We finally made it to Bohol, alive and in one piece. We grabbed a quick meal at a nearby restaurant which turned out to be one of the best restaurants we’ve been to in the Philippines (it’s called Payag and also Jo's Chicken Inato, just in case you’re there).
The next day we went to The Tarsier Research and Development center which is dedicated to the protection of the cutest little critter I’ve ever seen, the tarsier. With huge eyes and ears that turn towards sound, I bet it’s the inspiration behind the Gremlins. Sadly, these creatures are dying down mainly due to loss of habitat, although a few end up as pets or in cages for tourists to ogle at. This practice is extremely traumatic for the animals who tend to lead a solitary life and are nocturnal. We were told by our guide that sometimes, the tarsiers get so miserable that they actually kill themselves when in captivity.
After seeing the tarsiers we went to a mall to get away from the heat. We wanted to eat at a restaurant called ‘Bohol Bee Farm cafe’ which is famous for it’s organic veggies and it’s muffins. The food was great but we were so stuffed that we couldn’t try the muffins. So we took a bagful with us to try later.
With our morning done and dusted we left Bohol and went to it’s neighbouring island Panglau and the famous Alona beach. The fame is for the diving as the beach isn’t anything special. Still we had a free afternoon and so with muffins in hand, we hit the sand.
After a quick swim we went back to our towels feeling quite excited about trying these famous muffins. But alas, they’d vanished off our towels. A few metres away from us we spotted the culprit. A stray dog that was busily tucking into our prized muffins. I actually ran up to the dog shouting ‘they’re ours’ fully expecting an apology and the return of our prized morsels. But all I got was a grunt, and definitely no muffins. Actually Karen was contemplating taking the muffins back from the dog until I said don’t even think about it!
The following day we went out on our dive expedition. Wow what an incredible two dives! Up there with the best we have ever done. They were both boat / wall / drift dives. On our first dive I had to swap masks with my instructor who had a spare one as my mask was faulty. I did this at about 10 meters, whilst drifting along and not being able to see anything! Karen was very impressed. The dives had loads of life including turtles. Loads of them. I was so happy for Karen as she was dying to see them. It was great to be drifting too, it makes the dive so much more easier and fun. As we were on a wall dive (where the wall of an island goes down to the continental shelf) it felt like we were flying as we came over the edge. It felt so cool. At one point Kaz span around under me and I was directly above her. We felt like Astronauts! What a day! I love being on the ocean. After the dive we passed a group of islands that were right in the Robinson Crusoe vein.
Talking of islands, our next stop in this wonderful country called the Philippines is the spooky island of Siquijor.
See you next to the witches cauldron!
Love as always,
Paul & Karen xxx
Our journey to Bohol was terrifying! To date this was the fastest, craziest driving we’ve experienced. Plus it was night time, so it was all happening in pitch darkness. A prayer to my overworked guardian angel was not going to cut it. A few times I mumbled a quiet ‘please slow down’ to no avail. I tried to keep it civil, but civil didn’t work. So the next time we screeched round a bend, I screeched even louder, ‘SLOW DOWN YOU‘RE SCARING US ALL!!!!’ Oooooh, for a second all the conversations in the van stopped. This foreigner was acting crazy. But at least the driver did slow down so I really didn’t care. In my eyes, I’d just saved us all!