Monday, 7 January 2013

The Philippines - Donsol, Whaleshark Interaction and the Firefly Tour

When we woke up we were not very happy. The sky above our private paradise was grey and it was chucking down with rain.

We had a lovely time on Ticao Island and met a lot of friendly people so it was hard to say goodbye to them. The rain fell during those two hours while we were transported back to Donsol but started to clear up a bit by the time we got there. On the way to the bay we saw lots of boats in one place so Paul thought they saw a whaleshark. We got very excited. When we arrived we were taken to our hotel to drop our bags then got on a boat. It started raining again.

For three hours we were huddled under towels and my sarong with Paul in the rain. Our crew did not spot any whalesharks again. Our only resolve was that apparently there was no sighting for four days now because of the bad weather. We were just there at the wrong time. I was so hopeful that I even slept clutching onto my fins and mask.

Our resort seemed nice but we could not enjoy the pool or the comfy looking seaside hammocks because of the weather.

We went to have lunch at the resort’s restaurant. It was a very nice place, here’s a pic of the food platter we got for dessert.

This just isn’t fair. Our only hope for the day was the Firefly tour in the evening although if I was a bug I’m sure I wouldn’t come out in the rain.

At 6 it was still chucking down. I really wasn’t looking forward to sitting for another hour in the rain huddled under a towel. When I saw the river and the rafts and the canoes I almost threw a big tantrum. Luckily we didn’t sit on any of those but on a similar one we used for diving. We even had some umbrellas to cover from the rain.

Our guide informed us that the fireflies hide under the leaves during the rain so there is not many of them out. I was not happy! However after a few minutes the rain has stopped and more fireflies came out. Apparently it was the perfect timing to see them. More and more twinkling appeared on the tree and around it. Finally the whole tree was full of tiny flashing light, like little fairies dancing. They even synchronised their flashing so it looked like a Christmas tree. It was such a pretty sight! We were standing on the boat with Paul mesmerised. We learnt that a certain level of noise make them flash more so for the count of three we all started clapping, the boat crew, our two guides and us. I found this quite funny. Unfortunately we couldn’t take a photo or a video. One of our guides even caught a few and put them on my hand. These little guys are so tiny but give out so much light! Later a single firefly flew on my umbrella and stayed there for a while walking up and down. The guide said it means good luck. I hope it means changing in the weather.

We spent about 20 minutes watching the flashing lights, hypnotised by it. When we got back to our room I was in a much better mood. Me and the weather will start afresh tomorrow.

Special thanks to the Cable family and to Wade Baylis for giving us another chance to see these gentle giants. Also again to the Cable family for giving us the magical Firefly tour.

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