Sunday 19/11 (2/2)
We take a van to the port of Tagbilaran where we have a ferry to Siquijor. The voyage lasts 1h30. Isabelle and I stay on the upper deck; the view is great. And the weather is superb.
On Siquijor, there is a transport (by jeepney) organized by the hotel, ‘Coco Grove’.
It’s a very nice resort. It feels good (especially for Ludivine).
We take our lunch at the ‘Sunset’ restaurant, from where we have a very nice sea view.
Since we are in Philippines, we drink a lot of fresh calamansi juices. The calamansi is a small, very round citrus fruit, like a lime.
Talking about food, we also like very much the kinilaw, which is fresh fish prepared raw with coconut vinegar, onions, ginger, chili and coconut milk.
We also believe that Philippines is the mango paradise. We love them (except Jules). They are excellent (and Adeline says that it’s not the best season…).
Ludivine also loves the buko, the young, immature green coconut. The mature coconut fruit is the source of coconut milk, coconut oil, and meat, but the buko is most prized for not requiring any processing – it is an instant drink and snack in a shell. Locals expertly split the shell enough for us to drink the water and scrape off the gelatinous young coconut meat inside.
We do some homeschooling at the swimming pool.
We go snorkeling but we don’t choose the right spot: there is nothing to see.
Shower and relax (1h) in the room.
Dinner at 7:30pm, in a nice setting (with band). But food is not great tonight.
We go and work at the reception to get a good internet connection (there’s no signal in the room). Isabelle prepares Australia while I post 2 days (Naoshima and Teshima islands), at the reception, until 11:30pm. Christmas Carols are being played constantly.
We do our first family dive today.
It’s a wall dive. Isabelle and I go to 31m to see the Cathedral, a cave with nice lion fish and a school of bat fish. We then join the girls for the last 30’ of the dive (Jules couldn’t go down because he couldn’t equalize). The dive was not exceptional. But the weather is great and the boat is fast; it’s nice.
We do some homeschooling.
We eat at the same ‘Sunset’ restaurant as yesterday, around 3pm.
Then we relax a bit before diner.
Evening near the reception for Isabelle and I (for the Wi-Fi).
Breakfast in the third restaurant of the resort. Great banana and mango pancakes.
We rent 2 scooters. As usual, I take Jules and Ludivine (who drive most of the time) while Florence goes with Isabelle.
Our first stop is the fishermen village of Timbaon
We stop also a bit further to see a 400-year old (enchanted) banyan tree where there is a pond with cleaning fish, eating the dead skin of our feet.
We also stop in Liza, where we enter the church.
We then go to the Cambugahay Falls. We stay there one hour. Kids (and parents) love to jump into the falls (from a rope, like Tarzan).
We eat lunch at 4pm, along the beach. Nice grilled squid. We finish lunch around sunset (sun sets early, around 5:20pm…).
We go back to the hotel where the kids work 1h30 and relax 1h30, before the 8pm dinner on the beach, for our last night on Siquijor. Nice bbq dinner, with a band and some fire dancers.
Kids are in bed before 10pm.
We go to the reception, in our “favourite” place. Isabelle is a bit perplexed about the New Year Eve fireworks in Sidney. Most of the accommodations are full already. She tries hard to find alternatives. I continue writing posts, until 1:30am. I’ve written 15 posts in the last 9 days (after 16 days without any post).
Wednesday 22/11 (1/2)
Aujourd’hui, je me suis réveillé à 7h30 (sans réveil) et on avait le bateau à 10h pour aller sur Apo Island. Apo Island, c’est une île très petite où il y a plein, plein, plein de tortues et d’endroits pour plonger. Et alors, on a fait la valise pour partir, on a pris le petit déjeuner (pour moi, un calamansi juice et 4 pains perdus) et on avait chacun une petite assiette de fruits avec des pastèques, de la mangue, des raisins et des autres fruits. Moi, j’ai donné ma mangue aux autres. Après le petit déjeuner, on était un peu cool, puis on a pris le bateau.
Wake up around 8am. Isabelle woke up earlier; she managed to find an apartment in Sidney (for the 3 nights around the New Year eve, after our 5 nights in a hostel); she’s happy!
We go and have breakfast: (mango and banana) pancakes (and French toasts for Jules and Florence) at our usual Sunset restaurant.
We have one hour to prepare the luggage and to do checkout. More than enough for us. We become more and more efficient. We have a boat (banca) that brings us to Apo island (the boat from the resort was leaving at 7:30am; for the same price, we prefer to sleep a bit later). We put all the bags in trash bags to protect them somehow…