There is slight change in plan. I will be going around remaining south east asian countries a bit faster than my initial plan and the reason is my family is freaking out so I will take a detour to India in next couple of months, calm them down and also travel in India for atleast a month and a half and get few more visas and then continue to europe and rest of the world. If anyone wants to backpack across India, join the fun.
Have you watched eat, pray and love movie? one hostel staff in New Zealand asked me about where I am from? and when I asked him the same question, he replied Bali then he said “Remember that movie eat in Italy, Pray in India and Love in Bali. I am from Bali” I had no idea what he was talking about, he also advised me to visit Ubud in Bali when I am there. Later I downloaded the movie while I was in Korea, internet speed is blazing and watched it on the way to Bali. It was a nice movie and I liked it. When I stumbled upon the blog about healers the other day I remembered about the movie. I decided to meet some local healers and planned to visit about four of them in the near by area. I was excited about the experience and had no idea what to expect. Anyways I set up meeting with this one healer (P) who was close to the hostel I was staying in.
P lived about couple of miles from my hostel and I showed up a bit early than the planned time. When I entered the street I asked the two people standing there about the healer’s house and one of them told me to come in. I was waiting there for some time. One who asked me to come in was P, the healer, with whom I was meeting.
I landed in Bali in the afternoon after spending the night at the bangkok airport. I tried to sleep at various places in various positions at the airport but was not very successful. First I tried in the lounge on a sofa, which was ok until the staff woke me up saying they have to close it around 2am and they reopened at 5:30am so I walked around the terminal and in the corner few people were sleeping on the empty chairs and I joined them for the next few hours.
Immigration was surprisingly quick but immigration officer was confused when my turn came and he asked me to follow to the office on the side of the building, I was confused and had little energy to ask what is going on. In the office he asked something to his colleague and they were talking in indonesian and I had no clue what is going on, then the other office starts flipping my passport and points to something on the screen and talks with the officer who brought me there and after a while I asked Is everything ok? and officer was like Sorry sir, some technical problem. I think the officer was new anyways I was out of the airport pretty soon.
Bali was not that hot compared to Philippines or may be I was acclimatized. I had arranged pick up from the hostel as I knew I will have no energy to bargain and handle the taxi drivers after the long layover.
I spent next couple of days doing nothing in Cebu. I just went to starbucks, ate at different restaurants near the city center and slept. I also sent out few couch requests, backed up photos and completed pending posts. I tried to rent a scooter but no luck.
I decided to spend last few days in a town called Moalboal about 2 hours from Cebu and on the same island and asked K about places to stay as she had already been there for scuba diving, she introduced me to her friend (G) who lived in Moalboal and I showed up in Moalboal the next day. G and her friend (V) were really nice. They were doing there scuba diving certification and asked them if I need to know swimming in order to do scuba and like everyone they said no. V suggested I should try snorkeling first as it will give me an experience about breathing from the mouth using the apparatus.
V took me for snorkeling near the coffee shop we were hanging out. I rented the snorkeling goggles, breathing tube, fins and a life vest. He gave me tips about using everything and then after few practice runs I was looking under water and breathing via tube and under water life was beautiful and so colorful, amazing corals, lots of different types and colors of fish. V then took me further deep in the ocean and I could no longer see the ground, bottom was blue and I freaked out after getting glimpse of the depth of the ocean. V told me to lay on the raft nearby and dip my head in the water and I saw a sea turtle. I had seen under water life for the first time. I was still scared of drowning whenever any big wave hit and I lost my balance. V just holded my hand and toured me around all the time. We went around for couple of hours and it was lot of fun.
Next day my hosts had to go to a wedding but they suggested one dive shop in case I wanted to do it. I went to the dive shop and negotiated the price and was set. Instructor showed up after few minutes and then we prepared for the dive. First thing I told my instructor after the introductions was that I don’t know swimming to which he replied with a big smile, neither does he.
We spend some time near the shore doing some exercises, how to use the equipment and some safety practices and before I realized we were 10 meters deep in the ocean and it was fascinating. I saw school of fish, deep blue water, corals, colorful under ocean life, it was magnificent. I am at loss for words to describe the wonderful experience.
We took the afternoon ferry to panglao island and it was two hours ride, the longest I have been on a ferry. The best thing we did upon reaching was renting a scooter. Two wheelers give meaning to life, yes seriously. Anyways we had lunch at a roadside food stall and tried different local dishes and liked most of it.
We made our way to the hostel which was at one corner of the island and about half hour ride from the ferry terminal and the hostel was lovely, it was basically a coconut farm with few bamboo huts with bunk beds. It was almost like camping. We asked about the things to do, hostel staff told us about the firefly tour on the other side of the island about 45 mins away and K was excited about it and I had no plan or expectations and I was happy to do it.
We reached the place one hour before and the tour people told us about various options, taking a tour boat or kayak with a guide. Fireflies were on the trees next to the river and one could take a boat or kayak. I have never done kayaking before so I told K let’s take the boat and wait for other people to show up but she was interested in kayaking. I was convinced to do kayaking and won’t be a big deal even I fell into the river as I had lifejacket on so will keep floating, anyways after waiting for some more time, it was dark and we were ready to start.
It took some time to getting used to paddling and K was steering at the back so all I had to was paddle hard and she maintained the kayak’s orientation. Our guide was a local college going kid and explaining about fireflies and about the area. He pointed to tree on the other side of the river and told us to paddle that way as we went closer we could see blinks of light on the tree, it was beautiful. He told us they are coming out, we went further deep in the river and one of the tree was blinking like it had all the stars on it. We had bit of twilight and watching this tree with fireflies blinking on it from a kayak with quiet surroundings it was magical. When I looked up at the tree, I could see the dark branches and the blinking lights and night sky in the background. It was a fascinating site. On the way back to hostel it suddenly started raining heavily and we were soaked, I could not see anything on the road. I stopped at this roadside food shop was worried about my passport in my backpack. I put it away in a plastic bag so that it does not get wet and I don’t have to spend a extra month in Philippines circling Indian consulate.
Next day K went on whale watching and snorkelling tour at 6am and I just slept in at the hostel. It was a lazy day for me and had the free local breakfast at the hostel and then went riding around the island on the scooter. I went to the nearest beach and was surprised by the beauty, it was white sand, clear water. It was amazing and I was in awe of the beautiful nature.
While driving back to the hostel I saw K screaming from behind on a scooter, I told her that I am hungry and ready for lunch so was she. After lunch we went to the cave with stalactites and stalagmites and Tarsier century which had about eight Tarsier and we saw about five of them, they were interesting.
On the way back to cebu on the ferry we sat at the back in open air and it was around sunset. It was a beautiful vista, ferry going on a good speed and sound of waves with a breeze flowing.