The Tarsiers and Chocolate Hills

Bohol Travel Blog

 › entry 89 of 121 › view all entries

Despite the captain’s prayers for a safe journey, I wasn’t nervous about the ferry at all.  I woke up with zero knowledge of how the crossing had actually been like, and was quite happy to accept ignorance as bliss.


Once we docked, I tried to work out where to catch the next ferry to Bohol from.  I sort of gathered I was a port anyway and so hopefully it shouldn’t be too far.  I asked around for some directions, but no-one seemed to be able to help.  I thought the best thing to do is ask a taxi driver.  Now these guys are never trust-worthy, but none of them would give me directions, instead saying they could take me for there for a rip-off fare.  I laughed off the suggestions and eventually found one who agreed to go by the metre.  He took me literally 200 yards around the corner and asked for more charges for all sorts of things.  I thought I’m being had again here, and seen as the taxi had spun in the direction of where I had just docked, I gathered I was in the right place already.  I got out and gave him the minute fare on the metre and that was all he was getting out of me.  I then asked one of the port officials by the barrier and finally I was pointed in the correct direction, just a mere five minute walk from where I had initially docked.  Never trust taxi drivers; on the whole, they are about as likeable as cancer.


All the economy class seats had been sold already by the time I had a chance to buy a ticket, so instead of waiting, I paid the additional costs of a more comfortable seat, and I was on my way arriving around 9:30am.


I quickly found a nice, cheap, and clean place to stay and just across the road there was a huge shopping mall.  That meant finding somewhere to eat at a decent price wouldn’t be a problem and I could also get my phone unlocked and actually use my new SIM card. 


I had only a limited amount of time in Bohol, so had to get moving.  I found my way to the local bus station and managed to find out which bus got to Carmen and the famous Chocolate Hills.  It was a very strange experience getting the bus though.  I was the only white face on there and no-one wanted to sit next to me hahahaha.  What you’d be forgiven in believing is a two person seat, actually squeezes three people on and slowly but surely, the bus gets crammed full.  The nice thing about local people who aren’t in the tourist industry is they are genuinely interested n learning about other cultures.

  The guys I was sat next to asked a lot of questions about the UK as they had never been outside the Philippines before and they were very pleased to hear I loved the country and am fascinated by her beauty and people.  They helped brilliantly to pass the otherwise uncomfortable journey around the winding roads to the hills. 


On arrival, I walked up to the base point and could see these gigantic lumps of earth, perfectly shaped in a symmetrical looking dome.  I read there were 1,268 of them in total and the best scientific guess suggests they were formed by the uplift of coral deposits, though it has never been proven.  I stayed up there snapping away with the camera, before racing back down the hill to catch the last bus back to Tagbilaran.


It was 7pm in the evening and I got the phone sorted out so I could text Sarj and then got some food and found a cinema.  A new film starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta was on (The Taking of Pelham 123) made for a decent evening and I went to bed following that, planning on an early night for an early start the next day.  In fairness I didn’t really fancy socialising too much.  The only travellers I had come across from the Western world were fat, balding, weird mid-older men seeking younger girls.  I argued with the ethics to myself.  It looks quite wrong that would be virgin has to literally flaunt a bit of money around and can get a nice girl over here, but then I thought the reverse argument of the girls just want a better life and see the geeky, lonely man as that opportunity.  I concluded a false but symbiotic relationship works both ways for them.  It’s not difficult to see why the girls get knowing stares of the local crowds, but that’s the choice they make.  I probably dwell on stuff I shouldn’t too much.


I went to be bed thinking about the film instead and fell (temporarily) fast asleep.

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photo by: ted332