Wet t-shirts and whale sharks
I woke up today feeling much better (although still not up for cold breakfast noodles) but, despite the festive feel the whole of Philippines has, hadn’t realized Christmas was only a few days away. While I was lying in bed sick Christmas had snuck up on me…and with it the Christmas Blues (yes, I was singing Elvis!). It would be our first Christmas with just the two of us. We had booked into a decent dive resort and hoped we could stay busy enough to keep our minds off it.
On the way to the airport I tried to take a peek around, I really hadn’t seen much of POP in the week we’d been here. In the usual Asian fashion we breezed through departure/flying/arrival stuff and were landing on the Island of Negros in slightly southern Philippines. I added the “slightly” part to let everyone know we didn’t go south south to the not so safe part of the Philippines. Like adding South to Korea. We were staying in a small town about an hour from the airport, that is closer to the diving – ie shorter boat rides everyday.
Stupid Santa at the Staff Party
The sexy dance show at the party. Most of the same staff were also in the wet t-shirt contest that came later
Relaxing between dives
Still not bored with them
I had quite a giggle when I looked up to see the young snorkeler get a gooseing by one of the whale sharks. He was swimming and looked up…a few seconds later a whale shark swam up (they can sneak up on you) and his dorsal fin caught the poor little guy between the legs. I think he jumped a few feet out of the water. Back on the boat he was laughing about how the whale shark got him in the bum…an experience he will now never forget.
We dove with them for about an hour and then had to get out. Everyone had those goofy I just won the lottery smiles on their faces. An older guy, the last out of the water, was beaming. He explained it was something he had always wanted to do and had not expected it here. A wonderful surprise for all of us I think.
I want to mention now that they are new to the area, and a few weeks later someone had posted a link to an article about it. As far as I know they might still be there, I think as long as the fishermen feed them they will stay. We didn’t plan it or have advance warning. So Blaine please please please forgive your travel agent for having you go to the ends of the earth and stay on nothing more than Gilligan’s Island where you caught something nasty that made you so sick paramedics met you on your 9th and final (yes NINE) flight home that you passed on to your poor unsuspecting wife to see… whale sharks. On a more serious note; the two experiences were completely different and I would do Ahe again in a heartbeat.
Back at Mike’s we were all smiling and giggling and sharing pictures and videos. A Canadian/Australian couple had checked in and they were as surprised and excited as us at having the chance to see whale sharks. Once we got the excitement out of our systems (if that was possible) we ended up having a nice long dinner with the new couple. They had been working in Philippines for a while and were enjoying the “splurge” as much as us. I think she oohed and ahhed about the hot water a few times, but I knew how she felt. The company was so good and the setting was so perfect we ended up drinking wine (James had beer) into the wee hours.
I was surprised at my mood crawling into bed. It was Christmas Eve and I desperately missed my family but with today’s early Christmas present of whale sharks it was hard not to be smiling. “sigh”
After diving we spent the rest of Christmas lounging around. The weather was overcast and it had been raining off and on since we arrived so we used it as an excuse to nap and watch tv. For dinner we had another delicious buffet and chatted with our new friends. We didn’t stay up as late but still enjoyed the night.
Some of my favorites
Happy Boxing Day!
We had another great day in paradise. Good food, good diving, good company…what more could you ask for?
We had grand plans today. Actually lot of plans. We were thinking of taking a boat to another island, renting bikes and taking a tour. We were thinking of catching a tuk tuk to town, doing some shopping and sight-seeing. We did…nothing! It was wonderful. I felt a bit guilty because we’d had a week of nothing in POP but it was different, I was sick. Having a day off when you are healthy is soooo much better. I swam, blogged, napped, ate, drank too much, visited… yes, it was wonderful.
I’m happy to announce that during dinner a mouse (Mike called it a mole, but same diff) ran along the bar and I stayed in my seat. I lifted my feet but no squealing, no jumping onto my chair, no running for my covers (yes I have been known to do that once or twice); I stayed calm. A second one ran into a ground floor room (teaches them for leaving the door open!) and I still stayed calm. Impressed? If it had of been a rat I still would have had my usual anxiety attack but I think I am getting better with mice. And all it took was 3 years in mice/rat infested Asia.