The plan was to go across to Bohol for a few days of R & R, with lots of snorkelling and sandy beaches to explore. That plan quickly evaporated as Cyclone Egay got ever closer. As all ferries and flights were cancelled from Cebu, the only way to head was West. After some googling and phone calls we completely replanned the next week of the holidays. So kids, no more Bohol, we are now off to The Blue Orchid Resort in Moalboal! What a great diversion of the planned route it ended up being. We farewelled Cebu with the monsoon storm fast approaching and set off for our 90km drive to Moalboal. Not a great deal to see along the way, we had the most amazing driver who was a wealth of local knowledge, giving us some great insights, not just about the passing sights but life as a Phillipino in general. In all our journey ended up taking 4 hours but certainly wasn’t boring. We arrived just as the sun was setting in the afternoon, down a very dodgy dirt track to the place we would be calling home for the next 4 days.
We had a lovely 2 days exploring the region, snorkelling, visiting waterfalls and river floating. Due to the great diving in the area there are quite a few foreigners settled here, running restaurants and diving centres. With crystal blue waters and countless turtles and sardines to be seen. This place is perfect for snorkelling, and there are many scuba diving places if you are into it.
Our last full day saw us up at 4am to make the journey down the coast to Oslob to swim with the whale sharks. Despite the early rise we were all full of anticipation for the day. Since we were going to be in the middle of nowhere our reorganise manager had kindly filled an esky for breakfast on arrival. He even lent us his GoPro so we could capture the moment.
We had our briefing – No camera flash, no sunscreen lotions, and it’s prohibited to approach the sharks more than 6 meters – completely impossible to comply, and do not touch the sharks. Only problem is someone forgot to send that memo through to the whale sharks! When you first jump in you can’t see anything, however within seconds the Tuki, as they are known in Cebu, are only a few meters from you or brushing up against you, scaring you half to death! You then find yourself partly in awe, and partly hoping you don’t get mistaken for a giant piece of plankton! With a mouth that huge coming towards you it is both amazing and disconcerting!
Apologies for the photography – my first attempt with a GoPro!
Swimming with the whale sharks is definitely a bucket list moment!