So the gang got together this month in Bacolod City and dediced we should head down to The Kookoo’s Nest Resort Zamboanguita Philippines, and boy was it an adventure as always. The countryside on Negros Occidental Negros Oriental always is picturesque, to say the least. With all the beautiful Rice Paddies and the fields of Sugar Cane, to the Mountainous regions and back down to the Ocean, I could travel around forever as my eyes are always hungry for the beauty of the Philippines.
As with any trip, we seem to take, it begins at the Cere’s Bus Terminal and for this trip we headed to the South Terminal, which is pretty rugged compared to the Northern Terminal so, do come prepared. The cost of the “Aircon bus” was 377 Peso’s which is very reasonable for the distance we need to travel. Be sure to come early as at this point you are not able to purchase your tickets before hand, so it comes down to first come first serve, and you purchase your tickets from the Conductor on your bus, he arrives maybe 1 hour prior to your departure time. Michelle, my wife is very wise, and she was able to find out which bus we were taking, and got on board with the kids, and got seats while I waited in line to purchase tickets. Smart cookie eh!
En route to The Kookoo’s Nest Resort Zamboanguita Philippines
The bus trip was advertised as a 6-hour trip but we were able to do it in less than 5 hours and I figure that was due to the fact we were on the Night bus and there was very little traffic which is very unusual here in the Philippines. We arrived in Dumaguete at about 4 am, wich was 3 hours early from the time we said we would be there, so it was a need to wait once again. Being use to this kind of travel it was simple for us, but I know Becca was getting a little tired of the waiting. In a world of instant everything, it can get very trying for those who are not used to it.
We had the option of taking a second bus that would let us off near the road we needed to get to the Resort, and there would be a need of taking a Tricycle or Moto to the Resort which would be very exciting for those who are not used to this form of travel, but with a group of 5, two younger children, I figured we would pay the extra for a pick up at the bus terminal and boy was it worth the amount it cost us. We were in a van, and it took us easily `1 hour to reach the road that Nest was on, and then another 40 minutes down a road filled with construction. Our driver was fantastic navigating all the obstacles and got us there safe and sound around 8 :30 am, about 3 hours before we could get into our rooms, but we were able to get breakfast and the girls were quick to head down to the ocean.
I have to say the resort was beautiful! Rustic, clean with plenty of things to do. Everyone headed off into the ocean for some swimming, and snorkelling though this happened to be the first time for the girls to go into the ocean, and Michelle was so very
excited to introduce the girls to joys of snorkelling, and seeing all the wonderful critters in the sea. Me being a former PADI Course Director, it was like finally coming home to the water where life for me makes sense. I had an opportunity to speak with Jamie and Nikki Ingram the owners of the resort. Both people are very friendly and they go out of their way to make sure your stay at the Resort is a pleasurable one. They offer Snorkelling rental sets, scuba diving if you are certified as well as Diving courses, which would be amazing to learn in such a beautiful place compared to where I learned how to dive. There are also a couple of Kayaks so if you would like to tour the beach front and coast, plus some pretty cool nature walks. Plus for me, some spectacular areas for shooting pictures and some amazing sunsets for sure!!
The Driftwood Cottage
Michelle and I decided on the Driftwood Cottage mostly for the space and the number of beds. We had three adults and two
children and needless to say the number of beds was very important. The cost of the Cottage was $1,500 peso’s, which I felt was very reasonable. Our view was the ocean and we were just feet away. There are no words that can describe how beautiful the area was!
Every evening we were treated to a huge congregation of Hermit Crabs coming into the Restaurant Area, as well the various walkways and walls. All you could here was the little clicking sounds of them walking around catching up with all the other crabs. I know I should have taken a few minutes to shoot some macro pictures of the little guys, after all, I had off camera flash with me, but as is the case on some occasions, I just never did. Speaking of the restaurant, the menu was had many different selections, some local, some Thai food, and a selection of western food, which was a godsend since Becca was having problems with the local foods. I found the costs were really quite reasonable, and the dishes were a good size but not so big that you could not eat them.
As with any trip we seem to take, it’s always difficult to leave. We wanted to stay for a couple of more days if it was possible, however, the kids started school on Monday so we had no choice but to gather everything up and head back to Bacolod City. The Kookoo’s Nest Resort Zamboanguita Philippines will be on the top of our list for a return visit. Definitely another opportunity to enjoy more photography, and maybe the next trip will have some diving it in for me. If you are interested in visiting The Kookoo’s Nest you can reach James and Nikki through this link or by calling +63 919 695 8085. Also if you are interested in seeing more pictures be sure to visit the gallery found here.
Thanks to Ken Dunlop Photography for the use of their images!