OSLOB – MOBY DICK, HERE I COME
What a thrill to swim with the whale sharks! Yowzer! I kept thinking, “Move over Ahab. It’s my turn to swim in the sea with Moby Dick. I just hope he won’t take my leg off at the knee!”
To get to Oslob, I caught an outrigger from Linae Resort for 700 pesos. It takes about 2 hours and is a very relaxing cruise on the water. Also, I met some great people – Houzon, Dennisa and Tom from the Czech Republic.
Actually, swimming with the whale sharks was a bit of a hard decision to make for me. It’s such a touristy thing to do and does not appear to be ecologically conscious at all. I confess though, I was selfish and did it as it is very difficult to pass up on an opportunity to swim with these massive and beautiful creatures.
I was overwhelmed being so close to them and even though they are harmless, their size is daunting and when their tails swish back and forth in the water, a little fear kicks in considering your close proximity. I certainly wouldn’t want to ever say I got my arse slapped into next week by a fish! And yes, the whale shark is not a whale. It is a fish and it is the largest species of any fish in the world.
The coolest thing though is when they feed. You read about it in books but to see it up close and personal…whoa! They open their mouths very wide and just take in all the water and whatever fish or other underwater organisms are in that gulp (for lack of a better word) and that is their meal. Don’t worry though as they have no interest in eating you! The cost for this adventure was 1100 pesos or about $21USD for 30 minutes with the whale sharks and worth every penny and much much more.
After that adventure, my new friends and I got some noodles and pork for 200 pesos. My friends then went to Bato on a bus for 100 pesos to see waterfalls on the other side of the island and do some canyoning. I, on the other hand, had a flight from Cebu to catch the next day so I headed the opposite direction. My choice for transportation was to pay 100 pesos (around 2 bucks) on a bus back to Cebu that would take 4.5 hrs or to spring for 300 pesos (about 6 bucks) on a private transfer that takes 2 hrs. The difference is $4 USD so you can probably figure out which one I did.
The only point to going back to Cebu is to catch a Cebu Pacifica plane to another island. It is the cheapest and fastest way to get from island to island. Flying is just part of the game here but it’s about $34 USD each way thank goodness. The best place to stay for only a night of sleep before catching an early flight is the Stopover Hostel. It’s some 8 mins from Mactan-Cebu Airport and a bed costs around $7.00 USD. I warn you though the area is a bit rough – similar to a ghetto or the favelas in Rio – but you are perfectly safe. And, just so you know, my first decent sleep was at Stopover! Great mattress. Bring some ear plugs though as you are right on a very loud street. Where am I flying to you are wondering? The incredible island of Siargao so be sure and read the Siargao post too!
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