Friday, 11 January 2013

The Philippines - Travelling to Bohol

Today is a day of travelling again. We said good bye to Malapascua Island. I liked it here. We saw some very rare animals (pygmy sea horses, thresher sharks, mandarin fish), met some really nice people who were ready to help or give advice to us beginners be it diving techniques, equipment maintenance or advice on buying stuff. We also had the chance to do a variety of dives we’ve never done before (wall and macro). We had a great time here but now we are back on the road.

As I don’t have much to report today, I will write about the ingenious Filipino boat, the bangka. Here’s a pic:

Let me introduce them with a piece of an article I read in the Diver (January 2013). It says ‘Bangkas are unique to the Philippines. They are narrow canoe-like vessels with high prows and sterns that draw very little water and can be driven right up onto the beach. To stop them from falling over they employ wide outriggers of bamboo poles, lashed together with fishing line’.

These boats look like a pile of driftwood put together but they are excellent dive boats. They are very narrow and flat so they can navigate in shallow water but also very stable thanks to the outriggers. It’s very easy to move them so they can pick up a diver effectively, in any location. I think they are very unique and versatile, we certainly used them a lot during our trip.

After breakfast the boat was there to get us at 9.15. It took 30 min to get back to the mainland (well, a bit bigger island). From the pier we were driven 3 hours to get to another pier when we caught a big ferry from. The ferry took 2 hours to get to another unpronounceable place. There a taxi was waiting for us to take us to our hotel. By that time it was close to half four and children were going home to school. We saw this school bus on the road. Look at the amount of children on it!

We finally arrived to Bohol, Panglao Island, Alona Beach. The resort and our dive centre are conveniently in one place and right at the beach. Our room is lovely and spacious. We even have a balcony where we will drink our morning coffee from.

After dumping our stuff and a quick shower we went for a wander on the seaside. It is full of restaurants, we are really spoilt for choice. You can even get a Hungarian there! Apparently it’s only 224 pesos. Must be very good but we were still hesitant to order it.

After signing up for tomorrow’s dives we hit our bed.

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