Addicted to Diving in Bohol

After a bangka, a fishing boat, a bus, a ferry and a tricycle adorned with a flashing Virgin Mary statue, we threw down our backpacks in the hotel on Alona Beach, Bohol. We were exhausted so put a movie on and watched it in bed. I lasted about 20 minutes.

After breakfast we negotiated a private taxi to take us around some of the island's sights. First stop was the Tarsier Sanctuary. A Tarsier is a teeny tiny monkey that looks like a rat with the face of a gremlin. Or at least that's what my eyes saw, some may disagree! The Chocolate Hills were beautiful to drive past, huge stretches of lush green grass with perfectly formed round hills dotted around. We went to the top of the viewpoint, which is quite disappointing as the sight of the hills is quite spectacular but some of the viewpoint had collapsed and not been fixed so the best angle was obscured. Then we rode a quad-bike through the dirt track which was fun. The a visit to the butterfly farm before home for dusk. We treated ourselves to some really nice fish and some cocktails/cuba libre.

The next two days were dive days! Balicasag Island has been the best place I've done diving at so far. The first day we did Cathedral and Black Forest and the second day was Snake Island and BBC. We saw boxer shrimp, lion fish, turtles, huge grouper and snapper, slugs, a slug with a little frilly skirt on, jacks, batfish, a giant starfish running along the bottom and shrimp running away from it. We saw a lot of sea snakes, which you could hold by the tail. At one point there were 3 of them feeding and the instructor held the 3 of them up together all wriggling! On the morning of the last dive we went out dolphin watching beforehand. It was an early start and quite dark when we set sail. I was quite negative thinking we had been ripped off and it was unlikely there were actually any dolphins. The captain kept pointing but I couldn't see anything. But then! A huge school of them jumping out of the water, some high in the air and spinning. They were called spinner dolphins (coincidentally) and we chased them around in the boat. The captain stopped the boat and we sat facing the sunrise casting a white glow on the serenely still water. Then the water was just teaming with dolphins. The captain told us there were around 200 of them in this school. Even though I'm the only person in the entire world that hates dolphins, I really did enjoy this.

On the last night we attempted to find a lively bar. We met a group of Swedish people who told us where to go and then met them there later. The bar was full of Philippino women and old western men. We drank some more, took some silly photos then stumbled home.


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