To my dearest friends, family and fellow culture cravers,
This week has been my last week in The Philippines. After reluctantly waving goodbye to Malapascua Island, we headed South of Cebu to Moalboal – a small town renowned for its exceptional snorkelling and vibrant azure waterfalls.
On our first day we rented a moped to explore the areas hot springs as well as, the famous Kawasan Falls.
We cruised alongside the waterfront passing luscious mountains, palm trees and quaint local villages before turning down a dirt track to the springs.
Nestled below towering rocks, the steaming pools were the perfect place to chill out on a rainy day.
Once we were sufficiently ‘pruney’ we hopped back on the bike and drove towards Kawasan Falls. Dubbed as a bright blue, three-tiered waterfall with bamboo rafts and jumping spots galore, we were really excited to check it out.
It wasn’t as we had expected…
Due to heavy rain that morning, the usual blue water was a murky brown and the waterfalls were flowing so hard, jumping would have been a deathly idea.
We still trekked our way to all three waterfalls hoping that one may be a little bluer or calmer than the last but we had no luck. People said it was the worst possible day to go and see them – brillo!
Alas, our next day MORE than made up for it. One of the biggest draws to Moalboal is its excellent snorkelling. Just a few steps off of the shore you can find the ‘sardine run’, a shoal of thousands of sardines swimming in unison through the water as well as, great fish and corals.
We grabbed a snorkel, made a quick prayer to see turtles and dove in.
Within seconds we were encompassed by a crazy number of small sardines.
Swimming along in exactly the same direction creating a mesmerising pipe shape, it was hard to believe just how many sardines there were. Occasionally we would see a flash of silver where one fish had moved and caught the sunlight before returning back to its regimented spot.
Once I’d swum past the sardine run, I was greeted by unique and colourful corals…
Vibrant, cute and endearing fish…
AND A BIG FAT HUMUNGOUS, BEAUTIFUL TURTLE (there is a God)…
I was blown away. It was the biggest turtle I’d ever seen and I was lucky enough to be the only one there to watch and admire it. I gazed at it an adoration for at least twenty minutes as it slept, roamed around the corals and swam through the deep blue water. It was so so special.
There was even a point when a sea snake slithered underneath it.
After waving goodbye to that fellow I then bumped into one of his pals…
We had a quick lunch pit stop before jumping back into the water where we were treated to seeing five more turtles! I couldn’t believe our luck.
Moalboal is worth the journey simply for the snorkelling. It’s the best I’ve ever seen and I feel it’ll now be very hard to beat (bugger)!
When our time in Moalboal came to an end, I had to wave goodbye to the two people I’d been travelling with for almost 2 weeks and venture towards Bohol – an island around 2 hours off of the east coast of Cebu.
The main attraction of this island is the Chocolate Hills, an abundance of vibrant green pointy mounds.
I based myself at a hostel called Alona Hammocks on Alona Beach, where I stayed in a treehouse – it was very cool! I had very limited time in Bohol as I had to head back to Cebu to catch my flight back up to Manila so, on my first day I headed straight to the Choco Hills.
Reluctant to go on a rip off tour, I found my own way there – a jeepney + a bus = a bargain/long trip.
2 hours later I arrived. I wandered to the top of the hill to check out the viewpoint. There was a panoramic view across the well-known vibrant mounds, which were beautiful. But… perhaps not worth the hype.
Unsatisfied with a 5 minute look out when I’d travelled so far, I snuck into the foliage and wandered through the peaceful villages and pretty scenery that lay below the hills – this was the real highlight of my day there. Peace and quiet, no other tourists and a packet of crisps to keep me company.
After a strenuous one and a half day lay over in Manila airport and a bout of the flu (not an ideal combo), I’m now in Kota Kinabalu in Borneo!!! I’m so excited for the next couple of weeks to explore this area. Bring on the Orangutans!!!
Until next week…