Siargao Island Day 2/4

On the second day, I woke up to the sound of rain splattering madly against the tin roof. It must have been around 4AM because I noticed the alarm go off after a few minutes. We were supposed to leave early that day because we would be visiting a famous tourist destination that was quite far from where we were.

I couldn’t see clearly in the dark but I was pretty sure nobody got up when the alarm sounded. Not even when it snoozed a hundred times. I fell asleep again waiting for the rain to go away.

At around 6AM, I finally decided to check what was happening outside. The sky had begun to light up but there was no red-orangey sunrise. The sky was still covered with dark rain clouds but at least the rain had stopped.

After breakfast, we packed our stuff and headed towards the same boat that we used the other day. From the resort, we would travel for 2 hours into a famous tourist spot known as the Bucas Grande Islands. According to the guide, it was home to various flora and fauna. It was also home to salt water crocodiles so we weren’t allowed to just wander anywhere so we wouldn’t disturb their natural habitat. Good thing we didn’t run into one while we were waddling in the waters.

When we arrived at the receiving area, I saw this sign saying that some kindhearted people from Korea had helped rebuild the place. Yay, we’ve got friends from Korea! ♥

The first part of the Bucas Grande tour was at Sohoton Cave. We had to pass through a very low opening between the rock and the water where our boat was maneuvered skillfully by two guides. We had to duck down to keep our heads from hitting the stalactites.

As I was told, even the smallest of boats can go through here only when the tide is low. Because during high tide, the water rises so high up that it closes the opening entirely.

Our guide took us another few meters from the cave entrance into another cave with its walls covered with sharp oyster shells. The cave would have been pitch-dark if not for the light outside penetrating magnificently through the waters. It was fun to watch our ghostly-white feet paddling in the water as the light reflected on them.

Another few meters from that cave was yet another cave. This time the water level was low so we didn’t need the bulky life vests. From the entrance, we were asked to make our way up through a maze of rocks where a clearing in the trees revealed a small man-made platform. Then came the bad news. We were told that going back through the rocks was very difficult so the only way down was to jump into the water. So okay, the platform wasn’t really that high. Maybe as high as the ceiling of a single-story building. But even that looks exaggerated when viewing from the top. My knees began to tremble and my heart was thumping so loudly in my chest. I could have stayed there forever.

I don’t think I’m afraid of heights, I just DON’T like falling. But finally, I mustered up the strength to walk up to the edge, take a deep breathe, then let it out in a loud AAAAHHH!!! Water splashed all over as soon as I hit the surface. Then, powerful hands pulled me up from the depths and dragged me towards the boat. Whew, I survived the “challenge”, that’s one point for me. Yey! ♥

After that little adventure, we were taken back and transferred to a smaller non-motorized boat. I was the first to board the tiny boat so I was also the first to arrive at the undisturbed tranquil waters of the Jellyfish Sanctuary.

Hundreds of jellyfishes were floating around the lagoon, its tentacles moving gracefully together with the soft current. Most of them floated near the water’s surface so it was easy for me to reach out and touch them.  I was skeptical at first because some of them were bigger than my hand. And although they were amazing creatures, I have to admit that they do look scary up close.

There was also another type of jelly fish that was clear and barely visible in the water. I didn’t notice them until the boatman pointed it out. It was shaped like an inverted punch bowl with a 4-clover leaf design at the center. Like the brown/purple jellyfish shown above, it was very slimy and slippery to the touch. And their mushroom-like caps were surprisingly thick.

I wasn’t able to take a picture because my camera battery had died. 😦 Huhuhu. But I googled for images and I found some photos from imgur.com that looked really similar from what was there. Except, the jellyfishes that I saw weren’t glowing (I have to consider watching these magical creatures at night).

After my encounter with the jellyfishes, we returned to the resort to rest for a while. I used this time to charge up my battery.  Then we hired a motorcycle to take us to Cloud 9, the famous surfing spot of Siargao. At the entrance, we were greeted by a looooooooong bay walk that led to a multi-story view deck close to where the huge waves were.

But because we were merely “beginners” in surfing, that wasn’t the spot for us. Instead, we were taken by our local guides to the other side of the beach where the waves were much smaller. After a quick tutorial in the sand, we walked towards the sea until the water was at chest-level. The waves weren’t so huge at this time of the year, you’d have to catch the habagat wind to get the giant waves for the pros. But anyway, I climbed up the surf board and waited for a “big wave”.

I was trying to remember what to do when all of a sudden my guide pushed the board along with the wave. I struggled to stand up. I was on my knees trying to concentrate to keep my balance. I was balancing… and balancing… and balancing… when I realized that I was dangerously approaching the rocky shore. I tried to recall that the guide specifically told me to stop so I wouldn’t hit the rocks but I was sure he didn’t tell me “HOW to do it”. Alarmed, I thought to myself:  “crap, how do I stop this thing?!?”. Then the not-so-dumb part of my brain heard someone from the back shouting “jump! jump!” so I obliged and landed safely on the shallow water. Then I paddled my way back to where my guide was.

It was on my third try that I finally got the hang of it. It felt so great, I couldn’t stop myself from shouting “Wooohoooo”! ♥

Even though the waves weren’t so impressive as those in the movies, I tried again and again feeling much more elated at every glide. The bumps and bruises of my skimboarding days have finally payed off. I was literally standing above the water, moving together with the forces of nature, and LOVING it! ♥

This is one item that I can crash off from my Things-I-Have-To-Do-Before-I-Die list. What’s next? Maybe para-gliding in Boracay?

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