Sour sop with friends (and we saw a turtle)

It’s been fantastic catching up with our old lodgers in Dumaguete. Sally and Alessandro stayed with us in Bristol two years ago when they were attending the “Wild Screen”, an exposition for wildlife film making.

Sally and Ale research large marine animals here in the Philippines including manta rays, sting rays and whale sharks and also work with the BBC on productions such as Blue Planet II. They recommended some great places for us to visit in the Philippines and we stayed with them for two nights before heading to Apo Island. We stayed for dinner with Sally, Ale and their housemate, Diana and they shared papaya, frozen jack fruit and sour sop with us. The sour sop doesn’t look great but I really enjoyed the taste of the sweet and sour fruit but don’t eat the seeds because they’re poisonous.

There was also some dubious electrical wiring in the Dumaguete area, this is a standard sight in most Asian cities.

We left Sally and Ale in Dumaguete this morning and took a bus down the coast to pick up the boat to Apo Island. The organisation at the port was a complete shambles! There were lots of boats and lots of people but we weren’t aloud to share a boat with the day trippers because we were staying on the island. So we found six people to share a boat and then the lady took two of our group and added them to a boat of day trippers. In the mean time Filipinos seemed to arrive, charter a boat and leave before us. They told us there were no more 4 pax boats so we waited. After an hour and a half of being at the port some more tourists arrived and we agreed to share a ride. We had 8 pax so told the lady we were ready….but then she turned around and said all she had was a 4 pax boat. Us and the French couple looked at each other in despair but we couldn’t help laughing because it was so comical. Generally, organisation is pretty lacking here. They make me look like a pro!!!

Anyway we made it to Apo. Woohoo! Apo is great for snorkelling and diving due to the coral reefs and turtles. We’re thinking about using some of our wedding money to do the PADI diving course while we’re here.

While out snorkelling in the afternoon we saw our first turtle. It was awesome…”I love turtles”. It was flapping along at the bottom, probably 4m away but it came even closer when ascending the coral barrier. We followed it for a minute or two but I think it was trying to get away so we decided to leave it in peace. We’re looking forward to seeing some more in the coming days. We also saw some pretty white and blue hooped sea snakes hiding amongst the coral. There’s no chance I’m going to get close to those creatures!

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