Published: May 4th 2010April 30th 2010
the most symmetrical volcano in the world. so beautiful. this is at the legazpi terminal
Lau and Shelli were still undecided last wednesday when i asked them if we were good to go. so i looked for a travel buddy in travbuddy dot com and found victor. seems like a nice enough guy whos about my age. checked his facebook page to make sure that hes not a creep. he turned out ok. so i decided to meet up with him in donsol. but Lau and Shelli decided to go in the last minute. so the three of us went together.
it was my first time to go to the Bicol region. my first time in Araneta bus station. it was absolutely crazy! all the good buses were fully booked. we we ended up in a crappy bus with cramped seats. the trip was supposed to take only 10 hours but the bus was so slow it took us almost 12 hours!
when we finally arrived in the terminal where vans and buses leave for donsol. when we found the van, i found victor. talking to a Dutch backpacker Maaike. We chatted with Maiike and asked her about her travels. shes travelling around asia and started with japan. so there were five of us
at the boat
this is me and Maaike the Dutch backpacker
now to share the cost of the boat. it took about an hour and a half to get to donsol. the van wont leave unless its full so we paid for the fare of the remaining two seats. i forget how much but i think its less than 90 pesos. flagged down a tricycle to take us to the tourism office. for five people we paid 700 pesos each for the tour. and another 100 pesos for, i forget. its 300 pesos for foreign tourist so we paid 800 each while Maaike paid 1000. we had lunch at Amor resort near the tourism office. food was ok. not as cheap as i was expecting food in the province will be. it wasnt bad but it was ok.
the first trip leaves at 7:30am. we were late for that so we took the 2nd trip which leaves at 10:30. each trip is 3 hours. the first trip found only two whalesharks. very disappointing. the guides told us that its because it was full moon. the waves were big. and they were indeed. whalesharks like placid waters. very few of them come out when the waves are high. we were all
The Butanding spotter
no, this is not how the spotters do it. this is just how i imagined them to be
a bit nervous. and thought all the effort would go to waste. we would have travelled 14 hours for nothing!
and then we found one! the guide told me it swam right under me but i only saw the tail. and it scared the shit out of me! i swam away as soon as i saw it! Maaike said i was screaming. it was crazy! we were all flappin around looking for it. excited and scared. the BIO found another one and they dropped us right on its head! i swam away again. its mouth was open. and no matter how tame those things are, they fact that i can fit into its mouth very easily is reason enough to avoid its head when the mouth is open.
i later realized that the BIO was intentionally dropping us off right at the sharks face. the fourth one that we found swam right under me! the whole lenght! i was so scared. i didnt have flippers so i couldnt go away fast enough. the waves were too big for me to swim easily. we found a total of six that day.
definitely worth every penny. twas amazing. we
found six in total but i only saw four. the line at the showers was long. Maaike didnt bother. We interviewed maaike while waiting. the family that was seating with us in the cabana offered us food. maiike thought it was very nice of them. and it was but thats normal here in the philippines. being hospitable and offering food. offering food is done unconsciously without meaning it.
we were supposed to take a tricycle to the town center and from there ride a jeepney to legazpi. but we found a van that took a family to donsol and the driver was on his way home without passengers. so he offered us a ride to legazpi for only 70 pesos each. steal! so we took it.
Lau, Shelli and I didnt really plan enough for this trip. we didnt know where to stay. its filipino culture i guess. we live for the day. good thing Maaike had LP guidebook. i forget the name of the hostel but its the one right in front of the Pacific mall. 700 pesos for tripple sharing with AC. not bad. so we took it. if you want to stay there its right across pacific mall and the name had the words net and cafe with it. coz theres an interned cafe inside. should be easy enough to spot.