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An Alien in Spain - Visits Philippines (Bohol / Panglao)

An Uber Car cost 257 Pesos (4.00 euro) from my hotel and took 1 hour in horrendous traffic to drop me off at Pier 3 Ferry Terminal where after a long wait in the queue I managed to secure a seat on the 10.40 am Ocean Jet fast ferry to Tagbilaran City on the Island of Bohol that takes an hour at a cost 500 pesos (7.85 euro) in the air-con section.

My final destination was the Island of Panglao connected to Bohol by two road bridges which I reached with the aid of a motor Tricycle from the port that cost 300 pesos (4.71 euro). A standard cost that cannot be negotiated and for a 30 minute ride it was cheap enough.

My hostel of choice for my two day stay was a bed in a dorm at "Lennon's Place Backpackers Hostel"( at Alona Beach which set me back 900 pesos (14.13 euro) which is run by Andy and Vicky a British Guy with a Philippine wife an amazing friendly couple.

After settling in I took walk to the beach to have a look and grab a bite to eat. The walk takes about 15 minutes with lots of places to eat along the way and further eateries along the beach front where again Dive shops abound.

After an afternoon spent on the beach followed by an excellent eat as much as you like buffet for 450 pesos (7.06 euro) whilst being entertained by a Philippine group I made my way back to the Hostel and booked a motor scooter 300 Pesos (4.71 euro) per day from the hostel ready for an early start next morning to explore the sights on Bohol Island and so to bed.

Day 2

An early 7.30 am start saw me on the roads which are well kept heading across the road bridge to the East of Panglau and along the circumferential road to Loay and inland from there to my first stop at Loboc. This was the town that was devastated a couple of years ago by a Typhoon that destroyed a church which is still being repaired.

Loboc is set on a river where there are plenty of activities arranged and there is an Eco Tourism Adventure Park for inland vacations. I even came across a custom I first saw in Thailand where you can hire a raft that travels up and down the river whilst you eat your meals and dance to music afterwards.

Along the same road about 10 mins you find yourself travelling along inside the Man Made Forest of Bilar that runs for about 5 Kms.

Emerging from the Forest of Bilar you come to the Bohol Tarsier conservation Area. The Tarsier is a very small nocturnal animal which at this time of day meant they were settling down to sleep but I managed to get a few pictures showing how cute they are.

After about 30 minutes which is sufficient time to look around the centre I was off again along the same route towards my final destination on Bohol "The Chocolate Hills".

On the way I was driving through an area of Rice production by locals where the fields were green and locals could be seen raking the seeds on the mats to the side of the road and the Chocolate Hills can be seen in the background.

Situated about 30 kms from the Tasier centre in the dry season the hills become chocolate brown coloured but as the rainy season has only just ended they are still green but you will get the Idea. There is a centre set up from which there is a charge of 20 pesos to park the bike but otherwise no fee and food and drink as well as souvenirs are available. There is a platform at the top of a lot of stairs only the fit should attempt but the photo opportunity at the top is worth the effort.

The whole trip with stops took, in the region of 5-6 hours, and so I took a slow ride back along the same route I had taken on the way there and made a stop off at a Picnic area along the circumferential road called "The Fad Beach Resort" just outside Laya where locals had gathered to enjoy an afternoon barbecue along with a Karaoke session. Notice how shallow the water is so far out, great for the kids.

Once back off of The Island of Bohol there was one last attraction I had been recommended to see on Panglau which is located on the opposite side of the Island to where I was staying but only 15 minutes away by scooter. Hinagdanan Cave where you can pay to swim in the cold clear water inside the cave turned out to be a real damp squid if you'll excuse the pun. Entry cost 50 Pesos (0.78 euro) and is down a ladder into the cave where other visitors are crowded in to a very restricted space and once you realise there is no fun to just jump in the lake and then have to come out (75 pesos) (1.18 euro) and wait at the bottom of the ladder while more visitors stream down as there is no traffic light system. Not worth the effort although the smoothies made by the locals up top for only 50 pesos are well worth the money.

Arriving back at the Hostel by 4 pm I had spent only 120 pesos (1.88 euro) on petrol so the scooter for the whole day had cost 420 pesos (6.59 euro). After a quick trip to put some food inside me I spent the last evening in good company at the hostel with a guy from Kent (Vinney) and an Austrian (Christian) and the owner Andy, getting a recommendation from Vinney for my next stay where he had just left and which worked out really well. And so to bed with a Motor Tricycle booked for 9 am and the ferry to Siquijor awaiting.

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