Monday 8th of March dawned with a clear sky and the promise of another baking hot day. We had decided to ride back to Cebu City on Cebu Island from our weekend retreat at Dauin on Negros Oriental on Negros Island. The ride from Dauin meant leaving our beach resort at 8am and riding through Dumaguete Town en route to the ferry at Tampi, some 14 kms north of town. Dumaguete is a lovely, friendly town with no traffic lights and hordes of trikes plying their trade but amazingly traffic flows smoothly nevertheless. We arrived at Tampi pier some 25 minutes later and booked the bike onto the Maayo ferry, a converted military landing craft. Unlike most ports in the Philippines, burocracy is not a problem at this port – it is simply a question of paying 210 pesos and riding on board. Entirely painless. bu/PICT0231.jpg[/IMG] The crossing of the Tanon Strait was very smooth and 45 minutes later we were rolling off at the pier at Bato on Cebu Island at 10.15am. We turned right to head back to Cebu City via the more scenic and deserted west coast route. This road winds its way along the stunning coastline through many picturesque villages with only the occasional van or trike on an otherwise empty road. We rode past the luxurious Badian Island resort and Kawasan Falls, eventually arriving at the very popular and overpriced Moalboal, a haven for diving enthusiasts from all over the world. The ride continues to follow the coast through the coastal towns of Alcantara, Ronda and Dumanjug before swinging inland at Barilli to cross the mountainous spine of Cebu to the east coast hub of Carcar. This is a fabulous road, the tarmac is good and plenty of twisties before dropping down to the mayhem that is Carcar itself. We stopped of at the local Jollibee (Philippine take on McDonalds) for some cool air and drinks as the thermometer was up in the high 30’s centigrade by this time. Having cooled off we set off on the last leg up the east coast to Naga, Minganilla and Cebu City itself. This is the only section of the trip that is less than enjoyable due to the volume of traffic, mostly maniacal buses and jeepneys all making for Cebu. The four lane section leading into Minganilla is particularly hazardous and requires total concentration due to the antics of the heavy traffic (buses and trucks who own the road – might being right!) but once through this section it was simply a question of turning right onto the very picturesque South Reclamation Project expressway for the fast run back into town and home at 2.30pm – in one piece! Cebu itself is the central hub of the Visayas Region of the Philippines and many lovely rides are just a ferry ride away, with Negros, Bohol , Mindanao and Panay islands all being great biking destinations. As long as one uses common sense and adapts to the fact that distances covered here will be much less for any given period than in Thailand then this is a wonderful biking country. Total distance of the above run was no more than 170 kms in all but took 6+ hours with ferry ride, water stops etc.