Before our courses start Janina and I will go on a trip around Central Luzon. Our trip will lead us to the places Talisay, Tagaytay and Pagsanjan (and maybe some more – we’ll see how fast time is running).
But for the rest of the week we have other great plans. On Friday we will go to Hard Rock Café in Makati to ‘Side A’, the most succesful rock band in the Philippines and I am really excited to see’em play. On Saturday we wanna go clubbing and this will probably a lot of fun, cos most of the clubs have special halloween parties, where people get fancy dressed.
And – one thing I am really excited about is our booking for New Year! We found a really cheap promo flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and we gonna spend there some days over New Year. This is gonna be fun!
Yesterday we got to know some Germans in Manila. In the afternoon Judi and Nina went to the supermarket and while they were talking about which salad to choose, a girl caught that they were speaking German and addresses them. – Kati is from Freising in Bavaria and is going to study at Ateneo, too. She was so pleased to meet the girls, cos she arrived a few days ago all by herself.
I was contacted by another German girl (Ines) via Internet, who read that I am studying in Manila, the same day Nina and Judi got to know Kati in the supermarket.
In the end we met alltogether in the evening for dinner at Teriyaki Boys’ and some good and cheap sushi. We will meet again :)
Another highlight on Bohol was our trip across the island of Bohol by motorbike.
To begin with – we wore no helmets. There weren’t even some available. Usually the Filipinoes do not wear helmets while driving and so we did. Not to mention that Janina and me do not even have a drivers license for motorbikes, but actually no one does care about it. So we teached ourselves some motorbike lessons and how to shift with the feet. And sure, cos we are the Action! ladies, it worked out quite well.
The good thing about Bohol is, that there is not that much traffic and not that much tourism there, so that is was quite easy to drive.
Unfortuneatly the day didn’t start well and we had to drive through rain. But we made a stop in a village and had the sweetest nescafé in the world. Some boys turned on something like a jukeboy and we listened to Linkin Park – so loud that we couldn’t catch each other words.
We went to the famous chocolate hills, which is a hilly landscape in the middle of the island whereas all hills look like equal chocolate bumps. Actually since it is October the hills were not chocolate, but green. But still very impressive to look at.
After visiting the Chocolate Hills we drifted across the sialnd as far as we could go. Bohol is beautiful and fully green and with the wind in our hair we had a strong feeling of freedom.
The other day we went – in a really crowded jeepney – to the Tarsier Sanctuary. Tarsiers are the smallest primates in the world and quite cute to look at. But the visit at the upbringing station was quite disappointing for me.
But our way back to Nuts Huts outweighed for the long trip to the tarsiers. When we arrived in Loboc and made our way though the rice fields haeding to Nuts Huts, some kids spotted us. They ran across the field and crossed our way. They were smiling at us, asking for our names and finally they accompanied our whole way (like half an hour) to Nuts Huts.
They were trying to impress us by doing cart wheels one another. In the end the kids started singing for us all the way back to Nuts Huts and I felt like a Pied Piper, because all those kids were following me singing in a row.
I guess this was one of the most lovely moments we shared on our trip, a one that one cannot foresee or book.
This one day I went on my own to the nearby (Nuts Huts) waterfalls. Is was a wondeful short walk along the Loboc River and through a litlle village with very friendly people, chasing after you, waving and saying hello.
I arrived at the waterfalls and I was overwhelmed by its beauty. I was the only person there, besides a young woman and her daughter, washing colourful clothes in the River. I carried nothing with me, no camera, no cellphone – nothing. I let my clothes at the shore and swam across the river to the waterfalls. I climbed up some small, but slippery mossy rocks. It was beautiful – from there I had a view over all those little creeks and rapids finding their way through a beautiful nature to the waterfalls.
I sat down on one of the rocks just like the little mermaid and enjoyed this wondeful moment for a while. From time to time some small boats were passing by and the people were waving up to me sitting there on the rock – and I am sure they wondered how I got their, because it is realy not easy to come up the slippery rocks.
Cos since we met Jochen on Cebu we cannot bear one day without Action! That is why we decided to go hiking on Bohol. We started in the morning with our hiking guide and the Belgian owner of Nuts Huts was joining us.
We went up the hills and the hike was quite tough. But besides all the struggles (Anstrengungen) to get up, the view on top of the hill was wonderful. Again we felt like real adventurers cos we had to make our way throughout the jungle and our guide cut off the way with its machete (Buschmesser).
Arriving on hill top we went on to some bat caves (Fledermaushöhlen), in which we climbed in and made our way through the caves with the help of flashlights. One could see thousands of bats flying around in those caves, just right above your head. In addition we saw big scorpion spiders and huge stalagmites and stalagtites coming from the wally of the caves.
After cooling down in the various caves we went on our way back down the hills in the burning midday sun.
Our travels are in progress and it is time for the next island: Bohol. For me Bohol was the most beautiful island we visited so far.
We went from Moalboal to Cebu City and took a ferry to Tagbilaran on Bohol. When we arrived in Tagbilaran we took a jeepney – yeah, finally our first jeepney ride we were looking forward to – to Loboc. A jeepney ride is always something special. It is always crowded and people are carrying everything with’em. The jeepneys are always totally overloaded – with people and lots of stuff on top of the vehicle.
In Loboc we changed into a boat to get to Nuts Huts – our accomodation until the end of our trip.
Nuts Huts is a beautiful place at the Loboc River in the middle of the jungle. In the night one was surrounded by the sounds of the jungle – the geckoes, iguanas (Leguane) and some kind of crickets (Grillen) and other sounds, which one couldn’t match to a certain animal.
The cottage in which we stayed was simple, not even water runs in the toilet and as usual there is no warm water. We stayed alltogether in one bed, because the extra bed was horribly uncomfortable and had no moskito net, which is a problem when you are directly in the jungle ;)
From the restaurant of Nuts Huts one had a beautiful view over the river and the jungle, but to get there we had to climb more than 100 stairs per visit. But the restaurant is great – good and cheap food, nice staff and a nice atmosphere. So we found ourselves every night after sunset in the restaurant chilling in the hammocks, on the bed or just on the tables reading.
Action! – This is our new motto since we met Jochen Hanika of Planet Action Adventure. Jochen is from Munich and is living in the Philippines now for more than twenty years and runs a business of adventure tours, a resort and a restaurant (last filling station – yummy).
One day we went on one of his adventurous tours – river climbing. We went to the Kawasan Falls and the Matutinao River near Moalboal by the Action truck, with us two guides, a driver and some cooks.
But there in the wilderness it was only the three of us and the two guides: Super Mario and Action Eric. This trip was one of the best things I ever did. We hiked through the beautiful nature, up the hills, through the jungle, across the river. We had to climb the waterfalls with our bare hands and had to jump off the cliffs and swim against the strong current. Sounds adveturous? – It was. Action!
The tour endured like four or five hours and afterwards when we arrived in a small village the cooks already did some nice barbeque for us. Great. That was really what we needed.
In the evening we often found ourselves at Jochen’s Last Filling Station, because the food there was good and cheap. And since Jochen is such a nice guy he once invited us to a beer.
Another nice coincidence that time was, that Ziva (the Slowene couchsurfing girl from Cebu City) arrived just one day after us in Moalboal, so we went for dinner every night.
During our stay in Moalboal we ran out of cash and we needed to get to an ATM (Geldautomat). But actually we overestimated (überschätzen) the filipino infrastructure concerning the cash flow system. Haha – there was no ATM in Moalboal, not at all. And not even in the next city. So we had to go back all the way to Carcar which more than 60km away. So all in all we went on a trip of 120km to get some cash. But again we enjoyed a nice bus ride through the island and went around the city of Carcar.
It is quite common that one will only find in a few few cities some ATMs. So well, if you travel the Philippines – pack enough cash in advance.
Moalboal was our 2nd destination on Cebu and its a relatively small town on the coast. We stayed at a place called Eve’s Kiosk. The filipino owner of this accomodation was so nice to provide us with typical filipino fruit and food, which was not available on the menu. So e.g. we tried Jackfruit which unfortuneatly tastes like a mouth full of gummibears – baaaaaaah – disgusting.
The coast round Moalboal is rocky and one has to walk quite a while to get to White Beach. But still the rough nature round Panagsama Beach – where we did stay – has its beauty. Moalboal is good for diving. But we just went snorkelling. But just a few meters aside from the coast you will find beautiful coral reefs, colourful fish, big starfishes, sea urchins and the water is so clear that one can look until the deeper ground. I swam with a shoal! I never saw such a beauty in the Sea before and it was nothing compared to the snorkelling we already did near Crocodile Island.