – declined politely – and was fortunately dragged out of the misinterpreted folks by the children to explore the rest of the village. They showed me their favorite things, pets, homes, washing, – and cooking places, presented me their pastor and church and gave together with him a charming concert for me. A few hours later and a bunch of kids in tow, who accompanied me, I went back to get another boat transfer back to Boracay.
I flew to Palawan, a region in the west of the Philippines. From the airport in Busuanga I took a ride over rain forest-like countrysides and provisionally applied villages and wooden house areas to the port town Coron. From here we transferred on a petite boat with which we cruised over to beautiful, unspoilt island groups. The steering filipinos brought me skillfully to the long-awaited „Banana Island“. The dream island consists of a few bungalows, palm trees and white sand banks surrounded by turquoise sea and coral reefs. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would doubt its existence. I am thinking whether there are still more beautiful places on the planet or my feet are right now on the best piece?
Back in Algeciras, Hias and I took seperated ways, because our wallets are filled differently. I didn’t take the highway to save the expensive tolls and had my breaks at couch surfers and friends. My stops were in Alicante, Barcelona, Montpellier, Lyon and Freiburg. My tactics to send a couch request in a McDonald Free Wifi somewhere, taking the rest of the day’s stage and then again use wifi to check for the answers and get luckily a place to sleep for the night were surprisingly good. Thanks to all the couch surfers, who offered me a warm place to sleep! The only problem was actually the cold. It was really so bitter, bitter cold on the bike. I invented all possible positions in order to not fall as icy block off the machine. The method that came out on top, was to leave the left hand between the lower and upper thigh and wrap the right hand in layers. At the bottom of the hierarchy was the plastic bag, then the 3.99,- gas station „Flauschi“, surrounded by a thin one that I brought properly to tinker, followed by my motorcycle glove. Last but not least i pulled over all those my „grippy“ – a rubber glove – that i usually used for greasing the chain. But it turned out that it somehow triggered a reaction which made my hand freeze in even less time – or maybe it just strangled my blood. I can’t tell exactly, but my hands where purple blue in every case. This worked well, though I had to leave the road all 20 miles and lay my hands on the engine to get some feeling back in my fingers, but at least I made progress. Matters where complicated further by the fact that snowy, drizzly adverse wind covered my visor and compelled me constantly to wipe away the ice. So that’s how I drove the last stages – one-handed, shivering and visorwiping – did i arrive after 8 147 miles in Munich.
When we finally made our way on this day it was almost dark. But we still wanted to arrive in Spain. We drove a few hours through the night to Tangier, purchased at one of the stations outside the harbor a ticket and finally reached the last ferry at midnight just before the ship left. Short and sweet I said goodbye and took leave of a country and people who grew during the trip very dear to my heart. I learned to understand their culture, to tolerate their beliefs, to respect their traditions and to appreciate their being. Shukran, guardian angels that you are always next to me, no matter where I go. Insanely happy I let myself sink into a chair while floating over the gurgling waves to Spain.
We wandered through Fes‘ old medina and almost got lost in the ornate, intricate way system, which was filled with traders and craftsmen and dye-works – just as in other moroccan towns as well. After we finally found a way out of the maze, we were invited by Nabil’s cousin and his family to have lunch with them. They served a banquet in several courses and on top they put us on the guest list for an arab wedding of one of the daughters, who is getting married in August.
We passed by Essouira and El Jadida (really beautiful port cities), came to Casablanca, Rabat and Meknes and arrived finally in Fes. Here we met up again with Nabil, which we already knew from Rabat and his cousin plus a few friends of them. Trixe, one of their friends offered us a place for the night in a room on the roof above a grocery store which we gratefully accepted.