Hello Bohol!June 8, 2018 on the Philippines ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F
Getting from Banaue to Loboc in Bohol was a mission and a half! First I had to get an overnight bus from Banaue to Manila arriving at 4am, then a grab taxi to Manila airport (with my taxi driver telling me I was “verrry prretty” ever few minutes) where I found out my 9am flight to Cebu was delayed by two hours. I finally arrived at Cebu airport eat 13:30, got a taxi to the ferry terminal, waited another two hours at the terminal until taking the two hour ferry to Bohol where I then found a trike driver to take me inland to the village of Loboc (during which he serenaded me with Bon Jovi songs). After 45 minutes I was finally dropped at the access road to my guest house where I then had to walk the last 10 minutes of my journey in the pitch black with only my iPhone torch to guide me. After 24hours and 6 different forms of transport I finally reached my home for the next few days, the jungle haven that is Nuts Huts. And boy was I not disappointed! Aside from having to descend about 100 steps to reach the property (all the while thinking “what does down must come up”) this place was a gem in the jungle. The reception and restaurant area was halfway down the stairs and was open on all sides to the jungle, like a giant tree house. I was greeted by the manager who gave me my key and told me to follow the stairs down to the bottom to the sleeping huts. My dorm was the first hut and was very simple wit four beds with mosquito nets and to my surprise each had its own light and plug socket. Next to the dorm hut was a small bathroom hut which was actually pretty nice considering it was in the middle of the jungle. I was pretty tired by this point (not surprising after 24hours of travelling) so I decided to have a quick dinner (yes i has to climb back up those stairs, the first time of many) and then head to bed.
When I woke up the next morning and stepped outside I found that my little hut was right next to the river, and a proper jungle river at that (i.e. it was green). After a quick breakfast i decided to cross the river (by a boat rowed by one of the local guys) an walk along the river and river terraces to the town. From the town I then caught one of the jeepneys (fending off the ever present “trike, trike?” calls) to the nearby tarsier sanctuary. The tour of the sanctuary takes around 20 minutes and you are with a guide the whole time to ensure that people remain quiet and no one gets too close to the tarsiers. It’s probably one of the best sanctuaries i have been to for being respectful to the animals. After the sanctuary I followed the footpath through the woods to the nearby “tree park” (which turned out to just be a field surrounded by trees). After the park I headed back to the main road and caught the jeepney back to the town (during which we took a 20 minute detour to deliver some corrugated iron to a small farm house, even the locals were bemused). Back at the hostel I met two of the new guests, an English couple, and we decided to swim in the river down to the “spring” which was 600m away (something I definitely didn’t want to do alone!). After a pretty long swim (luckily the couple had a dry bag which I used as a float most of the way) we reached the “spring” aka a cold pool of water cut into the side of the river bank. Very underwhelmed and now tired and hungry we decided to walk back to the guest house for dinner.
On my second day I decided to walk back along the access road (pretty different in daylight I can tell you) and catch the local bus in the opposite direction to the tarsier sanctuary to the Chocolate hills, the main attraction on the island. Although the bus was a coach and so more modern than the jeepney, I spent most of the journey sitting on the floor of the aisle right at the front next to the driver. The only plus side of which was that I had a pretty great view of our drive. Plus the driver kept turning to me every few minutes to say “chocolate hills not chocolate mills” which I found quite amusing. The chocolate hills are a so far unexplained geological formation of over 1200 hills over a 50 square kilometre area, which when looked at from the top of one such hill makes for a pretty impressive sight. After taking in the 360 degree view for a while I took the bus back to my little haven and spent the afternoon reading in one of the hammocks before deciding to venture to the “waterfall” 800m in the opposite direction of the spring. As I was on my own this time I decided to swim across to the other side of the river and walk to the waterfall. The short walk took me past quite a few locals’ huts, slightly comical as I was just wearing a bikini (they were very nice and smiled at me though). When I got to the end of the path I saw that I was about 20 meters away from the waterfall (which in true Bohol fashion was pretty small and underwhelming) and would have to swim the rest of the way. As I was on my own I decided not to risk it (see Mum I am sensible!) so I just had a quick dip and headed back to the guest house. As it was my last night in my little jungle paradise I decided to treat myself to a massage. It was so good I nearly fell asleep on the table.
So there you have my few days in Bohol.
Next up is the island of Palawan for a few days on the beach!