Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Philippines - Chapter Two - A River Cruise, Shy Primates, and My Hill Obsession

Day #2 arrives. Time for a shower.

The shower head worked the first day. For the rest of the time, the bottom spigot and the bucket became my shower.
I meet up with Abel and family, and off we go. The ride is entertaining, with Bluey teaching me how to play Plague Inc. With Bluey's help, I successfully create a disease to destroy the human race! (Sorry, everyone.)

Anyway...stop number one: Loboc River Cruise

I join the Damalerio's as we step onto a boat. After several more passengers board (including a few Koreans, who probably don't notice me kind of eavesdropping), off we go.

Again, so much food. This time, we have live music to accompany the meal and the ride.

Abel is too wise to let a photo op distract him from good food.

From left: Bluey, Pinky, Daryl, Abel, me, and Alan
The views are beautiful. I just look and enjoy relaxing with the crew.

Credit for many of these awesome photos goes to Abel.

Cheska, Daryl, Abel, and Miguel
Cheska, Miguel, and my plague specialist Bluey

Standing: Daryl, me, Cheska, Abel, Miguel, Alan, Bluey. Sitting: Pinky
It gets better. We stop at a dock and watch a very cool Filipino performance.

They even let us in on the fun!

Off we go, back to the main dock. I am soaking up this amazing experience. 

At the same time, I'm reminded of the impact the earthquake has had.

Another reminder of the quake.
Next up: The Hanging Bridges of Sevilla

Our next challenge lies ahead...we have to cross turbulent waters on a tightrope. Twice. Don't worry, it isn't as scary as it sounds, because by turbulent waters I mean a mellow river, and by tightrope, I mean twin bamboo bridges.

We survive. We continue.

Now arriving at: Tarsier Conservation Area

We take a little walk to find everyone's favorite haplorrhine primate, the tarsier. The critters are shy today.

Oh well. We aren't shy.

Around the corner: Chocolate Hills

We approach the parking lot for the Chocolate Hills and I'm flipping out (and trying to do it silently). When I first met Abel, he showed me pictures of the Chocolate Hills. Through the miracles of geology, hundreds of hills were formed in the middle of Bohol. In the dry season, they turn brown...thus the moniker.

I've mentioned on this blog that I have an odd love of hills, so I was really excited about this. After a trek up some stairs, I take stock of the surroundings.

People. Hills for miles.

We head down the stairs, but our time with the Chocolate Hills is not even close to done.

Coming your way: Chocolate Hills Adventure Park

As you may have noticed, the day was cloudy. By the time we leave the viewing deck and arrive at the adventure park, the skies have worked themselves into a veritable drizzle. But we press on over treacherous bridges.

Not all is threatening...

One more shot of the vista...I can't help it!
Then we encounter the ultimate challenge. The bicycle zip-line awaits.

I accept.

Honest review: It was a cool photo op, and the view was awesome, but the rain and wind pushed me to get done quicker than I would have wanted to.

At this point, we're either soaked or getting close to it. Back to the van we go.

We return to Casa de Damalerio for dinner. As we eat dinner, a stray dog continuously tries to help himself to some food by strutting into the house. Each time, he's shooed away. Brazen fella, but he's persistent. You've gotta admire that.

After shooting the breeze, Abel takes me back to the hostel. Another awesome day is in the books, and I'm loving the Bohol experience.

Little did I know that the rain we experienced earlier would become a bit more of a nuisance than anticipated, but I'll save that story for the next entry. Ingat (take care) until then!

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