Sunday, 15 June 2014

Bohol

Getting to Bohol involved a flight to Cebu, an overnight stay and then a ferry. A bit convoluted, but worth it as we planned to spend the next week or so in the Visayas. 

As we were a bit beached out after our time in Palawn (and still have yet to learn to dive), we decided to spend out time in Bohol on inland exploration. Our main reason for visiting to Bohol was to see the Chocolate hills and the tarsiers (little primates which are the islands most famous residents). We decided to stay in Taglibaran (which probably wasn't the best plan), this port city which was busy and hot. However, it was an easy place to organise our inland trip. After my previous motorcycle disaster we decided against the usual way of exploring the island opting instead to hire a car and a driver. This turned out to be pretty good as he suggested and took us to lots of places we wouldn't have considered!! 

Chocolate Hills 

Posing at the Chocolate hills 

We started the day very early and went to see the Chocolate Hills at sunrise. The 'little' bumps which strech for miles looked stunning in the soft light of sunrise. However, the trip to view the hills did not take that long and we were finished around 6am, well before anything else was open! Our driver suggested renting AVTs to drive around the hills and proceeded to wake up store owners to find us some! Although I am terrible on motorised viehicles, and there was a little incident where my break fell off and I couldn't stop, I really enjoyed our ride through the hills. Four wheels are definitely better than two!! 

ATV time (I am super happy as I still had breaks at this point!!)

The next stop was a butterfly sanctuary which I wasn't bothered with, but turned out to be really really fun. As we were so early we were given a guided tour, we held catapillers and butterfly's and saw them breaking out of their cocoons, it was all pretty cool. 


A New(ish) butterfly on The Photographers hand, its wings are still not completely dry

Next on the list were the super cute, shy little tarsiers. These small primates are famous in Bohol, but sadly are sometimes caught and put on display (which is especially upsetting because apparently they get so sad in captivity they can become suicidal). The best way to get chance to spot one is at the taisier sanctuary. The sanctuary itself is a little underwhelming, just a small area of Forrest surrounded by low fence and lots if meandering uneven steps. However, you are pretty much guaranteed to spot one of these wierd cute little primates. They were much smaller than I expected, but that just made them even more adorable. 

Tarsier having a little nap

Someone made a sound

Another little tarsier

Our next few stops were very random quick sites on the way back to town including; a hanging bamboo bridge, Lobok (a town on the river - we were far too early for the lunchtime cruise), Baclayon church (which was sadly damaged in a earthquake) and the blood compact monument. All in all a day well spent and because of our early start we were finished by 11am, giving us plenty of time to decided where to go next!! 

 Baclayon church, its no longer possible to go inside due to earthquake damage

Bamboo bridge, weird to walk on, cool to photograph

A nice little view near the Blood Compact Monument

Summary

Location: Inland Bohol

Highlights: Chocolate hills and tarsiers off course!! 

Top tips: Don't stay in Taglibaran, it's easy to organise trips and our hotel was good, but apart from it doesn't have much to offer (unless i missed something)!! Its probably better to head to backpacker accommodation out if town - we heard good thing about Nuts Huts and Bohol Coco Farm.

Funny fact: On tripadvisor Pizza Hut is the second best rated restaurant in Taglibaran... We did test it out of course, it's ok, but for much better food head to the top rated restaurant Geradas for some Filipino fare (I recommend the beef Kare Kare). 

Buy: Peanut kisses (if you can from Bohol Bee Farm).

Minutes spent lost: 0 (the benefit of having a driver)

Epiphany's: 0

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