Today was a good day, Gabbi and I went to see the chocolate hills and tarsier monkeys.
We started early to get the bus as we needed to be back in the city in plenty of time for our ferry back to Cebu. We got a tricycle to the local bus station and we were in luck as when we arrived the bus conductor asked us where we were going and told us to get on the bus that had started to leave, perfect timing. It was an extremely pleasant journey through the hills and winding roads of the forest.
All of a sudden, the bus stops and the conductor told us to get off, we were at the chocolate hills! We walked around 500 metres up the road, with adorable children shouting 'helllooooo, what is your name?' From their houses. Once their we used we asked a small shop of we could use their bathroom, to which they took us in to their living quarters. In true mother and titch Hucker style, I smashed my head on the door, making me slightly dizzy. We then walked up the hill to get to the viewing point, it only took about 10 minutes, but it was very steep. Once there we did the standard tourist pictures. They really were cool, all these rolling hills and forest with huge brown hills. After we had enjoyed the view we made our way back down to the road to catch another local bus. A very sweet Filipino man helped us and flagged down a mini bus for us, it was already rather full and Gabbi and I sat on fold down seats as proper ones were not left. Next thing we know, the bus kept stopping and picking up more and more people, it was so full! People were sharing seats and standing?! I counted and on the 15 seated minibus, there were 22 of us. Mental. We arrived at our next stop where we had to get a connecting bus to corella, where the tarsier monkey sanctuary was. We waited at this bus stop for an hour. When the bus finally came we got on and it drove down the road, where we stopped for a second hour... I was tired so I happily slept through it, but Gabbi was getting rather frustrated.
There are two places to see the tarsier monkeys on Bohol, one is at the sanctuary, the other is in another town, which we stopped in, but we didn't want to see them there as the monkeys are in cages and have a high mortality rate. The tarsier are nocturnal, solitary creatures who like 1km of forest each. In the cages they are in close proximity to each other, and humans. They do not like flashes of cameras, loud noises, or being touched, which inevitably happens at the tourist cages. When the tarsier get stressed they hit their heads against things, this kills them as their skulls are so thin, this is called the tarsier suicide.
At the sanctuary we were lead through a gate in to the forest by a guide. We had to keep quiet and ensure the flash was off on our camera. She showed us some sleeping tarsier monkeys around the forest and we were allowed to take photos. They are very well hidden when they sleep and they are absolutely adorable, we saw 4 in total.
Tarsier monkeys are around 6 inches at their largest, and each eye is heavier than its brain! Their eyes have been known to measure around 16mm across, they are also the only mammal in the world to eat an entirely carnivorous diet.
Once we had finished at the sanctuary we made our way to find out last bus of the day, back to the city. The way the buses work out here is that anyone stands anywhere at the side of the road, and just flags it down, consequently it stops a lot and bus journeys can double in the time is takes, simply because the bus stops so frequently.
Whilst waiting for a bus, a girl came up to us and told us there were no buses that came... s*** we thought. She then asked if a jeepney came past, could we flag it down so that she and her friend could get on and have time to get their bags, we said no worries. Half way through the brief conversation though her friend shouted and she ran off, and they got on the back of a truck and drove away... Cheers pal. Ditch us after you've asked us for a favour. Luckily though a jeepney came past and we managed to flag it down and get back to the bus stop where we took a tricycle back to our hostel.
With plenty of time before our ferry we met back up with Phil and dave, they had done the same journey as us but on rented motorbikes that day. We all sat and watched TV until it was time to get on another tricycle and go to the ferry port.
I got sea sick on the ferry. Not nice.
Although a rather amusing film was on, I could barely hear it but I think I would like to watch it again.
At the other end we said our goodbyes to Phil and dave and got a taxi to the airport, the first guy tried to charge us 500, we said no obviously. The next taxi agreed to do it on the meter, although he was a s***, he pulled up to get petrol and left the meter going, and then once at the airport he did not give us change. The cost was around 250 pesos, still a lot cheaper than the original 500 quote.
At the airport we had a long time to wait, our flight was not until 7:30 am and we had arrived at around 8:30 pm, being savvy savers we had a night in the airport! We got some food and water in a little restaurant and went to find a place to sleep.
I had my sleeping bag and eyemask and I did not give any f***s, I snuggled down and had rather a good sleep considering.