The Philippines: Dumaguete

With my alarm waking me up early, I arose and got ready for the day. I ate brekkie then left the hostel walking to the main road to catch a Jeepney to a ferry port. At the port, I bought some new flip-flop then purchased a ticket to go to Cebu Island. I had decided to go to Oslob to see the whale sharks. The journey was pretty stand with loads of people of the boat. I managed to easily board the bus to take me to the view area.img_20160818_131129

In no time, I was at reception, where I paid for a ticket then changed into my bikini. There were masses of people around, and, now, I wasn’t sure I want to see them. I had completely mixed reviews. However, I soon realised it was basically a tourist attraction, where they were taking money and not treating the whale sharks well.

After an initial safety talk, I waited until my number was called, grabbed a life jacket and steeped into the small boat with about 8 of us in. looking out from the shore I could just see about twenty boats filled with people. At a closer look I realised there were other boats with guides feeding the whale sharks and directing them, pacing back and forth. When I got in the water, it was cool to see the whale sharks, and pretty spectacular how close I got but I just felt like it was all for a show. You get about 30 minutes in the water before they demand you to return to the boat, where they take you to shore.img_20160821_142850

Once I had put some clothes back on, I managed to catch a coach back to the port and cross to Dumguete.

During the afternoon, I walked around the market then hired a motorbike for the next 24 hours. I had been told about a few places to go to on a bike as you can’t get public transport to them.img_20160821_152913

I drove back along the main road passed the ferry port then turned off on to a country lane into the hills. Motorbiking through the picturesque scenery overlooking the ocean was just bliss. Miles along the path, I reached a little cabin with people taking admission fees, where I then continued up the mountain to the Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao & Danao. The weather was still a bit overcast but the the lakes were pretty. I bush-walked around one of the lakes, over huge rocks and narrow paths, to find the view point of both lakes. DCIM114GOPROIt was really nice and there was no one there so it felt really peaceful. On the hike back, I bumped into a few groups including some younger Filipinos, who wanted to take a photo with me. they invited me to stay with them but I felt a little self-conscience. Instead, I returned back to the hostel, stopping at a clothes market on the way back and buying some fresh fruit.

I felt exhausted by the time I return to my hostel so I literally just grabbed some food and went to bed. My hostel hardly had any people staying there and the people who did stay all were local people rather than travellers so it really wasn’t social.img_20160822_084219

I rose pretty early to do two last things before going to the ferry port. First I drove to the Casaroro falls, which was easy to find as it was just up a main road. However, the last part of the track had roadworks so I was confused where to go When I arrived it seemed like an abandoned area but spoke to a guy who directed me to the start of the walk. They tried to convenience me that I needed a guide but I knew I would manage. After about 200 downward steps, I reach the bottom where I had to navigate myself over the water, climbing and jump on enormous stones in flip-flip. As I was crossing the river, my flip-flop got stuck and two minutes later, it was no-where to be found. I searched and search but it was a hopeless case, praying that it wasn’t much further to the waterfall. Luckily, it was just around a bend, where huge water fell. I tried to take some selfie but I think I failed miserably.DCIM114GOPRO

As I was hiking back, I had my eyes fixed on the water to see if I could find my shoe. There in the corner under a rock I could see this red strip. Yes, I had found it! Now just to get to it over the slippery rocks and through the water. I left my stuff on the path while I struggled to reach it but I was determined and finally retrieved my flip-flop. I was so happy. The rest of the walk was not as entertaining but I was huffing a lot as I climbed back up to my bike.

I was debating what I should do next. Did I have time to go to the hot pool? Yes, why not?DCIM114GOPRO

I drove through the windy roads, getting slightly lost, surrounded by mountainous views with light rain filling the sky. I didn’t really think about what this place would be like. With high cliffs and a shallow river, the Red Rock Hot Spring was perched on the side overlooking. When I walked in, I felt out of place with group of Filipinos in the outside hot pool. I pushed these thoughts aside, striped and dunked into the water. It was just amazing with the hot water flowing around me and the cool air above. I wish I could have stayed here forever. In the pool. I had a conversation with a younger girl in her late teens and an older guy who was with his family. He had some wise words.

Soon enough, I had to drag myself away knowing I needed to return the motorbike. Once I had returned the bike in the centre of town, I bought some food from the supermarket then collected my bag to go to the ferry port. I was waiting around for my boat but when I went to walk through the terminal, the guards told me the ferry wasn’t departing today. When I went back to the kiosk where I bought my ticket, there was a sign sayind that the boat was cancelled due to ‘big’ waves. Well, this was annoying and not on my agenda as I wanted to get to Bohol Island today.img_20160818_111513

There wasn’t anything I could do about it so I headed back to the same hostel and re-checked in, staying one more night. There wasn’t anything else to do in Dumaguete that I hadn’t already done so I just relaxed, wrote and had a nap before having an early night.

There was no real need to get up as early as the previous day so I had a lie-in, ate my complimentary breakfast before walking to the port to see if a boat was heading out. They didn’t know for sure but were hoping to as the sea had calmed down.DCIM114GOPRO

By the shore, I popped into a coffee shop to enjoy a latte but I was slightly disappointed. It was nice to gather my thoughts and rest (even though I didn’t need anymore rest).

DCIM114GOPROBack at the hostel, I gathered my belonging and headed back to the ferry port. It felt like Deja vu. Anyway, they decided to run the ferry, which was super awesome for me.
After kind of checking-in, I waited in the terminal room for what seemed like forever as the ferry was late arriving. The ferry was surprisingly smooth with a movie playing in the background.


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