Published: October 17th 2011September 20th 2011
I stayed at Harolds Pension which is probably the best place I've stayed at in the Philippines and the cheapest after initially only going to say for three nights I changed my mind to five as there is loads to do here, including awesome diving at Apo Island and the worlds best muck diving.
The first afternoon I had a walk around the town and the waterfront. Then the hostel was having a BBQ night so at 6pm they took us to the market to buy whatever we wanted I had some fresh tuna with egg plant and pumpkin. Then they seasoned it for us and cooked it, I ate too much but it was delicious. I met everyone else staying at the hostel and we spent the evening sat on the roof top restaurant chatting randomly.
I managed to book diving at Apo island for saturday whoo! And muck diving on sunday whoo! But that gave me two days, so firstly I found the museum which is within the university. The guard asked me for photo id I said I didn't have any on me only visa so he asked if I had my passport, no thats
photo id, so do I have my driving license, no thats photo id, I don't have any photo id! Stupid, the conversation was even stupider in the museum, you can't eat inside and I had an apple core but he had no bin. Very random.
The museum was quite good lots of information on what they do with plants to make medicine but they closed at 1130 and I like to spend hours walking around so didn't really see much in the end.
After lunch I went with Andy to the waterfall. It was over 300 steps down then obviously back up! I'm glad it was down first otherwise probably would never have made it. Another nice waterfall though no rocks this time just a large drop. But I've down seen so many waterfalls, really to many, time for something different. We then had to walk the two km back to where we had left the scooter but that was easy. For dinner I had cottage pie but I think I'm going to go back to the rice their not that great at western food and you never get what you expect. And for desert they did a
non rising brownie, super thin.
While in Dumaguete I took the short boat trip over to Siquijar. Initially I was going to spend a few days here but I wanted to do the diving at Apo and the muck diving it meant I could only do a day trip. You can get around the island in about 3hrs on a scooter, but I can't drive (gotta learn : ) )
When I got to the end of the jetty there was a tourist information and it was quick and easy after a bit of bartering to get a driver and a scooter for a trip around the island. Our first stop was Capilays spring park. A beautiful natural fresh water spring that has been made into a swimming pool for the locals. On the way to SanJose we stopped off at a huge, hundreds of years old tree which the locals are very proud of, a church built in 1884 and the elementary school another very old building. San Jose is one of the main towns on the island and the day I visited was the birthday of the island so they were having celebrations Philippino style. Music,
games, motorbike racing, chicken fights and markets.
After stopping by another waterfall (beautiful of cause) where I got bombarded by ladies trying to sell me drinks when I had water then getting me to buy the driver a drink, we drove up into the mountains to the lookout. From the lookout we got amazing views over Cebu, Dumaguete and Bohol. The lookout was a short walk from the road and it was a hot day so we needed to relax a little before we drove on.
For lunch we stopped at one of the accommodations by the beach. The food was good but they gave me a bigger portion than what it said on the menu so wanted to charge me triple the price! After lunch it was back to the pier to wait for the boat back. Boarding the boat I'd forgotten about the terminal fee and had to run all the way back upto the main gate to pay it. But hey I made it on the boat in time for the bumpy ride back. Getting back to Dumaguete I somehow managed to get very lost on the ten minute walk back. In the end after
over an hour of walking and still been lost I took a tuk tuk back, he said I was 2.5km away! Thats not a ten minute walk. Lesson learnt go the way you know not the way you think is the quick way : )
A whole weekend diving! I did five dives in two days, they were awesome but very tiring! I had booked with Scuba Ventures but we joined the trip with the hostel which was cool otherwise it would have been a long day with no-one to talk too. But I did have my own master diver, so kind of the best of both worlds. The boat was the best boat I've been on in so long too, brand new.
Anyway the first day we headed to Apo Island and dove at Chapel Point, Rock Point and Coconut Point. The second day it was off to Dauin for some muck diving first at the car wreck then Poblaum Uno. All of them were amazing dive sites. We saw turtles, groubers, cattlefish, garden eels, lion fish, frog fish, harliquin ghostpipe fish, bumphead parrot fish and so much more. The weather and visability were perfect. Muck diving
is so different to reef diving the animals are much smaller and you find wierd things that look like leafs and twigs that are actually alive, we saw members of the sea horse family but not actual seahorses gutted! The reef diving was amazing some of the best reefs I've seen with the most fish, so many amazing colours, the reefs have been well looked after for a change and you can tell. I love to see the turtles though, my favourite and we saw them on four out of the five dives.
The first night after diving at Apo nine of us went out for dinner then to a bar after. The restuarant did delicious pizza but they don't really seem to have much of a Philippino crusine, They have one, its just not very interesting and they seem to make some of the most delicious pizzas everywhere. The night after diving at Dauin was hard work and everyone was tired. Seven of us headed back to the bar we had been at the night before after most of the places were closed due to it been sunday and the did average mexican food which if it had
been good would have been nice for a change.
I then spent most of the evening deciding weather to leave the next day or not. I had planned too, but I really couldn't be bothered to go back and organise my bag then get up at six for the boat and so on. In the end I was in bed for eight thirty and decided to spend one more day here. Its a great town and there are loads of people here and plenty to do for one more day, so why not?
After chatting with Brianna last night we agreed to get up and decide what we wanted to do. Having breakfast with Harrold the owner I learnt about the local Marine Lab operated by the university so we put that on the to do list along with a trip to the museum again as on my last visit I didn't get chance to see half of it as it closes over lunch for 2.5hrs!
So after getting ready we headed for the museum and had a similar random conversation with the guard about id, but we eventually made it into the museum with our cards
still with us after they wanted to keep the visa cards in exchange for a visiters pass. This time I made it upstairs to read about the Japanese and Spanish history in the Philippines and see the small art collection. Not feeling like going straight to the marine lab we went in search of a good massage place, but why is it when you are looking for one you can never find one? We nearly gave up but then found one within a hotel that looked respectable. We each had a very relaxing 75 min signiture massage for 250pesos a bargin! And so worth it. Dumaguete is full of good ish places to eat and we found a nice cafe that did a decent chilli con carne.
After lunch we walked about 30 mins down to the marine lab. They have a breeding program for Gropers and clams, they also have a rehabilitation program for turtles and crocodiles. Inside the museum they have a large collection of whale bones and information on whales, turtles and sea cows.
There are more photos below