Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bohol Getaway Part II: Balicasag and Virgin Island Hoppind

Posted by Alei at 8/28/2012
We woke up early at 4 am to gear up. We were told to be ready to be fetched by 5:30 am for the dolphin watching. Instead of a van taking us for the boat ride, 3 motorcycles surprised us. They call it locally as habal-habal. The ride to the beach was short but the fear of falling down the bumpy road made the trip long although it was not my first time to ride a motorcycle.

 The sun is brightly shining already around 6 am. It was low tide in the morning that we need to walk some meters to reach the boat.

The boat ride going to our destination is long and wavy. I admire our boat driver as he navigates us through without the use of high tech tools for directions.

 We stopped somewhere near an island. Boats of the same size as ours lingered at the nearby area. The place was supposed to be where dolphins would show up.

Our boatman explained that since the waves are big, it was unlikely that dolphins would come out. We waited for 10 minutes. Not a single dolphin came so we decided to continue our trip to Balicasag Island.

The sand is cream, shimmering because of the sun’s rays. The water is clear and inviting but not that good for swimming. The sloping is high and the water level is waist deep already some steps from the shore.

 Our tourist guide introduced us to another local for the snorkeling activity. We rode another boat, a rowboat that would take us to where the coral bed and fishes are. We left our things at the bigger boat, brought only our camera and biscuits to feed the fishes. Once geared with lifevest, we went to the sanctuary.

Along the way, we enjoyed the view of the clear ocean. We have seen several starfishes until we reached our destination. We dropped some biscuits were amazed on the volume of the fishes swam beside our boat. Snorkeling gears are for rent. We rented snorkeling mask and shoes since the corals might hurt our feet. Protective camera cases are also available for rent at PHP 300, pricey. Good thing I have my waterproof pouch with me. TIP: DO NOT FORGET TO BRING UNDERWATER CAMERA CASES AND BISCUITS.

 As I jump onto the water and tried snorkeling the first time, water came seeping through my mask. I swam back to the boat with panic. It was not easy at first getting used to breathing through the mouth. When I got the hang of it, I enjoyed feeding and watching the fishes. The view underwater is breathtaking.

I even got a handful of biscuits in the water. A lot fishes swam near my hand and ate up the food. When I momentarily move my fingers, they would shy away a bit but return to eating.

Life under the sea is truly dynamic and beautiful. The feeling is incomparable.

 We do not know how long we snorkeled. But it is one thing I would look forward to do again. We headed back to the shore to rest a bit. Once settled, we proceeded to the bigger boat for the next island, Virgin Island.We were hindered by some parts of the ocean that is too shallow for the boat. The boatman and his companion needed to manually navigate the boat using a long bamboo post.

The view is awesome. The sand is cold. Vendors sell fresh buco juice from the island, cooked sea urchins and even banana cue.

This was my favorite part of the Bohol Tour. Unfortunately, we still needed to catch up for the countryside tour. We weren't able to most part of the island. Maybe next time, we'll spend ample time island hoppind and snorkeling.

Now I have proved, there is more to Bohol than the Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills. I can wait to get back and step my foot on the sands and shores of the islands.

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This is so me Copyright 2010Think Pink Credits to Gisele Jaquenod Modified by Alei