4:30am: 136 Roosters (or about that) call out of the top of their lungs to let the world know that the sun should be up in an hour or so. I hear no break in between their calls. It reminds me of Tonga, but a lot worse.
We are getting a ride downtown to have breakfast. The bread at the bakery looks different; it tastes very sweet, almost like cake.
At 7:30 we are meeting our guide Romeo, a nice 19-year-old Philippino bloke. He takes us to the markets, so we can choose our own lunch: Parrot fish, rice and beans.
This is the first time I’m jumping onto a banka, a Philippino wooden boat with outriggers on each side. A warm breeze is blowing around us and in the background we can see majestic Coron island. Romeo and the other guy on board take us to a snorkelling spot first. The water has exactly air temperature; you feel no difference of being in, or out of the water. Fish is all around us and they try and eat my bracelet, which is made out of shells. The coral is plenty and colourful, we feel like a fish ourselves.
We are going through a beautiful blue and turquoise lagoon and anchor the boat at the end of it. After paying an entrance fee, Romeo takes us up over a cliff and back down on the other side; the beauty is taking my breath away.
Kayangan Lake sits on top of Coron Island, there actually are seven freshwater lakes and Kayangan is only a small one of them. The others are impossible to get to and can only be seen from the air.
Logan and I are in the water very quickly. There are cliffs all around the lake and with my snorkel and goggles on, I can follow them deep down the lake. It looks magic, like an underwater cathedral.
Logan is swimming all the way across the lake. I’m watching him from the distance climbing up cliffs. Back out of the water, he is bleeding on his foot and back, typical! I don’t even acknowledge these little cuts anymore; the guide is almost freaking out and pulls out the first aid kit. We start laughing.
On our way back we stop at the top of the cliff and enjoy the lookout over the lagoon.
Lunchtime! We are about to stop at a beach for lunch. There are two monkeys tied up to the tree, poor things! Romeo brings over our fish with rice and beans. The fish is literally black and he tells us, we need to peel the skin off. Underneath I find bones and the guts –Fish cooked Philippino way! It’s quite good actually and Logan makes the fish talk to me by opening and closing its mouth.
While the other tourists have lunch on the beach, we make our way to a snorkelling spot with a sunken Japanese warship. A little bit of snorkelling here but since it lies on an angle, only one end is visible.
Romeo tells us our next stop is Barracuda Lake. He points down into the water and we see it’s clear and all of a sudden it is becoming all blurry. How…?
Logan and I jump in the water and then I feel it! It’s thermal!! Hot water mixed in with warm water. I find it amazing to be able to see the hot water and keep looking at the changing clarity of water with my goggles. There is fish everywhere; the water is cobalt blue and the sand very white. Logan and I keep diving down to reach even warmer temperatures. Later I read, at the bottom of the lake temperatures reach about 38 degrees.
Litter everywhere! “CYC Beach”, does that stand for recycle here? Our last stop could have been a lot nicer, if it was a clean beach. There are also three residents on the island: two starving cats and a very lonely monkey. Some ignorant locals are hanging out in the filth while adding to it.
After our island hopping tour, Logan and I are waving down a tricycle to head to the Rocksteady Dive Centre where we book our discover scuba dive for tomorrow. We are excited!
Back at Kokosnuss, we are having dinner and are being served by one of those “lady boys”. They are boys or men dressed like girls, behaving like girls and talking like girls. Sometimes you can hardly tell their gender. Lady boys are accepted as every other Philippino person, more than we are with our semi-brown skin, blond or brown hair and dreadlocks!