Posts Tagged With: Island

What if money didn’t matter?

The most dangerous risk of all – The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

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Manfredonia and Gargano NP

 

We are getting our push bikes ready to discover Manfredonia today. First we are riding along the (polluted – for Australian standards) beach and then head into the city. The cliffs in the background look interesting to us and we are planning on driving up there after some sightseeing in Manfred.

 

Most of the city’s buildings are white and joint to each other with balconies. The streets are small but since it’s Sunday, everyone is out on the streets and walking into the cathedral.

 

We are riding back to our van and then make our way to the Gargano National Park (the home of Gargamel – I’m kidding!). To get there we have to drive very high up over the

cliff and mountains on which Monte Sant’ Angelo is situated. The views are impressive but we keep going further inland, into the National Park, where we find ourselves a beautiful little spot in the ancient forest, covered with a green canopy.

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Rügen, a German island in the Baltic Sea

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The Christmas tree we chopped down last week is still standing and after unwrapping our presents we have Fricassee for dinner. The next day we have the traditional goose with dumplings and red cabbage, oh how did I miss this in Australia.

One of the presents from my parents is a little blue bag that, upon opening, makes the noise of waves and seagulls. Inside I find a voucher for 2 nights in a 5 star hotel on Rügen, an island in the Baltic Sea. That is just awesome!

A day later I call up the hotel, to see if there is a room available for the next two nights and indeed, the friendly lady could book us in.

Off we are on a three-day mission to Rügen!

Before checking in at the Cliff Hotel on Rügen, we drive to Prora, a place with a lot of history. Hitler’s plan for Prora was to build a holiday camp for the hard working Germans, to regain their strength. The “Kraft durch Freude” (power through happiness) camp was supposed to hold 20,000 people at once. Hitler’s idealistic and militant views are reflected in the straight architecture and the size of the buildings seems to represent the large and strong German people and army. Today it’s all in ruins, sad and grey. In 1939 the war broke out and money went into producing weapons. During the war it was used as a station for wounded soldiers and after Germany lost the war, the Russians took over the buildings and destroyed parts of it.

Today there is a youth hostel in one of the 8 buildings that stretch over a length of 5km but there are no further plans for the rest of the massive structure, as it’s heritage listed.

Inside the museum we find original WWII blankets, helmets, dishes and more. There is a 18m model of the 5km long structure and it’s only now that we realise how long it really is. There are a lot of original documents like letters, newspaper articles and parts of schoolbooks full of fascist propaganda.

On our second day we are going to check out the “Königsstuhl”, a big chalk rock and cliff formation. To get there we have to walk for an hour through a beautiful old German forest and then down wooden stairs to the bottom of the cliff and a pebbly beach. It’s a bit frightening to stand below such a massive cliff, especially when you know that only yesterday a girl was buried underneath a landslide a few kilometres down the beach.

After a lovely dinner we are enjoying the pool and spa area of the hotel and try out the different saunas and do a few laps in the pool. Logan had to press the red emergency button in the sauna but I thought it was more worrying that no one actually came to check on us. At 10pm the sauna and spa closed and it was time for us to go to bed.

Weather has turned quite bad on our third day. Thick clouds, wind and rain have come over Germany’s north coast so our last day falls rather short. We choose to visit Prerow, a resort village with a nice wide beach and Ahrenshoop, the village of arts. Houses are painted in all sorts of colours and the thatched roofs look amazing. A life band is playing on a stage while people watch them in the rainy weather. We are just having a hot chocolate inside a café and then leave for Magdeburg.

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Island Hopping El Nido 25/11/11

Since the island hopping tours have fallen short on Malapacao island, we still had to check out more islands in the archipelago. We decided that Tour C to Matinloc Island, Secret Beach and Helicopter Island would cover most of the islands that we haven’t seen yet.

It was quite bumpy on the sea and after a 30-min boat ride we stopped on Matinloc Island. All you see is a massive limestone cliff and a tiny hole in it. The swell is quite big and I wonder if all the 12 passengers are capable of swimming through a hole with sharp edges. Some people seem to panic slightly and kick around with their legs and feet. The water quality is really good this time and I can see about 5 or more meters down. I watch the fish watching us human beings making it through the tiny hole and on the other side I find a coral garden in very shallow water. I glide above it, trying not to touch anything. When I turn around I see everyone walking on the coral. This is tourism. Shouldn’t the guides educate the tourists? I’m disappointed and wonder if I should say anything. How do you explain a Philippino guy that they need to look after their precious natural wonder, when they litter their town and all their waste water is going right out to the ocean.

Secret beach is nice but it would be a lot more beautiful and secret without the crowds and if the coral was still intact.

We swim back through the tiny hole in the wall and the nervous tour guides are relieved that no-one has been hurt. The next stop is a snorkeling spot. Another coral cemetery! A bit sad really but there are lots of sea urchins in all different colours and beautiful fish. Logan seems to enjoy himself diving down deeper and further each time. I wonder if he will pursue the carrier of a skin diver?

For lunch we stop at a small beach and get served a whole fish with rice and soy sauce and some watermelon for desert. Watermelon appears to be a great environment for E-Coli, so I just reduce it to the fish and rice.

On the way back we stop at helicopter island and everyone jumps in the water. The swell is so big that it lifts up the boat under the breaking waves on the shore and our guide is getting swallowed by one of the waves when he tries to get to the beach. The anchor just wouldn’t stay in place and we left soon thereafter.

Back in El Nido we just grab a burger from a local place and disappear in the room to work on our footage and blog.

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Malapacao 23/11/11

“Happy birthday” says Logan. It’s still dark outside and a few minutes later Leeann is calling out for us. We told her yesterday we wanted to do an island hopping trip today. We paid for 5 nights, including two half day island hopping trips, so we thought we better do it soon before we need to leave the island due to hunger.

Logan and I were dearly hoping that the crazy woman wouldn’t come on the trip but for some reason, she decided to join us – in her see-through crochet bathing suit that rather looked like lingerie. We are making our way to the big lagoon. The way through to the lagoon is so shallow, we need to get off the boat and push it. The Philippino captain is maneuvering around big rocks, one of them skimming the outrigger of the banka. We drive in, turn around  and leave the lagoon already. Quick visit! The small lagoon is right next to the big one. This time we have to anchor the boat outside and swim through an entrance into the small lagoon. There is lots of coral and fish in there but unfortunately the water visibility is not the best today. It is still impressing with the steep limestone cliffs surrounding the lagoon and holding it like a treasure. We swim into two caves, one is very narrow and I’m trying my best not to hurt any coral. During our swim, Leeann collects some leaves off the cliff walls and Logan jokingly says: That’s our lunch. Unfortunately we knew it was the truth!!

We are swimming back to the banka but I feel there is a strange mood in the air. I’m asking Leeann where we are going next and she says: “Home!” Home? I thought this was supposed to be a half-day trip, not a 1hr trip? I’m totally disappointed and tell Logan that I want to leave the island today. I’m hungry, not happy and this is my birthday. All I have been thinking off the last two and a half days was normal food.

On the way back, we drop Logan off at Inabuyatan island, so he can swim back. It’s a 1.7km swim and takes about 45 minutes. (on the map you can find Malapacao and Inabuyatan in Tour B) While Logan is swimming, I’m washing some clothes in a bucket with soap, so they can dry before we are leaving.

Back at the hut, Logan and I discuss how we are going to tell Leeann about our decision to leave. We walk over to her hut and tell her that we decided to leave today as we would like to go exploring a bit more around El Nido. She asks where we’d like to go, so Logan says, we’d like to hire a motorbike and go for a ride. She responds: The roads are too bad, I hurt myself once falling off a bike. So I say: and we’d like to see the waterfalls. “The waterfalls are not good at all, they don’t carry water this time of the year.” She also says: “Is it the food? Do you want some rice?” I’m thinking, oh yes and I want a lot more than that. She says: “Well we can take you to El Nido and pick you up again!?” Logan and I don’t know what else to say. We really would just like to leave and not be impolite or make this a big drama. So Logan says: “We don’t really know where we will go, so we’ll leave this afternoon please.” She finally accepts. Thank god!

We are impatiently awaiting the afternoon with a very hungry tummy. Finally back on the banka I feed relieved. We go straight back to the Sands Inn, throw our bags in the room and quickly walk to the Art Cafe. I order Spaghetti Carbonara and Logan has a large pizza. FINALLY! I’m happy and can enjoy my birthday.

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Malapacao 22/11/11

Attention everyone planning on going to Malapacao Health Retreat. Do NOT go. Read this: http://restlessenergy.org/

To summarize in short: Leann Cruz was shut down by the government but is now operating under a fake name, a new business name but with the same poor sanitary conditions and unhealthy diet. You’ll find reports of people getting seriously ill from malnutrition and infections. People have been sexually harassed and there are bad disputes with the locals. Please read the link.

Hungry! While waiting for breakfast we are watching Leeann and another woman doing nude yoga on a large rock over the sea. It is a disturbing view but we can still laugh.

Unfortunately breakfast only consists of some weird tasting green cocktail, watermelon, coconut and banana.

Our plan is definite. We need to get food! The ocean is right out front, so it can’t be too hard to catch some fish!? Logan and I are searching for some line, a hook and bait. Watching Logan catching crabs was the funniest thing! He ran after them, back and forth, sideward’s, backwards, grabbed them and smashed them onto the ground. Poor bugger, but we really are hungry! I have second thoughts about eating the crab but they are too small to satisfy the hunger.

With our utensils packed up, we are jumping into the kayak and paddle around to the western side, dragging our self-made fishing rod behind us. We try our luck for about half an hour, nothing happens.

We paddle around the southern side and find a beach and it looks like there is a reef in front of it. The kayak on the shore, we are trying our luck, standing in the water with the rod over the reef. No fish. Logan grabs the snorkeling gear, to find out, if there is any fish around at all.

“Heaps of fish here” he shouts over. I watch him from the beach trying to catch fish for another hour or longer. He comes back and says, the fish is happily munching from the crab but won’t swallow the hook. “I have to make a spear!” I have doubts but hope never dies when you are fighting for survival. Yes survival! Being hungry is a very painful feeling!

So Logan is out there spear fishing, an hour later he walks back out of the water, no fish. Our chances are slowly dying and I realize we may not be able to stay on Malapacao for 5 nights.

We kayak back and are asking for some rice in the kitchen. The staff is smiling and says: “No rice here, only raw food. Want some Salad?” “Okay, yes please!” On the way back to our hut, we run into Leeann. She is laughing about us wanting rice. It feels like an eternity until we finally get our salad, it is just disgusting.

After dinner, we join Leeann and two other ladies for a fire and tarot on the beach. We don’t feel comfortable and leave soon, just after the other two did.

Still hungry we are going to bed.
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Malapacao 21/11/11

Attention everyone planning on going to Malapacao Health Retreat. Do NOT go. Read this before: http://restlessenergy.org/

To summarize in short: Leann Cruz was shut down by the government but is now operating under a fake name, a new business name but with the same poor sanitary conditions and unhealthy diet. You’ll find reports of people getting seriously ill from malnutrition and infections. People have been sexually harassed and there are bad disputes with the locals. Please read the link.

It is about 7 in the morning and I’m desperately trying to get Logan out of bed. He doesn’t quite remember the “smoker’s delight” he had last night, nor the Tequila shots or how many beers. He also hardly remembers he was making friends with a group of young Irish people playing card games and smoking shisha. Good I filmed it all.

Interesting was the smoker’s delight, something I haven’t seen before myself. The bar tender, who called himself Rocky Balboa and served Logan the shot, lit up the alcohol and swung it around so the flames would heat up the drink. Logan was then supposed to drink it and breathe in the vaporized alcohol through a straw. His face expression said it all. The expression in his face has hardly changed today, he still looks drunk and slightly in pain.

We are supposed to go to Malapacao today, which means “Big Foot”. It is an island in the beautiful Bacuit Archipelago. The northern side of the island is owned by a Lady called Leeann, who is a practitioner of Naturopathy and also follows a raw diet. A few days before our arrival we received an e-mail in that she asked us to please start eating raw food only, do a detoxification using wormwood and clover (?), to only wear 100% cotton, not to use nail polish or any other toxins and to please bring a pair of cotton socks, a pair of woolen socks and some crystals. I began to worry a little bit and am now particularly worried because Logan smells like a booze sponge.

I drag Logan to the Art Café since most of El Nido has no electricity in the mornings and we need to check our e-mails for a notification of when and where we will be picked up. 11am at Corong Corong! We are having breakfast at the Art Café. It’s not bad but my bread’s crust is stone hard. If I had known how much I would suffer from starvation the next few days, I would have never complained about a hard crust!!!

      

Back at the Sands Inn we are getting ready to leave, surprisingly the electricity is working. The toilets have no seats but at least they can be flushed. The shower isn’t really working though, there is a bucket and scoop supplied which are a lot more effective than the dripping shower. Cold water only of course! We are walking a few meters and are being picked up by a tricycle to take us to Corong Corong port. Actually, there is no port, only a long beach, so even the tricycle driver has no idea where to drop us off. We are driving up and down Corong Corong and I know he is charging us for this. We spot a few boats and tell him to just drop us off here; it can’t be anywhere else. 60 Pesos! I’m sure a local would only pay 10 Pesos for the ride but okay; we are the rich tourists so we are paying. It is still only about $1.37!

Corong Corong

It looks pretty deserted and lonely here and Logan starts to doubt that we are in the right place. I have a feeling we are and just sit down and wait. It’s a beautiful view out to the archipelago; massive islands and cliffs are sitting on top of the light blue sea. I see a white banka coming towards us, it is Dewata, the banka from Malapacao. It is very shallow, so we start walking towards the boat. Two Philippino guys are helping us to climb on board. Logan and I just look around, amazed by all the magical island formations. The warm wind is blowing around us and the crests of a few waves are splashing into our faces. It smells like sea. Malapacao!

I recognize the dramatic cliff wall and shape of the island; it blows me away. We are getting closer and the beauty is overwhelming: Cliffs on either side, a white beach, palm trees along the shore and a few wooden huts between them. Leeann is awaiting us on the beach with self-made flower necklaces and a huge coconut with a straw. We are in paradise!

Next thing Leeann tells us, she is a nudist. Oh no! Do we really need to see an over 60 year old woman nude? I can sense Logan’s mind-set and feel we are talking in thoughts to each other without eye contact. Leeann takes us to our wooden hut, it is open to every side and the views are stunning! The bathroom is in the back; a few steps down and also quite open. She shows us how the water that we use in the sink, is actually flowing into a bucket and we need to use that water to flush the toilet. It is the same system with the shower. It is all very basic or ‘back to nature’; I like it.

Leeann leaves us to ourselves, so we can unpack and then come down for lunch. Logan and I laugh and share our thoughts about Leeann; she definitely is a bit special.

Back at the beach, Leeann walks out of the vegetation towards us: nude! I see Logan’s eyes catching a glimpse of her and turning away with an embarrassed smirk in his face. All I see is a very skinny person with massive boobs and an even bigger, probably bloated, belly. I feel embarrassed too but she comes right up to Logan, holds up a huge shell and asks him whether he would like to call out to the gods. Then she blows in the shell, making a noise like blowing a horn and hands it over to Logan. This is such a crazy situation and I have to try my best not to burst out laughing! Logan doesn’t really get it, so he hands it over to me and after a few tries, I manage to get the noise out as well. She tells me to lift up my left arm, to reach for the gods while calling outto them. Ahh, this is classic!

Foto

Leeann takes us over to the lunch table and sits down with us – nude! Fortunately her big boobs are hanging below the table, so we don’t really see too much of it but it’s still ruining my appetite. There’s also a Russian woman with her 8-year-old daughter. The poor child must be in such a shock. She doesn’t say a word and hardly moves. The plates are full of green leaves, yellow tomatoes, onions and herbs. I wouldn’t call it tasty but it’s eatable. Still! And when not hungry! When Leeann starts to dig her fingers into the food and then deep down her throat, Logan and I stop eating. It looks and sounds disgusting. After lunch, we decide to go and explore the island a little bit. This involves some extreme climbing up the sharp limestone cliffs on bare feet. The vistas are beautiful from up here but I wonder if the pain is really worth it. On the way down it is getting dark and even more dangerous. Back at our hut, I’m trying to pull out the prickles in my feet but they are too deep under my skin.

I’m getting hungry and am looking forward to dinner, just to be disappointed to find the same mix of leaves on the plate. I feel bloated but not full. In fact, I’m still very hungry. Hopefully breakfast will be better. Sleeping in the open is great. I wake up many times because the wind is very strong, almost like a storm but I really enjoy listening to nature.

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The banka ride to El Nido 20/11/11

 

“Warning! Don’t travel to El Nido by Banka” is what I read in other travel blogs. I have to say it doesn’t really put me at ease, that people report that their banka sunk and the drunk captain yelled out: “Rescue yourselves!” Other’s wrote, they had a rough and very wet journey for over 10 hours.

It was the easiest and cheapest choice to go by banka and for me also the most logical one as taking the plane would mean huge detours and criss-crossing the country. Obviously it was the unsafest option but Logan got excited about the potential of adventure.

After breakfast Logan and I make our way down to the Sea Dive dock and I have a critical look at the old banka. A normal civilized person would think they are playing a joke on you. This little fisher boat is supposed to take us out to the open sea for 7-10 hours? Alright then, I just hope the thunder and lightning from last night is really over!

Surprisingly the banka ride is awesome! We are so lucky to have great weather and a very calm and flat ocean. We are going past beautiful islands, beaches, and lagoons. Logan and I are sitting on a plank on the outside of the banka, our feet dangling down in the water, and enjoy the stunning vistas and the lunch served by the boat crew. We even manage to fall asleep on the 30cm wooden plank.

Not so pretty is the toilet. It’s a tiny cube, no toilet seat, no toilet paper and to flush, you need to scoop water out of a bucket into the toilet. Well, I can live with that and Logan even managed not to use it at all. The men’s bladder is a mystery to me!

Seeing El Nido in the distance is a great feeling. Behind the little town is a massive limestone wall and it’s surrounded by dozens of islands. Opposed to Coron it has got a beautiful beach and looks quite colourful. Since we got no idea of where to stay, we walk into El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe, a modern and clean island-style cafe with wireless internet to order a banana-chocolate milkshake and let the outside world know, that we survived.

Walking down that same alleyway along the beach, we are being offered rooms for first 1400 Pesos and then 800 Pesos a night.
“Sir, Ma’am, looking for room?” “Yes! How much?” “500 a night Sir.” Great, that’s about 12 AUD for a double room right on the beach, including wireless internet. We are ridding ourselves of our bags and jump in the warm waters of El Nido. What a beautiful place. Walking along the beach, we are gazing at all the pretty bars and restaurants with their wooden island-style furniture and lights on.

Pina Colada!? Good idea! Little did I know an hour later Logan would order shots! We arrive back at our room at 1am, I’m sober but Logan.. Oh Oh.. In my imagination I can see the health woman detoxifying Logan tomorrow. Oh what fun!

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Diving Coron Shipwrecks 19/11/11

 

Signing one’s life away, first thing in the morning is a little strange. Logan and I are very excited though to go diving and see the shipwrecks today, for Logan it will be his first dive. Our dive instructor is Gerd, he is German and an absolutely dedicated diver and treasure hunter. He came to Busuanga 11 years ago because of the 20 shipwrecks and good diving. There are also two Brits, Peter and Jack, and Gerd’s wife and three kids on board.

We got about half an hour until our dive and Gerd asks us, whether we would like to know a bit more about our equipment and diving. We are all keen on learning, so he explains the diving regulator, weights, buoyancy control, the pressure gauge and much more. We are then allowed to attach the vest to the oxygen tank, open the valve and fit ourselves. It’s really not that hard but I cannot say that about keeping balance on the boat once I got about 10 kilos of equipment on me. I feel like an overweight whale on dry land! In the water it’s a lot easier to move around. Since Logan and Jack have never been diving before, we are doing the required exercises in shallow water of how to control buoyancy, take out the breathing apparatus and put it back in, share the emergency breathing apparatus with a buddy and clear out the mask in case water runs in. It also puts me at ease to repeat these exercises that I have last done 3 years ago.

Out of the dark blue appears the silhouette of a big sunken Japanese warship. It’s Tangat. We swim over and around it, there is lots of coral attached to the wreck and fish are going on with their everyday life. While they seem to fight over their territory, I’m fighting with my buoyancy level as I seem to keep floating upwards. I released all of the air in my vest and Logan has to help me stay down the bottom and drags me along with him. It annoys me a bit, I never had problems with that but maybe 4 kilo weights weren’t quite enough. For Logan the experience of diving is overwhelming. I watch him swim like a fish in its element, I knew he would love it and I think now he’s hooked.

After the dive, we enjoy the water for a little longer and then head off to Luzon, another shipwreck. I attach another kilo onto my belt and stumble towards the edge of the banka. It’s a deep water entry this time. I jump in and love the feeling of weightlessness! Logan, Gerd and I slowly release the air of our vests and it looks like I can enjoy my dive this time! I sink! Woohoo! The visibility around the wreck is a lot better, there is a lot more coral and so many more fish around! We love it! A big cuttlefish, that Logan and I mistook for an octopus at first, is trying to escape from us and nervously changes its colour. We swim through the shipwreck, it’s quite tight to fit through with the oxygen tank on the back but I try to stay calm and swim through very slowly and carefully. My emergency breathing apparatus is getting caught up at the wreck, lucky I’m so slow, avoiding any damage. At one point there is this huge 1 meter plus parrotfish overtaking us like we are on a highway. I can see Gerd’s excitement under water. Later he tells us, he’s never seen a parrot fish of this size before. 40 minutes pass like 10 minutes and at the bottom of the wreck Gerd discovers a crocodile fish and signals me to come closer to have a look. Oh oh! I see myself getting further away. Further and further and… splash, my head pops up at the surface. I just rose over 10 meters to the surface, totally out of my control. I have no idea how on earth this happened so suddenly after 40 minutes. I’m a little angry and decide I had enough. Logan and Gerd follow me 10 minutes later and we talk about the great experience. Gerd is absolutely amazed about how well we both dive but especially about Logan as it’s his first dive. He says, he has never seen anything like it in his career. “Logan swims like a fish! Better than many experienced divers.”

We get handed a beer and make our way back to Coron port. It’s about an hour journey and we enjoy the setting sun, beautiful island vistas and warm wind blowing around us. Back at the port, we catch a tricycle to Rocksteady Dive Centre to receive our dive certificate and say goodbye to everyone. Now we are looking forward to a good German meal at Kokosnuss Resort. Tomorrow we are off to El Nido…

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Island Hopping Coron 18/11/11

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!

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