We just made it in time for the ferry back to Cebu City, which landed us just after sunset. Having used so many buses and minivans along the way, we have learnt that they do not tend to run too late into the evening. So Chris and I decided to take a taxi, rather than faffing around with jeepneys, to get us quickly and directly to the bus terminal. Directly, yes, but quickly, not so much, as it was rush hour in the city, so we sat in a lot of traffic. However, we did arrive in time to board the last bus over to Moalboal.
Thankfully we had seats, but we did not have time to grab any food or water, and we were unsure of how long the journey would be. We have also learnt whilst travelling the Philippines, to always have some sort of snack and water on us, as we tend to be hopping from one mode of transport to another, with no time in between. But sometimes it's hard to plan these things, and we regret every time we don't manage to buy water especially.
It turned out to be nearly three hours before we arrived in Moalboal. We were extremely thirsty and hungry by now, and still had to find a room for the night. Knowing how trustworthy the Filipinos are, we asked the tricycle driver to take us to some nice, cheap, accommodation. He did well, as we ended up at 'Ivonne's Apartelle', in a lovely clean, spacious, room, with 'kitchen' area (sink and work surfaces, but nothing else), and private bathroom. It was one of the nicest rooms yet, and at a great rate too.
Now nearly 10pm, we went in search of food, and eventually found a restaurant along the beach front, offering fried rice dishes for a reasonable price. They ended up being huge portions, and too much for me to eat at this time of the evening. Of course, with a little help from Chris, there was nothing leftover.
Finally a lie in! With no agenda, no bus/boat to catch, we didn't head out until 9am - late for us!
We took a leisurely stroll along Panagasama beach front, which is more of a seafront, as most of the restaurants/dive shops are on stilts over the waters edge. Researching the dive shops as we went, we stopped off for some pancit (noodles), and chicken for breakfast. It always pays off to search around, as eventually we bartered (as it was low season), and obtained the best rate, at the number two rated dive shop on tripadvisor, 'Lion Scubadiving school'.
We caught a 'huba-huba' into town as we needed cash. It just so happens there was a McDonald's, so we 'treated' ourselves. A Big Mac and chips goes down quite nicely after eating rice for three meals a day for a long period of time! On our way back, we picked up a pineapple from a street market, then made our way to the small stretch of beach for the remainder of the afternoon.
Hearing it was possible to catch a glimpse of turtles just off the beach, I was more than keen to go snorkelling. Less than 50 metres out to sea was a beautiful coral reef, before a drop off into the unknown. We swam around for a good hour, admiring the colourful soft and hard corals, finding Nemo, then suddenly, camouflaged with the sea bed, was a beautiful, chilled out turtle. It wasn't bothered by us at all, and lay munching on the seagrass as we took pictures.
As we swam back to shore, we saw a few more turtles, different sizes, but just as relaxed. It was incredible to see these fascinating creatures so close to shore, and for it to be so quiet and peaceful. There was just us, and a handful of other swimmers, to a long coastline, bursting with magnificent turtles.
It was time to cut and eat the fresh, juicy pineapple we had bought earlier, watch another glorious sunset, and eat the local BBQ street food for dinner.
A very hearty omelette with rice for breakfast, before we kitted up, and headed out on a private banca for our dive. Since it seems to be low season in the Visaya's, lucky for us, it was just us two going diving with Lion Scubadiving school for the morning. We had a young Filipino woman as our guide, along with the captain and one crew member.
It was a short 30 minute journey over to Pescador Island. We had been very highly recommended to dive Pescador Island from Raul. What a recommendation! It was a fantastic dive. Pescador Island is just 66 metres wide, and 91 metres in length, allowing us to enter the water at the south west side of the island and diving all the way around to the south east. There was an abundance of sea life, with the most colourful and prettiest corals I have seen. Our guide managed to find the rare frogfish, along with us also seeing a giant trevally, the very poisonous stone fish, porcelain crabs, red lion fish, and an array of various fish and sea creatures. A very curious trumpet fish followed us for a large proportion of the dive, allowing me to get some great footage. We also got to swim into a cave, a new experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed this dive, and at 60 mins, it was our longest dive yet.
The remainder of our day was spent relaxing, and of course, snorkelling with the turtles. We watched and followed one for ages! He really was not bothered by us at all.
There was a power cut for most of the day, which also meant we couldn't shower. So as it turned to early evening we found a bar to play some pool and drink a beer, then managed to catch the last, but most spectacular part of the sunset.
One of the many festivals was taking place along the main road this evening, so we wandered up, only to find a large, empty barn, blaring rave music! No street food around, we headed back to the lady we ate breakfast from, for a very tasty chicken curry, and pork chop, washed down with a buko. Which of course we asked to be cut open for our dessert.
We were up and out by 6am, finding our cheapest meal yet - just 10 pesos (15p), for a plate of stir fried noodles, and 15 pesos (22p), for a plate piled high with garlic fried green beans. We had a long day travelling ahead...seeing how far across the Visayas we could get...