Friday, August 5, 2011

Apo Reef Tour – Lighthouse, Mangrove and Pawikan Hunting

It was a fairly easy walk going to the lighthouse. It was drizzling lightly but it wasn’t strong enough to stop us. Climbing the top of the lighthouse is another adventure. If you are not really into heights, you might chicken out while climbing. You can look at the sights of the island even when climbing the stairs.

Happy climbers:

The journey rewards you with these:

The next chapter is rafting across the lake. Since the raft can only accommodate only a number of people, we divided the group. I was part of the second rafting group so I had more time to enjoy the view on top of the lighthouse.

Going to the lake was just a short trek. The man-made “wooden” bridges however protest loudly against my weight, or any weight for that matter.

This way please.

The lake tour brought us closer to the mangroves. We had to be still so that the raft won’t shift and tumble over.

Mangroves. The stillness was eerie and charming:

Camwhoring along the shore:

Then it was time to go back and prepare for dinner and socials. Oh, and of course, we had to wash up again. It was day 2 of budgeted freshwater. There was a poso in the island that pumped... saltwater! Hahahaha! I discovered that soap won’t bubble in saltwater! Interesting discovery.

We were supposed camp outside, but it freakin rained so we brought our tents to the shaded hall of the island.

We learned that last year, the TF group was lucky to witness a pawikan laying its eggs. They bury their eggs in the sand afterwards. And because we wanted the same thing, we stumbled off the campsite and walked into... infinity hoping to find one. A couple of minutes later, we saw a beam of light following us – it was a guard of the island. He said he can’t sleep until everyone is asleep. We realized that our hunt for pawikan-laying-eggs was futile. We proceeded back to camp. I set my alarm for a sunrise walk but... it was so cozy in the tent that I just dozed off. Hahahaha.

Then it was time to go. Scarcity of freshwater bonds people. The group shot:

On our way back, we were allowed to stop to snorkel around Tinangkapan.

It was an awesome site for snorkeling. I saw lots and lots of clams and plenty of colorful corals. There are just no words to describe.

It was another two-hour splashy boat ride and a two-hour van ride. We had an incident on our way back. There were three people riding a motorcycle and the one driving was drunk. They made a quick u-turn towards our van. Our van tried to avoid them but to no avail. Helmets weren’t a must in the provinces. Luckily, they were all alive. We brought them to the nearest hospital. The sad thing is that nobody was even really concerned among the local bystanders. They were just looking but nobody was helping. It was an eventful ride back to San Jose, whew!

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