I had been stuck on the Island of Cebu in the Philippines with that damn Frenchman Dominique for the best part of a week due to a typhoon that had stopped all boats from leaving. I must admit though we did have a good time but now the all clear was given and we could leave by ferry for the island of Bohol.
We had discussed in depth what to do while we were there and had decided to hire mopeds in the city of Tagbilaran, leave our big backpack at the hotel and taking just our day packs travel across the island to the town of Anda. The first thing Dom did was complain because I had the best helmet despite the fact I had asked for one with a full face visor the day before and this was the only one they had. I didn’t feel too bad as Dom usually took his off as soon as we left the town anyway. So out the city we headed. Dom taking the lead despite me being the only one with sat nav on my phone and off to our first stop. The Tarsier sanctuary in Corella. Tarsiers are these cute tiny nocturnal primates only a few inches tall with these big cute eyes and a long tail. We had our own guide a woman who I think had to be woken from a back room to take us. One fact I never knew, they are the only completely carnivorous primate and cling motionless before leaping from the branch to catch there prey often in mid air. Now these cute buggers don’t just eat insects but but frogs, lizards, small birds and some even snakes.
Our next stop was off into the chocolate hills and to a viewing point in a high hill which we could drive up. Well the scenery was stunning and the view as we ascended was spectacular but the Chocolate hills…… well they were green. Apparently we had arrived when the dry season had only just started so the hills had no chance to go to the brown colour for which they are famous. After going back down we looked for some digs and managed to get two single room in a boutique hotel for a good price with swimming pool. Later we returned to the viewing point (showing our tickets to prove we had paid, you pay for everything in Asia) to share a beer and watch the sunset.
Next day fully refreshed we headed off through the countryside towards the beach resort of Anda. We stopped a couple of times for coffee and snacks in some little towns before coming to the spot where we had two choices. We could either take the main road across land in a loop to the town or take the loop the opposite way going along the coast and through some small villages. I convinced Dom we should take the coast road.
Now when I say road it does not definitely mean a tarmacked bit of highway (Most roads are in fact concrete) some roads are just dirt tracks and although on all the tourist maps it showed a continuous road I did not have the heart to tell Dom that on my satnav on my phone it showed a gap of about 3 km where the road just vanished but hey its an adventure right???
Anyway we follow this coastal route and its really good. No Pukits (foriegners) to be seen just me and Dom. All the locals really friendly waving to us and of course the women love Dom and the kids are fascinated by him. As we travel further and further the going get more rough and the local houses more and more basic. Think fisherman huts, one room, on stilts, no cars or mopeds even. Anyway as we get further the villages stop appearing and there is no people to be seen. The road has gone to being rubble and scree and we are not even on the bit on my satnav with no road yet. People earlier had been giving us a look as if to say “Where are you going?” this later will change to say “Where have you come from?”. Eventually getting to the top of a particular steep bit where I just had to gun my little moped till I got to the top I turned to wait for Dom to reach the top. He was not happy. “This is all motocross. These bikes cannot do this.” it was then I realised I had an advantage over Dominique. He had a biking licence and had ridden big bikes and knew what they could do. I knew nothing about these limitations, I’m the Hobo so I just revved it to hell totally clueless about what I could or could not do so I had no such limitation.
About an hour or so later we had passed one local and although the road was not good at least we were starting to pass dwellings again. People gave us the “Where have you come from?” look then eventually we were in Anda. Plenty of locals to meet and chat to but unfortunately nearly all the guest houses are resorts. Over priced and although beautiful they are the places tourists go with no intention of leaving the beach or the pool. Not mine or Dom’s sort of place but we did manage to find a couple of nice and not too expensive huts near the beach for a couple of days before heading back to Tagbilaran.
Thanks for reading.