We've discovered a strange man made island while looking at satelite images of cebu bay 10.284983,123.902841
I'm publishing this information as the last info I could find online was a few years old and we didn't know what to expect.. This is what we knew,
Formerly a Fuel Depot of Shell Pilipinas. It was return to the government in 1990's. There was some Human Rights issues raised after the government took control because it was made as a "temporary housing" facility for known petty criminals one week before a Sinulog Festival. They were herded and housed for two weeks or during the duration of the festival.. a free board and lodging..
We approached the island from mactan side in a small kayak, we had 5 km to pass through a strange shallow shrubberish water, I'd recommend approaching from cebu side which is cleaner and is only 1 km away from the island. Some people live there, they were not particulary happy or sad to see us, they've built a small duck farm in one of the buildings and a few dogs are roaming around. Industry on the island has been entirely stripped down, a few buildings are still standing and the most interesting thing is a half sunken 15m-ish boat in what remains of the port.
So, we'd like to carry a boat for going down rivers and exploring curious things on water, while being self sufficient with food and camping equipment. Giving up on the boat and building bamboo rafts was one of the propositions:) We ended up buying a small 12kg inflatible kayak that packs in a 60L backpack,
I've discovered today that we are completely defeated by this awesome guy 200 years ago.
1840s, Peter Halkett Invented an unusual boat.
Halkett had long been interested in the difficulties of travelling in the Canadian Arctic, and the problems involved in designing boats light enough to be carried over arduous terrain, but robust enough to be used in extreme weather conditions. the hull of the boat could be worn as a cloak, the oar used as a walking stick, and the sail as an umbrella
Spurred on by the successful testing of the boat-cloak, Halkett designed a larger version that folded into a knapsack. When inflated, it could carry two men, operating a paddle on each side, and when deflated served as a waterproof blanket to allow the users to camp on wet ground Although the Admiralty saw no use to which Halkett's designs could be put in general naval service, this larger design was extremely well received by explorers
We are talking to a random french couple, answering common questions and ending up explaining that we've met by going into the subway tunnels through an airduct. They mention seeing some photos of us climbing a building in hongdae park and I wonder if that was the night when the crazy guy in the underwear climbed it with us. At some point I say something like
remember that girl from yesterday that wanted us to smuggle diamonds from africa? I think she might be a stripper.
To which a guy asks us if those are real events or are we talking about a spy movie, and I realize how weird our conversation sounds from another persons perspective, and how most of the things that have been happening would sound, and I conclude that we did good.
I bought a climbing equipment and all places are reacheable now. I'm living with Kanghee, and a great group of friends are around. We are planning to buy a ~15 meter sailboat and sail through philipines to papua new guinea next year. we'll see how that goes. we'll have a lot to learn before doing this.
I wrote down few phrases in japanese and went hitchiking towards the I read abandoned jungle theme park about online.
It was super easy. a lot of japanese react as if someone is doing something insane and exciting and are happy about it. Most of them are also too shy to stop and they would even cover their smiling faces if I maintained eye contact for too long <3
Izu peninsula has two sides, people call them a female and male side, one is full of fine sand beaches and the other is made of rough steep vulcanic rocks.. I'm guessing that strong waves tend to hit it from the female side.
My favorite ride was this businessman, it seemed that what was happening was a way bigger adventure for him then for me. He would start laughing histerically out of excitement whenever I'd speak. So naturally, I wanted to speak as much as possible but that was hard as he didn't understand any english.
Arrived to Irozaki port-o fairly quickly and started a hike up the hill towards where the jungle theme park is supposed to be.
Found bunch of abandoned buildings and infrastructure at the top but couldn't find the main dome, ended up exploring the peninsula.
Climbed an antenna tower to look around (kinda. half way. it was scarry. note to self - learn how to make a harness out of climbing rope, I could have secured myself). found the dome - its not a dome. didn't look at the online photos good enough, and found a coast that looked so amazing that it stole my attention. I wanted to quickly check it out before heading out to the park but the place was great and I ended up spending the night.
Everything seemed totally devoid of life but it turns out, the place becomes a spiderland during the night. I don't know what they eat, each other? I tucked my shirt in my pants.
I'm super happy with the funny-shoes. Japanese people say b ooooooooooo ninja shoesb and they are right! they are quiet and great for climbing and I have a lot of control on the rough terrain. a downside is that you freak people (including yourself) out, and need to talk about them a lot. its not worth it in the city.
It was a great night. I realized that I was alone for the first time in three months. There was a huge lighthouse spotlight sweeping the panorama and big ships passing by on their way towards port of Tokyo. The next morning I discovered that all the bread I bought is filled with chocolate and that all the cans I have are the same discusting fish. Had a breakfast that stimulated my taste buds and left to quickly explore the rest of the theme park.
Turns out, a few years have passed and big parts of the park are overgrown now. It was quite late and quite hot and quite overgrown and there was noone around to encourage me so I decided to keep going towards Kyoto and give up on getting inside.
on the way there I couldn't pass on the opportunity to sneak into some classuy star hotel onsen for the third time.
ok, enough writing!
I'll finish this later or never. pictures are on Flickr
Japan has a notoriously high suicide rate, which doesn't seem entirely justified considering it's 10th in the world, with south korea for example being 50% worse.
This forest was always shifty, but its popularity grew due to a contraversial book, The Complete Manual of Suicide where it is described as the perfect place to die. Over 100 bodies per year are discovered there, a lot more probably don't ever get found.
I don't want to repeat things too much, vice has a good 20 minute documentary on it.
To make things comically creepy, the forest lies on some large magnetic rocks, which make compasses useless. my gps seems to rely on a digital compass, so I quickly rehersed the night before on how to orientate myself by the sun.
The place is fairly touristic, it has a few hiking trails, and it lies just below mount Fuji. When we got there they told us that a black bear was sighted today exactly where we were going. We ended up yelling and clapping our hands a lot to scare it away. We walked a lot, not knowing exactly where we should go, and got off the trail a lot, relying on a bad tourist map.
A small culture grew around suicides in the forest. for example, people that think that they might change their minds, walk in leaving a trail of (usually nylon) string, which makes parts of the forest look really strange, with nylon strings going everywhere. The whole place is full of strange objects that seem to have been used in ritual like situations. Compass and gps ended up working well for the most part, with occasional crazyness.