Philippines

On the 14th of June it was time to fly again for Schnagler and Peachy. First stop Manila, second stop Puerto Princesa on Palawan. Besides some fog (or whatever it was) on the second plane, everything went well and both bags reached Puerto safely and on time.

In the hostel the duo met up with two friends of Schnagler, Inez and Denny. They are on an around the world trip and planned to be on Palawan at the same time. After a nice catch up and a good night’s sleep, the four started their journey to Port Barton. The first night without aircon paid off in the next morning. The group decided to go to a remote island called Cacnipa for a couple of nights and ended up in paradise.Β 

Crystal clear water and the lovely coconut garden island resort all to themselves made their stay unforgettable. Incredibly good food, excellent service and for being on a remote island moderate prices were part of the experience. For 2 nights, 6 meals, all drinks, boat transfer and the exclusive private beach (that’s the advantage of low season travelling) they spent 50€ each and felt like kings and queens.

The only drawback was the mosquitos who they had to share their beds with and the missing AC. Two nights later the four left the island heading towards El Nido.

Heavy rain was welcoming the group in El Nido. This still didn’t stop Schnagler and Peachy to sign up for a ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ tour for the next day. They found a welcoming diving school, ‘Deep Blue Seafari’ where both felt comfortable and looked after at all times. The next morning their alarms went off at 6.45. Shower, breakfast and then meeting at the ‘Deep Blue Seafari’ at 8.00. Due to coastguard issues (it was a Monday morning which is apparently the time to change regulations) and due to a drunken boat crew memeber (the chef) the tour started with over 1h delay. Peachy got more and more nervous – a bit longer and she might have changed her mind. Luckily she tried keeping herself busy with buying a ‘Deep Blue Seafari’ T-Shirt as a memory. Then finally all divers were asked to please board the boat. They did as they were told and found themselves at the first diving spot, paradise beach, fairly quickly. The two friends were the only ones without Open Water License so they had two guides all to themselves. Nicolas showed how to jump in from the boat and then Peachy had to follow. Her nervousness was at the maximum but when everybody started counting, she jumped in at 1 πŸ˜€

This was the step over her fear and from that moment on she was just able to enjoy. Ayn and Nicky were very caring and thoughtful so there were no dangerous moments. The first of three dives was only instructions near the beach Peachy thought. But as the two got on super well with everything they went to practise what they learned in up to 10m. Peachy was not scared at all as she didn’t even notice how deep she had been.

Back on the boat there were refreshments and not long after it was time for dive number two near helicopter island.

This was probably the best dive. A photographer joined Schnagler and Peachy and made so many nice pictures (Also have a look in the gallery under Philippines πŸ˜‰ )! Peachy felt like she was flying under water. What a great feeling πŸ˜€

After 43min and up to 15m it was time to come back to the boat and have lunch. Fish, chicken and some vegetables with rice was all they needed and very delicious.

The third dive followed pretty quickly, at the small reef of helicopter island. Maybe a bit too soon after lunch but again it was fun and the two enjoyed it so much. Back on the boat, the two friends realised how exhausted and tired they were. Time for a nap and an early night. Peachy went to bed soooo proud and happy with herself….

The next day was farewell time. An early goodbye breakfast with Inez and Denny who had to catch a ferry to Coron at 8am was followed by a rather lazy day with some shopping and a pedicure.Β 

In the evening the two friends left Palawan and flew to Manila. El Nido was definitely the smallest airport they have ever been to. Security staff was more interested whether the two were single and had facebook instead of in their bags….

In Manila it was just time to get to the hotel and sleep as the next morning it was time to fly to Singapore πŸ˜€

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Hongkong

Luckily, Schnagler and Peachy booked a hotel in advance and got to a small room with two big beds. Dinner and an extremely good foot massage for Peachy helped double trouble to relax. After a good and long sleep they started their first morning in Hongkong. A light cheesestick breakfast helped to adjust to the culture. 

The hotel was on Hongkong Island. So the two took a ferry to cross over to Tsim Sha Tsui to walk along the promenade and to see the Avenue of stars. This was closed unfortunately but the garden of the stars was open and a lot of fun πŸ˜€


On the ferry the friends received very very good news. The hotel called to say that Schnagler’s backpack was delivered by a courier from the airport. This made them soooo happy.

Next stop was the Ladies Market. After 15min getting used to the haggling it started to rain heavily. Some stalls closed and said there would be a typhoon coming up. Double trouble escaped to an indian restaurant and thought the rain would stop soon. However they needed to face reality and understand that the typhoon would only move on around midnight and there would be a week of thunderstorm and rain afterwards.

Schnagler and Peachy decided to still make the most of it. So they went to Hongkong Timesquare Shopping Mall. However, all shops were closed due to the typhoon. Next trial was to find a massage. First they took a funny old tram to the hotel and couldn’t wait any longer to find out whether the backpack which was delivered to the hotel was really Schnagler’s backpack.

And it was….


After a long walk the friends finally found an open massage place and let themselves being treated. A foot massage for Schnagler and an acupressure back massage for Peachy let them forget all about the typhoon. 

The next morning the friends tried their luck again after a very rainy night. Back to the Timesquare all shops were opened. A couple of hours of shopping let the time pass quickly until the rain stopped. This is all the two waited for to then try going up to Victoria Peak. The tram ride was funny, the pizza expensive but delicious and we found a new family πŸ˜› 

But the view….well the view….which view actually?


Back down the weather was stable and the team started their way to the night show in Victoria Harbour. Reaching the bay they were overwhelmed by the skyline with it’s millions of lights and the sea. But let’s let the pictures speak for themselves:

The evening ended with a nice shopping tour on the night markets in Temple Street. Back at the hotel it was time to pack and to find out how to get to the airport in the very early morning. And of course, double trouble needed some money again, which took a while but finally worked out in the end…

After a very short night (no night in fact) it was time to leave Hongkong and to fly to Puerto Princesa (on Palawan) with stop over in Manila and without disasters. The flight to Puerto Princesa was a bit weird because of dust or fog on the plane. 


We still don’t know what it was, maybe gas to make everybody sleepy πŸ˜› However, we both arrived safely and woke up again πŸ˜‰

Aeroflot – NEVER ever again!

To keep you all updated, Peachy and Schnagler would like to share their full Aeroflot experience with you. You all know the two friends missed their connecting flight from Moscow to Hongkong from the last post. Here is what happened next:

Boarding the flight to Beijing from Moscow, everything seems fine. Mr. Aeroflot promised that Schnagler and Peachy bags would fly with them on their plane. They were all relaxed and full of trust. Being asked for a visa they said: β€œWe don’t need a visa, only transit.β€œ

So far, so good. After 7.5 hot(!) hours of flight with only one meal, Schnagler and Peachy leave the plane and are in China. Everything seems to be better, the people much more friendly. The duo was welcomed by a chinese lady telling them to hurry up for the next connecting flight to Hongkong. And there it was back: stress and rushing! They were running all the way to the transit counter, just to receive the next shocking news: β€œyou will have to collect your bags and check them in again, because the chinese people here don’t care about your bagsβ€œ said the only ‘English’ speaking girl there. β€œYou will have to check in before 11β€œ. BÀÀÀm! Shock! It’s 10.25, double trouble need to get through immigration without a visa first, then collect their bags one level below and check in the bags to the next flight with Hongkong Airlines with only a booking confirmation of Mr. Aeroflot….Panic!!!
Chasing through the whole airport to collect the bags, the two find Peachy’s backpack quickly. But where is Schnagler’s??? Only 10min later the competent Mr. Baggage claim promises that Schnagler’s bag is on it’s way to Hongkong already. Great! One less bag to carry and to worry about.

Next stop: Hongkong Airlines Check-in counter. Oh dear, a very long queue and it’s 10.50… Schnagler asks at the Business Class counter and surprise, the chinese were probably too polite to say no. Boarding passes were printed and after a short explanation, they accepted Peachy’s backpack. It only needs to get through security. Easy one should think as it passed the German security check. But this would be too easy. After 3 failed trials (Powerbank, lighter and guess what, another lighter) and many annoyed chinese people and an annoyed Peachy who had to carry her backpack back through a narrow gate all the times, the bag finally got through. 


Now it is 11.15. Boarding is at 11.40. No time for a rest. Quickly through immigration (24h is allowed without visa luckily!) and through security. Peachy’s powerbank was allowed in the carry in bag and all went fine. Arriving at the gate the two friends had enough time to visit the ladies room and to realise – almost 12 o’clock and the last they ate was dinner. So it was time for a expensive shitty sandwich and a water each and. For a bargain price of 20€!! Now quickly on the next plane.

A croissant to share because we couldn’t get any change for our 20€ bill. Why did this delicious looking croissant have a sausage in it?? Whyyyyyyy???

On the chinese plane everything seems better than on the russian one before. Nice and friendly people around us. At least they smile and nod no matter what. Probably because none of these chinese understand English. Schnagler and Peachy fall in a deep but weirdly non refreshing sleep. God knows what was in the air on that plane, everyone on this plane was asleep……maybe it was just the long journey. 

Getting off the plane in Hongkong, the dream team felt tired but happy – finally reached their destination.

 But the happiness wouldn’t last long. Peachy’s bag is the first one to appear. But Schnagler’s was still missing. Shocking news at the baggage claim: the backpack is still in Moscow!! How unlucky can 2 people be on one day?? Unfriendly staff promised to deliver the bag to the hotel of the two friends. Luckily they booked in advance and had an address ready to state on the form which needed to be filled in. No apologies, no compensation, nothing which one could call ‘service’. 

Reaching the hotel was easy, public transport in Hongkong just perfect! 

Summary of this journey: disappointing and shocking all way through! Nobody apologised, the most unfriendly airline staff and the team lost all believe and trust in the staff and in what they promised. Whether the bag would be delivered the next day or not – nobody really new. The only sure thing was:

NEVER ever Aeroflot again!

3, 2, 1 Hongkong here we come! Hang on – double trouble stuck in Moscow…

It all started so well for Schnagler and Peachy in Germany. No.traffic jam on the A5, the private deluxe airport shuttle of Peachy’s Mama and her friend Wilma and even enough time for a nice drink before the farewell.

Boarding the plane to Moscow the duo didn’t think anything bad. Half an hour delay but surely the plane would catch up on the way. The flight itself wasn’t the best already. Loads of drunk and disrespectful russians who got a final warning of the airline. One of them even tried to stick his hand through our seats to grab the Peachy boobs! Unbelievable! (He didn’t manage though as Schnagler reacted super quick… πŸ˜‰ ) All not the best experience and the friends were hoping to be a bit more lucky with the seat neighbours on the next plane.

The next plane is the buzz word. Reaching Moscow 40min before departure of their connecting flight, the dream team didn’t think it was too bad. But Schnagler and Peachy were awaited by an employee of Aeroflot who’s first words were: β€œThe good news: it wasn’t your fault!β€œ

Obviously they had missed their connecting flight, didn’t get any compensation or upgrade (not yet…) and are even struggling to get a free soft drink with the sh**** voucher they received.

Next stop now: Beijing!

Ready for take off

Only 14 hours to go. Backpacks are prepared, everything sorted – it has been a very short time back home. Therefore, Peachy will make the most of her time off uni and see as much of this beautiful world as possible.

The stress of all preparations is now slowly changing to excitement. However, realising that Peachy will not only be away from home but also on the other side of this world for the next 4 months makes her a little bit nervous, too.

Peachy hopes you will all enjoy reading this blog, watching Peachy on her tour around the world. She hopes all the pictures and stories will brighten up your everyday life a little bit and you feel like joining her on her travels.

It is time to go to bed now, at home for the last time in a long while….