A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road

Melbourne, Geelong, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Cape Bridgewater

sunny 33 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

Koala encounter!

Koala encounter!

It was a cold, rainy day when we landed in Melbourne, but we didn't let the weather stop us from our one day in the city. We visited Federation square, Parliament house, took a river boat cruise and visited the royal botanic gardens. We ate pizza while watching the superbowl, at the same time as friends and family on their Sunday night. In the evening we headed to Loic's cousin's house and had a wonderful evening getting to know James, Kate, and their kids Max and Eliza.
Nous atterrissons a Melbourne sous la pluie, et par 15 degres.. brrr.. froiiiid. Mais bon, nous ne s'arretons pas a ces details, et prenons la voiture de location direction Melbourne. Nous y visitons Federation square, le Parlement, la riviere et les jardins botaniques. Nous prenons une pizza en regardant le Superbowl quelques minutes (pensees a nos amis outre Pacifique). Nous passerons la soiree avec la famille du cousin de Loic, James, Kate, Max et Eliza.

There is no escaping reality

There is no escaping reality


A building downtown Melbourne

A building downtown Melbourne


Fountain near the Parliament

Fountain near the Parliament


The House of Parliament

The House of Parliament


Pizza and superbowl

Pizza and superbowl


River bridge

River bridge


Chinese new year leftover decorations

Chinese new year leftover decorations


Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

After breakfast we began our tour of the Great Ocean Road by visiting the Queenscliff pier and Point Lonsdale lighthouse. Both areas had beautiful coastline views. We also made stops at split point lighthouse and the Bark Hut, a replica of a settlers hut. We spent considerable time at the Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary, arriving just in time for the koala encounter. We got to pet 4 koalas, some who were still trying to sleep, and were impressed with how soft they are! The sanctuary also housed local birds, kangaroos, wallabys, wombats, emus, dingoes and foxes. We stopped at Teddy's lookout, which is 3 separate lookouts with a short walk, and spotted our first koala in the wild, of course, sleeping in a tree. On our way to the Erskine Waterfall walk, we passed our first wild kangaroo on the side of the road, luckily, not crossing in front of us! The waterfall walk was another beautiful rainforest walk. We made frequent stops at scenic lookouts, such as Bell's Beach, which is the inspiration for the movie Point Break. Our last stop before our stay in Apollo Bay was Kennett River, which is known to have a koala colony. Here just off the road we spotted 4 koalas sleeping and eating in the trees. It was a great day for scenic views and wildlife!
Le lendemain, nous partons pour la cote et la route en bord de mer (Great Ocean Road). Nous commencons par la jetee de Queencliff et le phare la pointe Lonsdale. Puis le Phare de Split Point et le jardin communal de Bark Hut, ou un refuge en bois nous replonge dans la vie du 19eme siecle. Nous passons une grosse heure au sanctuaire de Koala de Jirrahlinga ou nous avons l'occasion d'approcher les Koala de tres tres pres. Le sanctuaire heberge egalement les autres animaux typiques du coin (Kangourou, wallaby, wombat, emu, dingo, renard). Plus tard nous nous arretons a Teddy's lookout, ou nous aperceverons un Koala en milieu naturel. Puis la cascade de Erskine, ou nous verons un kangourous dans son etat naturel. Le chemin en direction de la cascade passe a travers une foret tropicale. Nous repartons pour Bell's Beach (inspiration du film Point Break) et sa plage magnifique. Notre dernier arret pour la journee sera Kenneth River, ou une colonie de Koala est visible depuis le parking. Super journee, et bonne grosse introduction a la faune locale.

From the lighthouse at Queenscliff

From the lighthouse at Queenscliff


View at splitpoint lighthouse

View at splitpoint lighthouse


Splitpoint lighthouse

Splitpoint lighthouse


Bart Hut, a replica of a settler's house

Bart Hut, a replica of a settler's house

Jill petting a koala

Jill petting a koala


Loic petty a koala

Loic petty a koala


Loic petting Matilda the wombat

Loic petting Matilda the wombat


Loic petting a baby kangaroo

Loic petting a baby kangaroo


Loic going to Teddy's lookout

Loic going to Teddy's lookout


Koala encounter!

Koala encounter!


Koala eating gum tree leaves

Koala eating gum tree leaves

View from Teddy's Lookout

View from Teddy's Lookout


Koala we saw sleeping on the Teddy's lookout trail

Koala we saw sleeping on the Teddy's lookout trail

Rainforest around Erskine falls

Rainforest around Erskine falls


Erskine Falls

Erskine Falls

Bell's Beach

Bell's Beach

1 of 4 koalas in the trees at Kennett River

1 of 4 koalas in the trees at Kennett River

After stopping at the bakery in Apollo Bay, we enjoyed our pastries at the first scenic pullout along the great ocean road. Our first stop was a walk, part of the Great Ocean Walk, the Ellis Creek Loop. Sadly, we only walked along the ocean a short distance, before climbing back up into the forest, but it was a beautiful hike. We also did the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk, and saw huge trees whose trunks you could walk or crawl through. We took a detour in search of cheese and bought some Camembert at Apostles Whey Cheese, after tasting all 12 cheeses they had on offer. The drive to buy cheese took us through beautiful, hilly farm fields with lots of cows, reminding me of Wisconsin. We made it into Port Campbell late afternoon and bought crackers and wine to go with our cheese for dinner. We made 3 more scenic stops at the London Bridge, the Arch and the Grotto, but by then the heat was stifling and the flies were ruthless. We hurried back home to relax with some wine before sunset to view the 12 Apostles. Actually, there are only 7 left because 5 have collapsed over the years. After the sunset, we stuck around long enough to wait for the penguins to come in from sea and walk along the beach to nest. It was dark and difficult to see, but with binoculars we could make them out walking in a line.
Le lendemain, apres un passage chez le boulanger d'Apollo Bay, nous repartons sur la route. Nous degusterons notre petit dejeuner un peu plus loin, sur le bord de la route, avec vue sur la plage. Notre premier arret de la journee sera Ellis Creek. C'est aussi le premier point d'arret d'un chemin de randonne (Great Ocean Walk). La marche (30min) sera plutot intense, et malheureusement pas du tout une marche cotiere. Nous marcherons ensuite dans la foret tropicale pres de Maits Rest Rainforest, a travers les arbres geants. Midi passe, nous ferons un detour a la fromagerie du coin (Apostle Grey Cheese) et y acheterons le repas du soir, apres une seance degustation complete sur place. Nous arriverons a Port Campbell, notre etape en milieu d'apres midi. Nous y mongerons notre fromage et du vin, en attendant la tombee de la nuit. Vers 20h, nuos allons observer le coucher de soleil au sies des 12 apotres (Il n'y a plus 7 colonne au lieu de 12). Puis nous restons apres le coucher de soleil avec d'apercevoir les pingouins retournant a leur nid.

Loic on the Ellis Creek Loop trail

Loic on the Ellis Creek Loop trail


Jill in a tree at Maits Rest Rainforest walk

Jill in a tree at Maits Rest Rainforest walk

Castle Cove Lighthouse on Cape Otway

Castle Cove Lighthouse on Cape Otway


Cape Otway National Park

Cape Otway National Park


View from Castle Cove lighthouse

View from Castle Cove lighthouse

The Grotto near Port Campbell

The Grotto near Port Campbell


The Arch, near Port Campbell

The Arch, near Port Campbell


London Bridge near Port Campbell

London Bridge near Port Campbell

12 Apostles at sunset

12 Apostles at sunset


Penguins returning after sunset at the 12 Apostles

Penguins returning after sunset at the 12 Apostles

Our last day on the Great Ocean Road we backtracked to visit Loch Ard which is a famous site for a shipwreck. We made a quick stop at Cheese World and bought more cheese and wine to take to James and Kate. Our final stop on our journey was to Cape Bridgewater. Here we ran/walked a coastal trail to view a seal colony. It was our first trail that followed the coastline the entire walk, and along the way we were lucky enough to spot two groups of kangaroos! We stayed a few minutes to watch the seal lions play in the water and sun themselves, before making the quick journey back to the car. Three hours later, driving through country roads past sheep farms, we arrived back at James and Kate's home for another delicious dinner and evening of socializing.
Notre dernier jour, nous finissons les derniers points de vue cotiers, puis poussons dans l'Ouest jusqu'au Cap BridgeWater, a 3h45 de Melbourne. Apers un arret provision (vin,fromage) pour le soir, nous arrivons au depart du chemin de 5.5km. Un peu en retard, nous decidons de courir la distance jusqu'au point vue des otaries. Super chemin de promenade, en bordure de mer (enfin!). Nous apercevrons quelques otaries de Nouvelle-Zelande, ou d'Australie (deux especes differentes sur site?) puis retournons (en courant) a la voiture. Apres 3h+ de conduite, nous arrivons chez Kate&James pour y passer une derniere soiree conviviale !

Loch Ard

Loch Ard


Loch Ard

Loch Ard

Kangaroos

Kangaroos


Kangaroos at Cape Bridgewater

Kangaroos at Cape Bridgewater

Seal lions playing in the ocean

Seal lions playing in the ocean


Seal lions at Cape Bridgewater

Seal lions at Cape Bridgewater

Loic running back on the Seal Lion colony trail

Loic running back on the Seal Lion colony trail


Cape Bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater

We really loved this part of Australia and hope to return one day!
Nous avons vraiment aimer la cote Sud de l'etat. Dans l'espoir d'y revenir un jour !
Demain direction Sydney.

Posted by jillandloic 18:09 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Pemuteran, Bali

A tropical paradise

overcast 26 °C

large_IMG_20170204_122329200.jpg

We took a taxi to Pemuteran, a beach town in the northwest of Bali, known mainly for scuba diving. We checked into our lovely guesthouse and headed straight for the beach. We were eager to snorkel with the new coral we had read about. The technology has been around since the 70's, but recently in Pemuteran a group is growing coral 6x faster than nature, by applying a light electrical current to a metal frame with coral planted on it. After lunch we chose our dive center for the next day, and hiked up a small mountain with a temple at the top, for a view of the coast. In the evening, in an attempt to avoid paying for overpriced and bad tasting cocktails, we bought a bottle of rum, tonic water, orange juice, guava juice, and lyche juice (hey, it's all we could find), and actually made a very tasty rum punch!
Nous quittons Munduk pour Pemuteran, sur la cote nord, sa plage, et ses activites sous marines. Nous restons dans un hotel super sympa et peu cher, pres de la plage. La specialite locale est un coral qui pousse sur des constructions artificielles en metal, boostees par un courant electrique continue de faible voltage (Biorock). Nous passons le premier jour a prendre nos reperes, faire un peu de tuba, puis suivons un chemin vers le haut de la colline voisine afin de profiter de la vue. En soiree, nous decidons de faire des cocktails maisons a base de rhum. Grosse reussite :)

Our outdoor bathroom

Our outdoor bathroom


Snorkeling in warm water with lots of new coral

Snorkeling in warm water with lots of new coral


Wire structure with electical current, to assist coral to grow 6x faster

Wire structure with electical current, to assist coral to grow 6x faster


Cables delivering electrical current

Cables delivering electrical current


Resting at the top of our hike, overlooking Pemuteran

Resting at the top of our hike, overlooking Pemuteran


Top of the hike

Top of the hike

Our second day we went diving to Menjangan Island and completed 3 dives. The water was so warm and clear, and we saw many new things we'd never seen. On our first dive we saw frog fish, giant barracuda, an eel garden (literally, it looked like sea grass), an octopus, white tip shark, sea slug, bat fish, blue spotted rays, trumpet fish and moray eels. Our second dive we saw, razor fish, an electric clam, and a pigmy seahorse. The electric clam video below shows two edges that look like lights, but we only saw one- still, shockingly amazing! We didn't think very highly of the pygmy seahorse because it was so small and looked exactly like the pink coral it was attached to, that if you hadn't shown and written what it was on the slate, we would never have guessed it was anything. And then, we watched the video below and are now thoroughly impressed with these creatures! Our last dive, we didn't see anything new, but we stayed shallow enough that we could finally use my underwater camera without breaking it.
Le second jour, nous allons plonger (3 plongees) autour de l'ile de Menjangan. Nous sommes abasourdis par la qualite du spot. L'eau est tres claire, le corail magnifique. Nous y verrons entre autre des poissons grenouille, barracuda geant, un jardin d'anguille, un poulpe, un requin a pointe blanche, et autres poissons. Un poisson chauve souris de mer nous suivra pendant les 45 minutes de notre premiere plongee. Notre seconde plongee nous proposera des poissons rasoirs, une moule electrique et des hippocampes pygmes. La moule electrique produit en fait un jeu de lumiere sur le contour de ses babines, afin d'attirer l'innocent poisson local. L'hippocampe, quand a lui, est vraiment de taille reduite. La video ci-dessous (piquee sur Youtube) explique la situation plutot bien. Sur la troisieme plongee, nous voyons tout un tas de chose classique, donc on vous embetera pas avec les details :) Au passage, a noter, une camera certifie 12m de profondeur est utilisable jusqu'a 12-13 metres. Plus profond, la pression de la colonne d'eau sur les boutons du boitier rends l'exercice... interessant.

Loic on Menjangan Island

Loic on Menjangan Island


Loic doing a back roll off our dive boat

Loic doing a back roll off our dive boat


Practicing buoyancy

Practicing buoyancy

Tiny lionfish

Tiny lionfish


frogfish

frogfish


Starfish

Starfish


octopus

octopus


No idea

No idea


Loic's photography skills translate well underwater!

Loic's photography skills translate well underwater!


A big slug

A big slug


Loic and anemone

Loic and anemone


giant clam

giant clam


This was the color of the pygmy seahorse and coral it lived on

This was the color of the pygmy seahorse and coral it lived on

Our last day at the beach town we spent at the expensive-looking resort across the street, whose 3 pools overlook the sea on one side, with a mountain view on the other. We chose the largest pool that had a bar at the end with stone bar stools, so we could have cocktails and lunch while still sitting in the pool! We spent the day swimming and reading and only returned home in the late afternoon when the clouds started threatening.
Notre dernier jour, nous traversons la route, et allons visiter la piscine de l'hotel 5 etoile du coin. super piscines, Super vue. Super bar. Bon cocktails. Bref, la vue est dure. On y passera la journee, et ne rentrerons chez nous qu'a l'approche des nuages menacants.

Makeshift cocktails- not bad!

Makeshift cocktails- not bad!

Our final day in Bali we took a taxi the 4 hours back to the airport, and decided to spend our time awaiting an 11:45 pm flight to Australia, with an inexpensive resort room and a pool. Another lazy day resting up for a whirlwind week in the land down under!
Pour notre dernier jour a Bali (avion a 23h), nous prenons un taxi pour retourner a Denpasar. Nous avons reserver une chambre d'hotel afin de passer l'apres midi dans l'air conditionne. Bref, journee tranquille avant de s'envoler pour l'Australie !

Posted by jillandloic 03:18 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

Ubud and Munduk, Bali

The rain strikes again!

rain 26 °C

We had the dirt paths all to ourselves

We had the dirt paths all to ourselves

We landed in Bali and took a taxi straight to Ubud. The first morning we wandered the city and had lunch at an organic restaurant that overlooked ricefields. After lunch, we wandered along the rice fields that were free from the noise and tourism of the city, and admired all the beauty and shades of green. In the evening we went to a Balinese dance at a temple. The second day was rainy, but we took a scooter to a waterfall anyway. In the afternoon it rained so hard that we gave up trying to visit temples and found a happy hour instead. In the evening, we went to the most delicious Italian restaurant, where, buying a happy hour drink got you 5 free appetizers! Ending with a tiramisu, it was one of the best meals we've had in a long time!
Nous atterrissons a Bali-Denpasar et prenons un taxi pour Ubud. Nous passons notre premiere journee a decouvrir la ville, manger au restaurant bio avec vue sur les rizieres. Dans l'apres midi, nous nous baladerons au milieu des rizieres pour une petite marche d'une demie heure. Le calme de la campagne, pourtant si pres de la ville et de son traffic. En soiree nous assistons un spectacle de danse dans un temple local. Le second jour, nous allons visiter les alentours en scooter, malgre la pluie. Apres un tour rapide aux cascades du coin, nous essayer de nous motiver pour une visite de temples. Au detour d'un chemin, un bar happy-hour fait son apparition et nous capture pour l'apres midi. Nous finirons la soiree dans une petit restau italien, tapas, vin et tiramisu !

We visited one temple before the rain started

We visited one temple before the rain started

These lizards were everywhere!

These lizards were everywhere!

Waterfall outside of Ubud

Waterfall outside of Ubud


Plowing the ricefields

Plowing the ricefields


Rice terraces

Rice terraces


Ricefield

Ricefield


Ricefields

Ricefields

Our lunch with a view of the ricefields

Our lunch with a view of the ricefields

Several flocks of ducks ran from one rice field pool to the next

Several flocks of ducks ran from one rice field pool to the next


Balinese dance performed at a temple

Balinese dance performed at a temple


Every guesthouse entrance looks like this

Every guesthouse entrance looks like this


Monkeys- the far one is trying to get into a can of spraypaint

Monkeys- the far one is trying to get into a can of spraypaint

Tiramisu and red wine, along with amazing appetizers

Tiramisu and red wine, along with amazing appetizers

We took a taxi to the mountain town of Munduk, passing beautiful rice fields and lakes, as well as a cremation ceremony. Shortly after we arrived, the skies opened and it poured. Tired of letting the rain ruin our plans, we dressed in rain jackets, ponchos, and my awesome rubber shoes I bought in Malaysia, and hit the trails. Munduk is known for waterfalls and steep trails, and due to the pouring rain, the waterfalls didn't disappoint! The relentless rain and colder mountain temps prompted us to leave the next day to hope for better weather along the northern coast of Bali.
Nous prenons un taxi pour la ville de Munduk, au nord de Bali, en haut de la montagne. La vue est magnifique. Sur le chemin nous nous gorgeons de la vue magnifique des campagnes balinaises (sous la pluie). Nous arrivons tot a notre gite, et partons faire un tour a pied, sous une pluie d'enfer. Nous atteignons les deux cascades du coin, liee par des escaliers glissants, et guide par un chien sauvage. La pluie incessante nous fait changer nos plan, et nous partons un jour plus tot pour Pemuteran.

The cremation ceremony getting ready to proceed down the street

The cremation ceremony getting ready to proceed down the street

The tiny town of Munduk had 2 restaurants and lost of guesthouses

The tiny town of Munduk had 2 restaurants and lost of guesthouses


The second waterfall

The second waterfall


So much water!

So much water!

The flora and fauna were beautiful along the trails

The flora and fauna were beautiful along the trails


Our mountainview from our guesthouse during the brief period without rain!

Our mountainview from our guesthouse during the brief period without rain!

Loic wearing a rainjacket and a poncho, and still getting wet!

Loic wearing a rainjacket and a poncho, and still getting wet!

Posted by jillandloic 04:08 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Singapore

Welcome to Singapore

overcast 26 °C

Garden by the bay with the Singapore flyer on the left

Garden by the bay with the Singapore flyer on the left

We landed in Singapore for Chinese New Year's Eve. We wandered around the downtown admiring all the decorations and people in new clothes, especially red for the year of the rooster. We ended up skipping the count down party, as it didn't start til 10pm and we had been up since 4 am for our flight from the Philippines. Our main full day in Singapore we went to all the usual walking tour sights, and discovered that many things were closed, due to the holiday. We did enjoy the architecture and sculptures around the city. Our last day, before our flight, we sampled several carnival foods at the food tent on the waterfront and visited the Garden by the Bay. The best part of Singapore was following the sound of some drums to a dragon dance performance at a hotel, only an hour before we had to start heading to the airport! I had been disappointed because the dragon dance was something I was hoping to see, but the dragon dance contest happened 2 weeks before New Year's Day, and the major parade with dragons happens 2 weeks after. So, I count myself lucky to have stumbled upon this performance! The second best thing about Singapore was being able to drink the tap water!
Nous arrivons a Singapore juste a temps pour le nouvel an Chinois (annee du Coq). Nous parcourons les rues de Chinatown a la decouverte des festivites. Les rues sont decorees et vibrent sous le fourmissement des residents. La tradition veut que ceux-ci sortent habilles de leur nouveaux habits (rouges), ce qui pretent aux rues de Singapore un air sophistique :) Apres plusieurs mois en Asie, nous apprecions le retour a un environnement urbain plus classique pour nous. Apres hesitations, nous n'assisterons pas au passage a la nouvel annee, et allons nous coucher, apres une grosse journee (debutee a 4am pour prendre l'avion). Nous passons la journee suivante a nous balader autour des attractions classique du centre ville (sculptures, architecture, eglises...). Le dernier jour, nous poussons jusqu'a la baie et les jardins de la baie (a ne pas manquer) et en profitons pour deguster les specialites locales sur le bord de Baie (grec, crepe, brochette de calamar). Tres bonne surprise quand nous assistons a une dance du dragon dans le hall d'un hotel 5 etoiles. En court, deux jours en ville, histoire de respirer :) Singapore c'est plutot sympa. Direction Bali !

Rooster at the site of the countdown

Rooster at the site of the countdown


Decorations

Decorations

View from the double helix bridge- skyline, river cruise and merlion statue

View from the double helix bridge- skyline, river cruise and merlion statue


The bayfront and double helix bridge

The bayfront and double helix bridge

A catholic church

A catholic church

Sculptures outside of the art museum

Sculptures outside of the art museum


Sculpture in the garden by the bay

Sculpture in the garden by the bay


Sculpture along the riverfront

Sculpture along the riverfront

Oh yeah, deep fried oreo cookie

Oh yeah, deep fried oreo cookie


Loic's favorite- squid on a stick

Loic's favorite- squid on a stick


Smore's bowl, with nutella and totally not the right kind of cracker

Smore's bowl, with nutella and totally not the right kind of cracker


New Year's fair in the bay front

New Year's fair in the bay front

Merlion sculpture

Merlion sculpture


Gardens growing along the terraces

Gardens growing along the terraces

Posted by jillandloic 23:19 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

Bohol and Malapascua

The adventure continues in the Philippines

sunny 28 °C

Another sunset

Another sunset

If we were to have one country on this trip where things didn't go at all as planned, it would be the Philippines. As you remember from the last blog, our first destination we could not get to because the threat of a typhoon blocked the ferry. We had a few good days of diving in Moalboal, including a night dive (photos included in this blog), however, the canyoneering we had planned on was cancelled due to risk of flash floods from all the rain.
Si il y a bien un pays dans lequel nos plans ont ete perturbes, c'est les Philippines. Si vous vous souvenez, notre visite dans ce pays a debute avec une tempete tropicale nous barrant la route vers l'ile de Malapascua. Nous avons ensuite mis le cap vers Moalboal, sur la cote ouest et y avons passe quelques bonnes journees (photos de la plongee de nuit ci-dessous), bien que nous ne puissions faire de canyoneering, encore une fois a cause de la tempete.

Squids

Squids


Big sea cumcumber

Big sea cumcumber


Red Lion fish

Red Lion fish


Feather star fish

Feather star fish


Lion fish

Lion fish


Big blue slug

Big blue slug

After Moalboal, we moved on to Dumaguete on the island of Negros, specifically to dive at Apo Island, a marine reserve. However, the night before Loic developed a painful ear infection, sending us to the ER at midnight on a Saturday, thus canceling our next day's diving. We had to wait til Monday morning to see an ENT who could test for the infection (ER's are very poorly equipped in the Philippines), and sure enough, Loic walked out with antibiotics and directions to avoid the water for a week.
Apres Moalboal, nous allons a Dumaguete, sur l'ile Negros Occidentale(?), principalement pour faire une journee de plongee sur l'ile d'Apo. Malheureusement, la veille, Loic se prends une otite, ce qui nous emmene a visiter les urgences a minuit, un Samedi. Les urgences n'ont pas le materiel d'ORL, donc nous en repartons avec un antidouleur. Pas de plongee, et le lundi matin, nous allons voir un ORL (4h d'attente) a l'hopital, qui, surprise, surprise, diagnostique une otite (30 secondes) et prescrit un antibiotique (22 secondes) et une recommendation de ne pas plonger pours prochains jours.

We moved on to the island of Bohol and stayed a few nights at the touristy Alona Beach. We enjoyed all the restaurants and had great mai tai's, but the next day when I arrived at my dive resort to dive that day, the coast guard prevented all boats from going out, again, due to the rain. The following day we moved inland to explore more of the island than just the beach, and visited the tarsier sanctuary (in the rain), which unfortunately only took about 10 minutes to see each of the 6 sleeping primates, no bigger than the size of your fist! We had planned on seeing the chocolate hills, but hiking in the rain just didn't seem appealing anymore.
Bref, nous rejoignons finalement l'ile de Bohol (3 heures de ferry-catamaran sous force 4) et restons quelques nuits sur la plage d'Alona. Plage a touriste, nous y reposons nos corps endoloris (le temps prohibite toute sortie de plongee pour Jill) a grand renfort de Mai-Tai et de bons restaurants. Nous changeons de coin apres 3 nuits et rejoignons Tagbiliran pour visiter le sanctuaire des Tarsiers. 40 minutes de Tricycle pour 10 minutes de rencontre avec ces petites primates nocturnes super mignons. Ils sont de la taille d'une main, mais peuvent sauter jusqu'a 5 metres. Super-cute ! Nous voulions voir les "Chocolate hills", mais le temps pluvieux nous encourage a rentrer en ville.

A tarsier

A tarsier


skeleton of a tarsier

skeleton of a tarsier

Finally, we headed back up to Cebu City for a night, to leave for the ferry for our second attempt at Malapascua Island. We added a few days to this destination because by this point, we were tired of moving around! We met a lovely couple from England, Pete and Kate, on the ferry, and proceeded to spend most of our 6 days on the island with them! Aside from diving, we swam and snorkeled at a few different beaches and the resort pool, enjoyed cheap cocktails, and fantastic Italian food. Angelina's served amazing Italian dishes with imported cheeses and good, cheap wine. We ate there at least once a day because after 4 months in Asia, we needed our cheese and wine fix! Pete and Kate were great company and socializing consumed each of our evenings (hence, being so late on this blog). Malapascua island is very small and has no cars on it, only dirt bikes. It only took 40 minutes to walk from the south to the north end, and most locals work in tourism or fishing.
Au final, nous coupons court noter visite de Bohol, et rentrons a Cebu en route vers l'ile de Malapascua, en esperant que cette fois ci, le temps sera meilleur. Nous sympatisons avec un couple Anglais sur le ferry (45 minutes en barcasse trimaran, force 3 - ou sont les gilets de sauvetage ? :)), nommes Kate et Pete avec qui nous passerons le reste de nos 6 jours sur l'ile. Nous plongerons a plusieurs reprise, et en general profitons de la vie relaxante de cette ile tranquille, et de ses eaux turquoise. Et de ses cocktails et de son restaurant Italien (Angelina's) :) Apres 4 mois en Asie, la cuisine Italienne nous apparait sublime. Nous socialisons avec Kate & Pete la plupart des soirees, (d'ou ce blog tardif :) ).
L'ile de Malapascua est de taille reduite (40 minutes de Sud au Nord, 15 Ouest-Est a pied), sans voitures, et avec 5-6 plages de sable fin. Les recentes tempetes/Typhoon ont malheureusement devaste le corail local. Un petit paradis.

The ferry to Malapascua

The ferry to Malapascua

Dinner at Angelina's

Dinner at Angelina's


We had tiramusu a few time

We had tiramusu a few time


We love pools!

We love pools!

kate_pete

kate_pete


Gorgeous sunsets

Gorgeous sunsets

Gorgeous beaches and water color

Gorgeous beaches and water color

Another sunset

Another sunset


A path along the island

A path along the island

The main draw to Malapascua is diving with thresher sharks, who visit the cleaning station (other fish are the cleaners) every day and sightings are very common. We had to wake at 4:30 to arrive for their sunrise cleaning, but it was worth it! The sharks get so close, and with their long tails, are really quite beautiful. We also did a dive with a really strong current that at first seemed pretty barren, until we found 3 seahorses (all sleeping) ,which we have never seen yet, stone fish, shrimps, and territorial clownfish that seemed to chase us away. Our final dive we saw more shrimps, a colorful sea slug, and a weird fish floating down to the bottom (you'll have to wait til the next blog- we're waiting for the diver with a camera to send us the video).
Le principal attrait de Malapascua est la plongee avec les requin-renard (Thresher shark). La caracteristique principale de ces requins est leur longue queue. Reveil a 4:30am pour plonger vers 5:30am sur le site ou ces squales tournent en rond le temps d'un petit nettoyage par le poissons locaux. La plongee est assez fatiguante a 30m, en eau froide, tot le matin. Mais la vue vaut le coup. Nous plongerons a deux autres reprises, une fois pour voir des Hippocampes et une autre fois pour voir le reste de la faune local, dans un site qui fut probablement magnifique il y a quelque annees, avant que les typhons n'amassent une quantitee effrayant de corals morts sur le fond marin. :( Bref, les plongees etant profondent, nous n'emmenons pas notre camera, et auront peut etre des photos d'un autre plongeur (Francais) qui nous accompagnait ce jour la.

The boat in the water is most common, used for the ferry and diving trips

The boat in the water is most common, used for the ferry and diving trips


thresher shark

thresher shark


seahorse

seahorse


sea slug

sea slug


pipe fish

pipe fish


flat fish

flat fish

Overall, we took advantage of the good weather at the end of our 3 weeks in the Philippines, had some unique diving experiences, and met a wonderful couple that we hope to stay in touch with. We hope the weather is better in Singapore!
Au final, lorsque le temps s'y prete, Les Philippines sont un pays merveilleux, avec des bonnes plages, plongees, et surtout des gens vraiment, vraiment tres gentils. C'est tres agreable pour des vacances. Nous avons adore rencontrer un couple avec qui partager nos histoires. En route pour Singapour!

Posted by jillandloic 17:19 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

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