We had a private car from Bongo Bongo to the ferry terminal, and had planned to have plenty of time there. That was a good idea, because we first needed to stand in one line to pay port tax, then in one to get our seats assigned and finally in one to check in our luggage. We had bought business class tickets, which meant that we got to sit on the upper deck in good seats with air condition, large windows and watch a movie. Two hours later (about 1 hour delayed) we arrived at the port in Tagbilaran. It took a while to get our bags, and we stopped by the ticket counter to buy tickets for the ferry back to Cebu in 3 days. We found a cheap tricycle to take us to our hotel in Alona Beach, Alona Kew Resort, which looks like a resort from the outside, but is quite basic and is located in the main beach road with short distance to everything. The best part was that we got a room in the garden, so we didn’t have any noise from either the main road or the beach.
We had originally planned to spend 4 days in Bohol, but because of lost luggage, typhoon warnings and fully booked ferries, we only had 2 days here. Since the weather wasn’t great either, we decided to skip diving, relax and try to go through some photos and write a bit on our blog. The first evening we found a Belgian restaurant, with quite a few Belgian beers on the menu. We stopped by for at least one beer there every evening, and really enjoyed drinking something other than lagers all the time. Especially the slightly sour Rodenbach was perfect in the heat.
Fredrik got a sting of some kind while diving in Dauin, and since the rash didn’t get any better, we decided it was best to get it checked out before the liveaboard. The hotel got him an appointment at the hospital right away, and after a quick and efficient visit he got back with a lot of medicines. The doctor was great and gave him stuff that should heal the rash as soon as possible, and have as little impact as possible on the rest of the vacation (diving, sun, beers). He’s not at all used to taking pills though, so it’s a bit of a hassle. 😀
Fredrik was told to be careful with too much sun for a couple of days, and also noticed that the rash got a lot better of the dry air condition air. So he stayed home going through photos, while Gunnhild went on a short sightseeing tour by tricycle. The first stop was the Blood Compact Monument, celebrating the March 1565 blood compact between Spain and the Philippines. Baclayon church was closed for visitors as it was still being rebuilt after the 2013 earthquake, but it was still interesting to see the coral-stone church from 1727 from the outside. Lunch was had at a very local fast food restaurant in Loboc, instead of on the tourist packed floating restaurants on the Loboc river. The final and most important stop was the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella. Tarsiers are the world’s smallest primates, needs space, silence and gets easily stressed, so they had guides to take you around to make sure the tarsiers were not disturbed. It was a short 20 minute walk on muddy paths. Since the tarsiers are territorial, the guides knew where to find them, and 7-8 of them were easy to see from the path. They were very cute clinging to the trees looking at you with their large, sleepy eyes.
In the evening we packed all we needed on the liveaboard in our backpacks and all the dive gear in one half of the suitcase, so it would be easy to take out. We had a couple of rum and coke in the room, got a good nights sleep, and took a car to the ferry terminal in the morning. This terminal was a lot more structured than the previous one, but it still took some time to get through all the lines. They had departure screens, loud speakers for announcements that was almost possible to hear and the ferry was less than 30 minutes delayed. Again we had business class tickets (only slightly more expensive than the other ones) and had a smooth 2 hour trip to Cebu.