In an effort to catch up I am going to cover our trip to Bohol in one post. It deserves more but I have to catch up at some point ha ha. If you remember we flew Scoot airlines from Singapore and left just after midnight. We slept on the plane but as you can imagine we were a little bleary eyed as we approached Manila. Manila was socked in with rain and clouds and as we approached at 4:30 AM you could not see anything outside the window. The pilot made the announcement that we were going to land but at the last second he gunned the engines and took us back up in the air. He came on and apologized but said the visibility was so low they needed to make another attempt. Ok so now we are wide awake! After about 10 minutes he announced that we would try again. We went lower and lower and again at the last second he gunned it took us back up. Now I am not afraid of flying but this had my attention. The pilot came back on and apologized again and said the visibility was too low and we were going to go into a holding pattern for about 20 minutes to let the sun come up a bit so the visibility would be better. OK Mr. Pilot you do whatever you need to land us safely. Lyn and I said a quick prayer and then I started to sing 100 bottles of beer on the wall! Now I know what you are thinking….wait what?!?!?!? But hear me out. If you would have gone back to when this plane was first being built and asked the engineer who was building it, what are the chances of this plane crashing while a pudgy balding guy was singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall, well of course he would have said almost zero. So I did my part and as I got to 52 bottles of beer on the wall, we came in for our third attempt. This time we had a successful landing and I would like to think that in some small way I contributed to our safe landing! As I left the plane the pilot actually greeted all of us and I gave him a thumbs up and he gave one back. It was like he was thanking me for doing my part. Feel free to use this in your own travels, it has worked 100% of the time for me! Ha ha!
We landed in Terminal 1 and one of the first things we saw was a”Mabuhay Miles” sign! What a great way to be greeted with our own personal sign. 🙂 We had to get to Terminal 3 to catch our next flight to Bohol. This is not as easy as it sounds. We tried to take the shuttle but it was not leaving for about 50 minutes so we took a cab and for just under $4 we were delivered to Terminal 3. This time we would be flying Cebu airlines. We would fly to Tagbilaran in Bohol and then catch about a 30 minute tricycle ride to Panglao where our hotel was. We landed with no problems at the smallest airport that we have seen so far. We literally walked out the door and where already in the downtown area. I had read online that the price to the hotel should be between 300 to 600 pesos with 300 being a great deal and 600 hundred being too high. The first tricycle driver offered 600 so we went to the next and he said 500 and I offered 400 and he agreed. He also agreed to take us by an ATM on the way. It was really great to be in a tricycle again. Tuk Tuk’s are fun but these tricycle’s really have a place in my heart.
We arrived at our hotel Nora’s Place. It was about 5 minutes from Alona beach by scooter each room came with a scooter that you could use to tour the island of Panglao. We were met by Roy the manager and he gave us the lay of the land. Our room was ready and it was so nice. You had a sitting area, nice bathroom and patio with a kitchen area that was literally a few feet from the pool. In fact all of the rooms were like this and they all faced the pool. It was truly its own little oasis and to think we would be here for three nights! We took a short nap and then headed into town on our scooter. I asked Roy if there were any special traffic rules and he said that here in the Philippines there is really only one rule and it was “there are no rules” Ha Ha! Got it I can remember that. Actually he said just be prepared to have people pass you on either side and you will be good to go. We headed out and with in minutes we were in the heavy traffic around Alona beach. The good news it was very slow and actually all of my bike riding had prepared me for this. Just pretend that everyone is about to hit you and you will be fine. After checking out the beach area we headed out for a bigger ride and I really got use to the scooter and the road. I even learned how to pass slower vehicles. You can see me in action here! Can you say fun?!?!? I can! We stopped back at Alona beach and had a late lunch and then headed back to the hotel. We took another small nap and a quick dip in the pool and then went to get some street food. We decided to bring it back to the hotel and actually watch Netflix and call it a day. We fell asleep by 10. Since we took the redeye flight from Singapore we had really had one long day. So glad we are staying here for three nights.
The next morning we got up hopped on the scooter and went in search of breakfast. Now if you know me by now you know if I have a choice I would rather eat with the locals! Its more fun in so many ways. Well after stopping at several places we finally came across a little Sari Sari store and breakfast place. It was right next to an elementary school which was an added bonus because we could watch all of the school children starting their day. In the Philippines all of the students wear uniforms and some of the students are assigned every day to come in early to help clean the school. How refreshing! Anyway, for breakfast we had eggs, coffee, sausage all for about $2. But the best part was watching the school kids. They would come through a hole in the school fence and by breakfast as well as sheets of lined paper for school. Of course they were all staring at me and gave me big smiles which I gave right back! As a bonus we also had the occasional chicken join us! I really think I could do this every morning and never grow tired of it! Luckily for us we could do it at least for the next two mornings.
After breakfast we explored the island on scooter in search of a nice beach so far all we have seen is water that comes all the way up to the edge of the shore with no beach area at all. So far we have hit every beach at high tide and also the weather this time of year is making the waves push the water up on shore. While we did find a few beautiful water shots we never did find a beach that truly looked like one we could stroll down. We did however have a bunch of good scooter time and headed to Taglibaran to eat lunch at a place we saw on the way from the airport the day before. It was on the bridge between Tagbilaran and Panglao island. Of course it was a local place and we sampled several of the local foods. We took a different way back and rode along the coast and ran across a resort called the Bohol Bee Farm. I had read it was nice so we stopped in. It was even better than expected and was a great place to hang out even if you did not stay there. We got some Ube ice-cream and took a look around. This place was beautiful. We headed down some stairs and next thing we knew we had a beautiful view of the ocean and several restaurants. We hung out there for a while and enjoyed every part of the resort. After about an hour we headed back to the hotel. Lyn had met one of the workers there called Ta Ta and we asked her if she could suggest a local place for us to eat tonight. She said that her relatives had a place right down the road called Nieda’s and if we said that we knew her they would give us a discount. I took her picture and planned to show it to them but Lyn had a better idea. She asked Ta Ta if she and her husband could meet us there for dinner. We all met at 7 at Nieda’s. It was awesome! You basically had all kinds of meat you could choose from. You picked it out what you wanted and put it on a plate then they took it to the Charcoal grill and grilled it for you. They also had a small bar connected to it. It was actually about 78 degrees. So here we are sitting outside with the smell of food on the grill with great company and beautiful weather. All of this about a 2 minute scooter ride from our hotel. We enjoyed the evening with our new friends and then headed back to the hotel. Oh and by the way …….. all of the food for all of us and 4 beers came to just under $10! We went to bed around 10. The next day we planned to do the usual tourist tour of Bohol!
So we had two options we could go on a tour with other people for about 1000 pesos and tour about 10 things. The problem was we did not want to do the zip line, the Python zoo or the ATV ride. That would mean that during that part we would have to wait on everyone else so we decided to hire a private car which was about $50 for 8 hours. This included the driver and the gas and we could stop and go whenever we decided. Perfect! The driver came and met us at 8 am to pick us up. After a quick stop at an ATM we were off to the Chocolate Hills! This is a very famous spot in the Philippines. They are called the Chocolate Hills because when they are brown they literally look like like chocolate mounds for as far as the eyes can see. After about an hour we headed to the Tarsier sanctuary. These animals are so cute and they are just hanging out in the trees. You have to be quite so you do not startle them. I thought they would be hard to find but all you had to look for was people huddled together taking pictures and they would be there. After about 30 minutes we headed to a swinging bridge which was made out of bamboo and is shaky the entire way. Lyn did not like this but being the trooper that she is she did it. Then we were off the Loboc river boat cruise for lunch. This is very touristy thing to do but it needed to be done so we went for it. For about $10 a piece we would get about an hour boat ride complete with a buffet lunch and entertainment. As luck would have it the only table for two was at the very front of the boat which meant that we had a the perfect view of the river and would be far away from the engine! Yes please! Because we were on the boat first we got to go to the buffet before almost everyone else. It was actually pretty good and had a big selection. The boat pulled out about 15 minutes later and we had a live singer with guitar singing all of the great 70’s ballads. Lyn loved it as these are the songs she grew up on. You can click here for a short video. We went down the river and took in the sights. We even got to see people riding the zip line above us. About half way through our trip we got off the boat for a show of singing and dancing that included a Filipino dance called Tinikling. You can see Lyn joining in the fun by clicking here. After that we headed further down the river and finally turned around at a small waterfall and headed back. This was actually so much fun! I highly recommend it! Next we were off to the butterfly bird exhibit. This was a short 15 to 20 minute tour but was actually so fun. Our guide was very interesting and he took some good videos and pictures of us while we were there. One of the birds we held was only 11 months old but had a life expectancy of 100 years. For some reason that blew my mind that it could be around 99 more years. After that we headed to a church and the location of the Blood Compact. It is a famous statue that to be honest I need to learn more about for sure. After hat we headed home and arrived at Nora’s around 4. We went for a swim and then about 7 headed out for dinner. We headed back to Alona beach and had a burger and fish and chips and just watched all of the people walk by. Finally after a scoop of Ube ice cream we headed home. Tomorrow our flight leaves Taglibaran at 8AM to we have arranged to have a tricycle pick us up at 6:30. Finally we are headed to Solano! Just a quick flight to Manila and then a 7 hour bus ride to Lyn’s home town! Getting excited for sure.