Philippines Day 5

Woke at 7 feeling decidedly groggy.  Showered, changed,and went down for a simple breakfast.  Edrick showed up at 8a, and we set off, his 2 kids in tow.  It was a nice tour, taking in many of the islands top sights and attractions.

We went to Bool, where the monument to a blood-compact mateship ritual between Miguel Lopez de Leguzpi and Bohol chieftan Raja Sikahura, whereby they drank a cup of each others blood in a sybol of East-West bonds. From there, it was on to Loboz for a river cruise, taking in the floating villages and their people, as well as a couple of small waterfalls.  This was also the place where I encounterd the cuddly, cute yet creepy Tarsier monkeys.  Fascinating creatures.  They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but can jump 5 metres and rotate their heads almost 360 degrees.  They have huge, imploring eyes, that sometimes narrow into creepy little slits as they stare you out, before bulging fully open again.  It was my first encounter with this endangered species, and I left wanting to find out more.  After this we went to the national tourist symbol, the famous Chocolate Hills.  Over a thousand near-identical in size hills stretch over the land, some burnt brown by the sun.  The sight wasn’t overly impressive, but worth a look.  Then it was on to the hanging bridge, for a precarious walk across.  A farmer was bathing his buffalo in the river, so I took a few nice shots..  After this, we drove to Panglao Island, where Edrick dropped me off as i wanted to finish my holiday relaxing here on Alona beach and diving.

I originally checked straight into Bohol Divers, and then sorted out my dives with Alona divers to Balicasag, home to some of the best diving in the Philippines.  I walked down the white sandy beach, a picture perfect one, and soon realised I was a little far from the main ‘action’.  The most popular bar on the island is called Oops!, so I decided to stay in their native-style cottages behind the bar for only P900 an night including breakfast.

In the evening, I sat alone (of course), on the beach at a nice restaurant.  I indulged in a nice chicken cordean bleu with tomato salad, washed down with 2 bottles of refreshing San Miguel Light.  The area has a lovely ambience in the evening.  Softly-lit paths and restaurants, BBQ’s on the beach, beach parties…a romantic place.  After my meal I hit Pyramid Bar, played Jenga with the barstaff and a Swedish bloke, then finidhed my evening in Oops! Bar swopping dive stories with a German guy who I had already met on Apo Island.

Author: Neil

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