Smiles and Miles Away | Talikud Island, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao

This entry was originally posted at The Heliopaths Travel Logs.
     Jon and I really enjoyed our adventures (and mishaps!) in Surigao. Sadly, all things must come to an end. We packed our bags and said our goodbyes to our friend Romnick. It was a Monday morning hence the bus  was jam packed. We paid P75 each going to San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur. As I have mentioned a thousand times, I have chronic motion sickness so the 2 hour journey  was torture. I could almost taste the puke in my mouth.
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     At around 7:30 a.m. we finally arrived at San Franz. We had 2 options to get to Davao. It’s either we take a bus or a van. The bus would’ve been cheaper but travel time would take longer (and we didn’t exactly know what time the next bus to Davao would arrive) so we decided to catch a van instead. Vans on the way to Davao were already there. The fare costed P250 each. The journey from San Franz to Davao took around 5 hours. The roads in Mindanao are so much cleaner and the scenery is very pleasing.  There were lots of trees too which made the atmosphere very pleasant. 🙂 Soldiers are literally everywhere, check points here and there. We even had to get out of the van so that the soldiers can have a thorough inspection. Even buses weren’t exempted from the check points. No one complained about it though. Now that deserves commendations.
     We arrived in Davao at around lunch time. The port going to Talikud Island is conveniently located just a few minutes away from the city center.  From Magsaysay st. you can hire a pedicab to Sta. Ana Wharf for only P15.  You are not only saving time in walking but you are also helping the hard working pedicab drivers. 🙂 Tip them generously especially if you have big back packs!
     We still had to wait around 2 hours before the next boat leaves. We were allowed to aboard the boat but we chose not to as the sea wasn’t very calm. We bought some lanzones and the smallest durian we could find. We couldn’t find a place to sit down on but luckily this nice lad who sold bottled water on the port brought a wooden bench with him. We exchanged stories with him and asked him about living in Davao. I couldn’t fully understand what he was saying though because of the language barrier. I think I need to learn bisaya!
     After almost an hour of boat ride we finally arrived at the island. A habal habal took us to Isla Reta for only P15 each. We were astounded by the view. It was so beautiful. 🙂
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     The sun had already set by the time we finished pitching our tent and sorting out our dinner. The view of the night sky was amazing. We even saw a red moon which, according to the news, occur very rarely. Too bad my shots were a mess. Jon’s shots were way better but it was taken after the red moon.
     We woke up at around 5 a.m. to the sound of heavy rain. Fortunately, the weather cleared when the sun was fully out. God is really good I thought.
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     If you are planning to go to Talikud Island, I highly recommend Isla Reta. The staff was really nice and accommodating to backpackers! No discrimination or what so ever. Very good customer service. Thumbs up! They also make sure that the place is well maintained and clean.
     Our supply of tinned foods was already exhausted so we explored the island in search of seafood. As we ventured in the town, we came across a locals house who sold a variety of  fish and other sea creatures such as an octopus, clams and sea snails. We ended up buying a squid as big as my arm and turned it into calamari.
12049643_973114109401848_2047474898324513324_n     Presenting… Calamari ala isla reta by chef Jon! It was so delicious! So lucky to have a travel buddy & chef in one! 😀
21886129721_720cd255c8_o     After filling up our tummies, its time to swim and get tanned! We explored the island up until this end. I think it’s a wall separating the 2 resorts. it has a small opening which is really awesome. 🙂
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     Should you decide to explore Davao, be sure to visit Talikud island. It is more budget friendly than Samal island and less crowded. Equally beautiful perhaps more.

Click the video above to watch our Surigao/Davao adventure vlog!
Read about the majestic Tinuy-an falls here
Read about the stunning Enchanted River here?
Read about our island hopping adventure in Britania islands here

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