Couldn't have asked for anything more...

Trip Start Jul 31, 2008
Trip End Jul 31, 2010

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Where I stayed
Harold's Guesthouse

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Sunday, April 18, 2010

I couldn't have asked for a better week holiday! It was exactly what I wanted and needed.

On Saturday when I arrived, I met some of the people who were staying in the dorm with me.  Tim offered to show me around the town, so off we went.  He’s an older British guy who has been traveling the last two years or so in SE Asia trying to hit all the amazing dive sites.  The town isn’t that big, but we took a tricycle in and then walked around.  He showed me the important stuff- bank, stores, etc.  We wandered around the market, which has fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit.  Then we headed to the boardwalk just to relax, as it was pretty warm.  It was cooler than Bangkok, but still warm.  That night Tim and Hannah, a British girl who has been teaching in Japan for the past 4 years and staying in the dorm, and I went to dinner.  I had marlin, which was delicious- the first of many great meals and seafood!

Sunday, there were a few people headed to Dauin to do some muck diving.  It is exactly what it sounds like.  We entered from the beach and dove around the sandy areas of the marine sanctuary, searching for all the weird creatures that are camouflaged in the sand.  The first thing we saw on the first dive was a blue ring octopus.  Two of the other divers were watching for a while so I didn’t get a picture, but it was the first time anyone I was with had seen one at that dive site.  I would say about 98% of the creatures we saw at Dauin, I had never seen before.  It quickly became one of my favorite dive sites.  So much so, that I did a total of six dives there over three different trips.  Each time was better than the one before.

Monday I signed up to go on a dolphin-watching trip.  We were up super early, but it was a very relaxing day.  There were eight of us on the boat.  First they took us to a sandbar which was at low tide, but wasn’t very low.  It was beautiful to see where the sand ends and the deep blue begins- amazing to see the color difference.  We originally were waiting there for another boat to come, but when it came, it had a lot more people than they were expecting so we just got back on our smaller boat and headed out.  We saw quite a few dolphins. It would have been nice if they got a little closer or we were able to snorkel.  The sun was hot and breeze was cool…it was a great way to spend the morning.

That night we went to the market to buy some fresh food and headed over to Harold’s (the owner of the guesthouse) beach house.  There were about 10 of us that went and chipped in for another yummy dinner.  We had marlin steaks, pork, chicken, veggie kebabs and rice.  It was a nice way to get to know people better and enjoy the evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all spend under the water.  Tuesday and Thursday, I went to Apo Island, about an hour away from the guesthouse.  It has beautiful coral and marine life.  Wednesday and Friday we were back at Dauin for more muck diving.  Wednesday evening we did a dusk dive so I could finally see mandarin fish.  They are gorgeous!  It was a very successful diving trip and I reached 50 dives by the end- not too shabby for a year and a half.

Wednesday night was BBQ night at the hostel. They provide the BBQ; you provide the food.  Harold and I picked up a red snapper and squid on our way back from diving.  It was another great night of hanging out with amazing people (Orla, Andy, Karl, Paul, Sandra, Andre, Tim, Heini, and others who were only around for a day or two) and eating fantastic food!

Friday was the big day! :-D  Harold, Jurry (our dive guide), Tim, Heini, Paul, Karl, another Tim, Kapil and I all went diving together.  After diving, we cleaned up and a couple of us went to the market to pick up fresh goodies for my birthday dinner- marlin, pork, chicken, vegetables, and fruit.  We saw no reason in changing a good thing.  Harold then took Karl, Kapil and me back to his house so we could start prepping dinner.  While we were prepping, Harold headed back to the guesthouse to pick up the others. 

We BBQ’d again and had a great meal together.  Harold even bought a chocolate cake that was phenomenal, considering most cakes in SE Asia are not very impressive.  This one was divine.  Everyone even chipped in to get me a card and few gifts- a t-shirt from the guesthouse and some silly fish toys.  It was really sweet and very much appreciated.  We spent the rest of the night getting silly and singing karaoke.  It was a fantastic birthday and definitely makes the list as one of the top 5!

Considering we didn’t get back to the hostel until 4am, I slept in on Saturday.  I didn’t really do a whole lot and it was nice to relax and read.  I really should have flown back to Bangkok on Saturday night so I could have made Sunday productive, but I didn’t and I’m okay with that!  Sunday was much of the same as Saturday.  I basically hung out with Tim and relaxed until I had to head out for my flight back to Bangkok.
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Audrey Voorhees on

Hey, these photos are great! It is worth it to post all of them, glad you can share these special under water sea creatures and scenes.

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