Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Villa Jollee

Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flew over from Cebu to Legaspi where I shared a mini-van with 5 other guys directly to Donsol.

The bus dropped us off at the whaleshark registration center where we all registered for 300piso.
Organized some fins for tomorrow and then checked into the Villa Jollee for 700piso after some bartering including aircon, hot shower and breakfast :)
After checking in, I walked down the street until I found a really nice place called BARracuda. Juliette the owner is a really nice and welcoming person. They serve really, really good seafood and pasta. After just having a cocktail with Juliette, I walked down the other side of the road right into town and sat together with a few locals at a food stall and karaoke place. Had a couple of skewers from the barbeque and some filippino dish with pork and veggis.
The local guys invited me to sit with them and I had to sing a couple of songs after sharing about 1 1/2 bottles of brandy with the locals :)
One of the guys was so kind and drove me the 2km back to my place. While I got some cigs, I met the english guy from the mini-van with a chinese girl called Ling, so we ended up in the BARracuda for a last drink. I walked Ling back to her hotel since she was scared of the dogs. Close to her hotel was a guy just lying in the middle of the road who apparently had fallen off his BMX bike totaly out of his mind. Trying to wake him up didn't work so I pulled him over to the side of the road and left him to dream on.

Got up at 7am and walked to the registration center to register for a boat and guide (BIO - Butanding Interaction Officer) who accompanies up to 6 snorklers on a boat.
I was on the boat with Kris (a guy from England which I knew from the mini-van), a lithuanian couple, a german couple and an australian woman.
After about half an hour we saw the first dorsal fin and rushed to the whaleshark, jumped in, but only saw a flash of grey and white spots before it vanished into deeper water.
The visibility is really bad, maybe 3-5m, so you only get a glimpse of a part of the shark. I tried to swim after it, but it was just to fast.
The second encounter was a lot better, me and the australian woman virtually landed right on top of its huge head and really had to get out of the way to not get hit by the tail. But a great view and I could keep up with it for a few more seconds. This one was about 8m and a lot bigger than the first one.
The third shark was the best and biggest. I landed just in front of its head and actually managed to capture the whole shark on video this time also swimming with it for about 30seconds which was a lot more than the 2 before. What a great experience!!!
Straight after the snokeling I signed up for a diving trip to Manta Bowl for the next day.
In the evening I went to the BARracuda to have dinner. Chatted the rest of the evening with a couple of swedish girls.

Got up at 6:30am to got diving. The diving wasn't really spectacular as the visibility was really poor. Just saw three sleeping white-tip sharks. It was however a great experience diving in a current of over 5knots using a hook to grab onto the rocks. With such a strong current, it nearly blows the regulator out of your mouth.
The evening I spent with Juliette at the BARacuda. Some japanese guys joined us and later also came back with a 100$ bottle of Shushka (I think that's how it's spelled) which is a liquor made from potatoes. Juliette got a 15 year old bottle of brandy out and we talked till about 4am. Juliette showed us some of her pictures as a model a few years back. She was one hot babe!!

Woke up with a terrible hangover, stayed in bed till checkout time (12am) and then went for a lunch and goodbye to BARracuda. Juliette wasn't feeling much better ;)
She offered me to stay a bit longer, but I really had to get going to catch the mini-bus to Legaspi since my flight is really early next morning.
In fact, when the tricycle dropped me of at the terminal, the last mini-van was already full so I had to take a jeepney (will take a photo of one in Manila) and change to another one about 3 hours later and then the rest of the way to the Legaspi airport hotel again with a tricycle.

Left Legaspi at 9:50am and flew back to Manila.

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