Chocoholic's Dream

Trip Start Apr 05, 2012
Trip End Jul 25, 2012

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Monday, April 30, 2012

We had decided yesterday, to take the day trip to Bohol island today.  When we returned to the hotel, we asked the concierge about making a reservation and he informed us the tour was fully booked.  Bummer.

This morning, I thought about calling and trying again just in case (it was 5:30am) since it would most likely be another person I would speak to.  Indeed it was, and this gentleman said he would try and make it happen for us.  The boat would leave at 9:30 if we were able to make it.  This was great as we wold not have to rush and be stressed out.  A little after 9am, he called the room advising us the driver had arrived to take us to the ferry.  We were on stand-by for the ferry, but the agent seemed confident we would make it.  And we did, the last two on!!

After a 2 hour ride, we docked at the port of Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol.  We were met by our diver/guide who would be taking us around the island for the day.  Our first stop was at the Loboc river for a buffet style lunch on a river boat.  During lunch we cruised up and down the river enjoying the scenery while being serenaded by a guitar playing gentlemen.  He was really good and played oldies mostly which was great as I knew most of them!!!  Halfway up the river, we docked at the floating theater where local children performed songs and dances from Visayas.   We had front row seats, it was awesome (I hope the photos/videos turn out).  Along the way, some local kids were playing in the water, jumping off a tree stump into the water for the amusement of us tourist.  When we came back down the river, they had climbed high in a palm tree and jumped into the river below to a thundering of applause from our boat.  It was pretty cool, I wished I could have joined them (still very hot!!).

After another t-shirt purchase, we headed out to visit the Tarsier Conservation area.  The Tarsier is the world's smallest monkey and native to the island of Bohol.  We walked a trail in a small forest where attendants pointed out the Tarsiers along the way.  They are so small they could fit the in ht palm of your hand.  They are really cute and cuddly - no touching, have a long tail, huge round eyes.  I wanted to take one home so bad, but alas, I will have to settle for photos only.

From here we headed further inland to the Chocolate Hills, an area proposed for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage's list.  As we approached the area, the landscape was really interesting.  Large rice fields, a few water buffalo here and there, some workers harvesting the rice and a giant "kiss shaped" hill dropped in the middle.  The hills became more and more frequent.  It is so weird and fascinating.  We made it up to the observatory in Carmen which after a 241 stair climb gave a really good view of the area.  So may to explore and so little time!!  Mother Earth sure does some weird things to keep us guessing!!

On the way back to the ferry, we drove through the Man-Mad-Forest which provided some great shade and coolness.  The area of 800 hectares was planted in 1960 with mahogany trees by university students - given it the Man-made name.  We made a quick stop at the Baclayon Church, the oldest in all of the Philippines, but it was closed.  I took a few photos from the exterior, but....  Just before entering the city of Tagbilaran (the only one on the island - there are 47 other towns but only 1 city), we stopped at the Blood Compact Commemorative Shrine, a statue depicting Spaniards drinking around a table.

It was a good day of discovery of some of treasures of Bohol.  We were spared the bad weather and the giant hordes of tourists that were visiting the island due to the on-going Fiesta this time of year.
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