Tiny Monkeys, Poo and Big Green Lumps
Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
56Trip End Mar 31, 2014
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First stop is a monument celebrating the Blood Compact (peace treaty) between the Philippines and the Spanish invaders in 1565. It depicts a scene showing the two sides drinking wine, into which both parties have spilt their own blood. It is called a Sandugo and is a traditional way of declaring friendship and peace
Next we stop at a The Baclayon Church. Its a beautiful crumbling church which dates back to 17th century and is one of the best preserved Jesuit built churches in the Philippines. It has a wonderful ancient feel to it and the Spanish influence is very much evident in its style and architecture. Anna has to don some lovely curtains to cover her shoulders and knees as we look about inside. It has some cool statues too, we snap a few pictures and make a dash for it before Mass begins.
It turns out that Anna has quite a fear of butterflies. So as we walk up the path towards a butterfly farm she is not a happy girl. Thankfully, there are no butterflies fluttering around inside. A butterfly guide walks us around the exhibits, showing the various stages of a butterfly's 21 day life cycle and answering our questions. As we stop by the catterpillar stage he picks up a massive caterpillar and asks Anna is she wants to hold it. Anna politely declines, so Ian holds out his trembling hand as the huge (hopefully not poisonous) caterpillar is lowered on to it. It actualy feels quite nice, soft and tickely, and then it does a whopping poo in the palm of his hand. Typical.
After looking at the different species local to the region (all dead and framed to Anna's relief), we head towards a curtained area
Back in the car and it's off to the Chocolate Hills! On the way we drive through a man made forrest which the government planted 50 years ago to stop landslides. Most of the trees are tall mahogony and the sky is darkened by the canopy high above. It feels strange suddenly being in a forrest like this as the rest of the countryside is tropical jungle and rice fields. The Chocolate Hills are bizarre round hills (1268 of them) dotting the landscape, geologists suspect they are coral formations but there is still some mystery surrounding them. In the summer the grass on them turns brown so they resemble chocolate drops, hense the name. Its winter now though (30 plus degrees and they call it winter!!!) and the hills are a green colour. Our guide refers to them as the mint-chocolate hills. As we climb out of the car upon reaching the chocolate hills viewpoint we are struck by the absurdity of them. If it was just one mound, you would think its just a roundish hill
Our penultimate destination is a Tarsier Visitors Centre. They are the second smallest monkeys in the world and are supercute (although they do look a bit like wingless bats with eyes that are much too large for their dinky heads). They're about the size of a tennis ball, but much much cuter! The little monkeys live in the area naturally and are not caged, instead the guides 'spot' them in the morning and tie red ribbons around the trees they are sleeping on. As the cute little buggers are nocturnal they stay clinging to the same branch thoughout the day, although they do open their huge eyes now and then as nosey tourists like ourselves stop to stare at them! We walk about looking for red ribbons and do alot of 'ahhhh-ing' and 'ooooh-ing' when we spot one. Noooo! The camera battery is dying but thankfully we manage to get a few snaps before it gives out. Next time we will make sure to feed the camera some electricity the night before an adventure
Finally, on the drive home, our guide stops at 'The Hanging Bridges' for us to have a walk on and hopefully not die when the ricketty looking thing breaks... They are a pair of long bamboo foot bridges that span the river Loboc, we cling on for dear life and Ian starts to get that Indiana Jones feeling again. Having survived another death defying ordeal we get back in the car just as the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain. It's been an awesome day touring Bohol and we look forward to a well deserved nap once we get back to the guesthouse :)