Dumaguete: Apo Island, Casaroro and the effort to Bohol
After sitting in near paradise for 5 days we boarded another hot bus and headed for our next destination for more diving. Having spent time on the beach with no warm water and no Internet we thought we’d head into the city as a base of travels. We were pleasantly surprised by Dumaguete, as most cities we’d been in were disgusting. Our first day we headed out to Apo Is., a volcanic island located just a short trip off the southern coast of Negros renowned for their diving. And it did not disappoint. Our three dives were journeys along underwater cliffs and ledges, through spectacular coral gardens and pyres of coral sticking out of sandy bottom. The sea life was equally exciting with many different new species of fish and variations of fish we’d seen elsewhere. We even managed to sneak up on a lunching sea turtle. As exciting, was the ride home on the bangka where Ally and I decided to sit up front as our boat rocked up and down over the swell. As we got soaked head to toe and had to clutch onto the boat, we couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces!!
Our second day in D. was our motorcycle day. We had the goal of heading to see the Twin Lakes and Casaroro Falls. After a 25 minute drive down a nice highway we took the turn onto a 13 km uphill ride into nowhere. We travelled through small villages and into primary rainforest shrouded in clouds until we reached our destination. As we soon found out, Twin Lakes was going to become Single Lake for us as there was a big fee to be taken to the viewing platform over both lakes. No worries though as we headed down to look at the lake, it was pretty special. The lake sits 1000 m above sea level among high cliffs and surrounded by rainforest. Even coming for Ontario, with it’s millions of lakes, this was special. We were short on gas and far from home so we put the bike in neutral and coasted the 13 km back down to the highway.
Then came our mind-blowing moment. Not to build it up, we are lucky to have many great experiences but some just stand out. After another 30 minutes on the bike and a treacherous stretch of road we arrived at the entrance to Casaroro Falls. 335 steps down and we rounded the corner to a 30 meter waterfall crashing into a pool surrounded by old growth forest. We were still about 20 meters from the base so we stripped down….to our bathing suits and crawled over rocks and waded through the water until we were at the base. It was mind-blowing. The sound of crashing the water, the cool mist and utter fact we were completely alone made this stop a real special place. After wading through the water and taking in as much as we could we climbed back out and headed home.
Our goal was to leave for Bohol the next day however the boat was cancelled due to high seas but we thought “meh we’ll just get it tomorrow, no worries.” How wrong we were!! For anyone that read my entry about our crazy trip getting from Kota Baru, Malaysia to Koh Tao, Thailand be prepared for that to be rivaled!!
So our 1.5 hour boat ride to Bohol was supposed leave at 7:30 so we woke up and got there at 7, by tricycle, to get out ticket. When we got there we were informed that the water was too rough and the boat wasn’t coming. Ok well we aren’t staying in Dumaguete another night so plan B was decided on. We jumped into a minivan and headed 20 minutes north to another jetty that would take us to Cebu, an island in-between where we wanted to go. We got on a boat and powered through the swell, mind you Ally lost her breakfast out the window while I videoed it!! On Cebu we jumped a two hour bus ride to Argao to take another ferry across to Bohol. When we arrived there we were told the good news, the boat wasn’t going today so time for plan C. We got back on the another bus, this one was jammed so I had to stand much of the 2 hour ride in Cebu City. From there we jumped a 15 minute taxi ride to the jetty. We then finally boarded a boat to Bohol. The ride was anything but smooth as we tossed back and forth on the water for almost 2 hours. Finally we land on our destination island, it’s all over right, not quite. We had decided on staying in a hotel called La Roca, however once the tricycle dropped us off there, it just wasn’t acceptable. Back onto a tricycle and he takes us to some places, all sub-par. We bail out on the tricycle and walk through town in the pouring rain to finally end up in Chriscentville Pension and a chance to rest for a couple days.
So to recap, tricycle, minivan, boat, bus, walk, walk back, bus, taxi, boat, tricycle, another tricycle, walk and 9 hours just because the water was too rough for our 1.5 hour easy boat ride.
Looking for tarsiers for the next couple of days,