Dead explorers, chocolate hills & underwater cathedrals
Bohol Travel Blog› entry 31 of 47 › view all entries
I took a flight to Cebu in the Visayas part of the Philippines and spent 1 day on nearby Mactan island, site of Magellans demise when he landed on the beach and he and his 50 odd conquistadores were cut to pieces by the local chieftain Lapu Lapu who wasn't too impressed by the Europeans hi tech arms (sounds familiar...).
Then on to Bohol, a 2 hour ferry ride away (here history took another turn as the explorer Legazpi entered in a blood compact with the local ruler). Bohol is famous for it's chocolate hills, a freakish natural fenomenon that caused an amazing series of small hills to jut out from the landscape.
I spent a few days on Alona beach, a resorty area on Panglao island with a nice white sandy beach. It's a popular place and the prices there are even higher then in Boracay (which is supposed to be the Philippines' "riviera"). There's some good diving around the island of Balicasag off Panglao island (which is connected to Bohol island to make things complicated), specially the site called 'Cathedral'. It's a stunning wall with overhanging rock formations at the top and some beautiful marine life. It seems I'm getting a feel for finding turtles as this was the 3rd time I spotted one in places were divemasters kept telling me there weren't any. It was on the small side as all turtles I've seen in the Philippines but still, it's always a beautiful sight to see them swim. I had a trio of remoras following me for 30 minutes and skirting all over my legs, trying to suck on to my wetsuit in vain. Cool!! A great opportunity to see them up close and personal, they're really elegant fish with a rubbery spot on their back they use to suck on to sharks and whales.