Woohhhhooo - Whale Sharks
After leaving Palawan, we flew back into Manila and spent an afternoon of Westernisation (I know, sad...but we were only really after the air-con!). We headed to the Mall of Asia and went to the movies! Saw some stupid American comedy - stupid, but chilled out for a few hours. Ashamed to admit it, but we then ate McDonalds!
Our overnight bus journey departed at 7pm, so we headed to the bus station and the bus left right on the dot. They showed a movie on board (Bedtime Stories, way better than the one we saw at the cinema!) and then we popped one of the 'little yellow pills' and tried to sleep. I managed to get quite a bit.
We arrived in Legaspi - and were both dead. Even though we slept a little, it felt like we hadn;t had any at all. Then there was 2 hours of waiting an another bus station, before we caught yet another bus to DOnsol.
Finally, after almost 15 hours we arrived at our destination - completely exhausted and out of it. We went straight to the Tourist Centre to book our trip for the
next day, then went back to our room and slept. We woke up, ate some rice (I'm telling you the food here is not great) and then went back to sleep (at 6pm!) and woke at 6am for our Whale Shark adventure!
We got to the Tourist Centre, met up with the other 4 people who we'd share this experience with and met our guide. He briefly talked us through what would happen, and that - of course, sightings were not guaranteed as these were wild animals.
We took off in our boat, and drove in search of these amazing sharks. Making me feel better, is the fact that even though they are huge, they don't eat us! They only eat plankton and krill, which is in abundance in this area at this time of the year. The mouths are HUGE and they just filter in all the good stuff!
Anyway, probably about 30 minutes in, our guide gave us the signal - get ready we're going in! We jumped in the water, the current was strong and there was a technique to jumping off these strange boats without jumping on top of the person next
to you (ie, me accidentally jumping on Shaun's back in the water!). Anyway, we were all in and swimming to keep up with our guide. Finally he shouted ''look down now''
We looked under the water and we saw this Whale Shark, right underneath us! It was amazing!!! She was beautiful, but only medium sized at around 6m. We were so lucky, she let us swim along side her for ages, i'd say around 15 minutes! She was just swimming and eating, and we were ducking and diving next to her.
For the next 3 hours, we saw a total of 5 Whale Sharks, the biggest was around 10-12meters and also the most elusive. It was such an amazing experience that we'll never forget. I can't even describe any more how awesome it was! Just check out the photos....
We left Donsol that afternoon, still buzzing from the experience and headed to Legaspi where our flight was departing from. We arrived, got a cheap room, ate some rice (!!) and went to bed.
Arriving back into Manila the following day was a completley different experience...Alissa was there waiting for us 😊
We got a cab back
to her place which was in the 'posh expat' area, and it was awesome! SHe was our Angel, feeding us REAL sandwiches with REAL bread, ham, cheese and it was seriously the best meal we had eaten for weeks!!!!!!!!!!!
We chilled out in her air conditioned appartment, and headed out to for Mexican and cocktails later that night. It was so wierd, because although this was Manila - we felt like we were in a completley different city to our last experience of Manila!!!
We had a really awesome night, and it was soo nice to chill out with Alissa for 24 hours and feel a bit normal again 😊
The next morning, her 'driver' (I know!) took us to Clark Airport (which would usually have been the biggest mission in the world) in the a/c van and we flew away from the Philippines, en route to Koh Samui - THailand!
We really loved the Phills, but bring on real food and we'll be happy again!
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