Oslob and Moalboal – Our Journey

We arrived at Cebu airport after a very quick flight from Manila. I judge flights by how many episodes of Designated Survivor we can watch and this flight was barely 1 episode. We managed to fend off a few taxi drivers as they were offering us a ride the whole way to Oslob which is where we were going but for extortionate prices. We found a cab and made him take us to the bus terminal because as a couple travelling on public transport or transport in general you have never taken before for god knows how long is a lot less intimidating. I think that is one of the things I was so excited to come back with Olly, was the fact I wasn’t going have fear in me in a foreign country because I feel safest when I am with him. Cringe I know. Anyways back to the story, so this taxi driver told us it would take 5/6 hours for us to get to Oslob via bus and agreed to take us the whole way for a quarter of the price he originally quoted. Us being lazy we said yes, he had air con and in this climate that is a deal breaker in big decisions. That and we didnt realise we had arrived on a holy day so the traffic was horrendous.

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We arrived at our accommodation in Oslob and it was a lovely room with private bathroom, very clean and had good aircon. The owners grand-daughter was the only person who could speak English so she helped us with all our questions and trips we wanted to do. She organised for us to be picked up the next day at 5:30 and was in the water with the famous Whale Sharks by 6:15!  This is a hugely controversial subject as many people do not agree with the fishermen feeding them for tourists and think it is changing the feeding habits of these Sharks. Others believe it is keeping this once endangered species alive. Make of is what you will but I would suggest going with an open mind. Both times I have swam with these giants I arrived in Oslob not convinced if I would take part. This time swimming with the whale sharks the locals have a much better structured interaction and seem to be handling the influx of tourists well. I did no witness any sharks being touched or bashing into the boats which I did witness in 2017.

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After this amazing experience we were really pooped from getting up so early so we took it easy and explored the town some more. There is literally 4 roads and that is it, so we took the drone out and took some cool pictures of a heritage site we found.

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We ate pretty much all local stuff as people don’t really stay in Oslob, they pass through to do the whale sharks but don’t stick around. We weren’t complaining as we were able to chill and try local food and had a very cheap few days. We also managed to go to lots of local waterfalls which weren’t too busy as again this isn’t an area people stay in.

Couple at waterfalls in the Philippines - Our Journey

We managed to figure out we could get a local bus from Oslo to Moalboal for about £2 each so we waited at the side of the road and got talking to a local about the influx of tourism. He told us he thinks the whale sharks are a good thing bringing money into the area but they are worried that there will be another water shortage due to the amount of hotels going up in the surrounding areas. The water shortage happened 2 years prior and they had to shut one of the top tourist attractions, Tumalog falls, as the government needed to put the locals first and re-directed the water to the town. They have only just re opened this waterfall to the public.

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Pronounced Mo-ahl-bo-ahl

Once we arrived in Moalboal we got to our accommodation called Divers Lodge which was amazing. This small town is a lot more touristy than any other we had been too. It had a lot more western restaurants and pumping music, which isn’t great but its beautiful place. This place is a great place to meet other backpackers as its always busy. We managed to buy some wet shoes which are saving my life one day at a time. I hate anything touching my feet in the sea so these shoes I wear when we are climbing waterfalls or just going for a swim. We chilled on Panagsana Beach and rented some snorkels and spent all day snorkelling. We saw so many turtles which was insane. We saw the famous sardine run, which Olly managed to swim into as he is really good at diving down deep and holding his breath. This place is beautiful!!

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We rented a moped and explored as much as we could. This was the first time I had ridden on the back of a bike that Olly was driving and I was very nervous but safe at the same time haha. I know he was driving slower to make sure I was OK but this was actually the most fun I have ever had. Being able to have some freedom again in us having our own transport felt great, being able to see everything and not having to concentrate on driving felt better haha. We took the moped to Kawasan falls and managed to beat the crowds and get there and take some good photos. We always managed to take the bike to White beach which we sat on for hours just drinking and taking photos. Clearly our love for photography and drinking comes hand in hand when travelling with one another.

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Milly At Kawasan

On white beach we were about to go back to the car park and leave when a group of locals stopped us and made Olly drink something. Me being an over protective girlfriend said to him ‘Make them drink it first’ because it was the colour of piss. They downed it and poored him another one.. turns out it was beer and they invited us to sit with them and drink. We sat with a huge group of guys who were celebrating their friends 21st birthday and had literally 100 family members and friends down renting huts on the beach. They were so funny and they were so excited to practise their English with us. It is really true what they say, Filipino people are the nicest in the world. They wanted us to meet their wives/girlfriends and babies, they wanted us to stay for dinner. We added them all on facebook to make sure we keep in contact with this crazy group of lads!

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Moalboal has been our favourite place so far, just because we havent paid for any big trips and we have done everything this area has to offer on our own, using our own transport or knowledge to save money but still managing to see the amazing wildlife and beaches this place is home to.

Stay tuned for our next adventure to Siquijor!!

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HOMECOMING

Sunday 12th February 2017

So of course I couldn’t plan a surprise without a little help and MC planned everything! He was picking me up and had told Ellie and Jess (Adopted sisters) that they were having dinner so they would be home and ready. I landed and I met Olly’s family for the first time which was extremely nerve racking as I didn’t exactly look my best after been travelling for 48 hours and I wanted to make a good impression but also just wanted to hug MC! I also got surprised with Tracy at the airport!!! I can not express what it feels like to see a familiar face after 15 months of being apart. Also having my first Costa in a year felt soooo good. I was so excited but it was bloody freezing!!! We made a stop to pick up Holly as I needed my photographer to capture the big moment and we all arrived at Jess’s new flat which I had never been to before so me and Holly had to hide while MC and Tracy went inside, leaving the door unlocked. All they told me was when I get in the door, turn right so in the video you can see my confusion when I am confronted with a wall..anyway watch the video to see Jess’s utter disgust that I have come home when she is ill and doesn’t have make up on. SHOCK!! It was the best thing ever!!! I have pictured this moment for months on end and I finally did it!! And she had no idea!! I bloody did it!!! Next person on my list was my mother, but I couldn’t see her till the following Friday, so it was time to lay low in North London!

​We said goodbye for the first time in weeks and it didn’t feel right!

MY JEWOOOOOO

 

Of course the first thing I do the next morning is go to tesco and buy the meal I have missed the most. A TESCO MEAL DEAL!!!!

​Once Muma bear and Dawn were surprised it was all a matter of how many people I could get. Thankfully Jess had made plans with Ollie and Callan before she even knew I was coming home so they got it next. Ollie tried to walk straight passed me and then realised and started shouting in the street, while Callan was jumping around and nearly knocked a bystander out cold. This was the best surprise due to sheer volume and excitement haha So good to catch up with these two and them meeting the new Olly in my life.

 

Just so happened my Dad was also back from Trinidad that week and I got to spend some time with him in London! Going to places we can both eat at now I am not fussy anymore.

Seeing Best friends from Travelling like no time had passed made the travelling blues bearable. It is so revealing having other people to talk to about how hard it is coming home. That and seeing them in normal clothes, in a city getting drunk! 

I have missed my muma more than I realised!

And coming home to my adopted family, the ones and only THE COHENS!!!! My favourite people in the world!!! Getting to see them all, feeling like its been ages but at the same time feeling like it was only yesterday we were all sat around on a Friday night laughing at one of Phils one liners!

Being back with this one.. I don’t think words can even being to explain what it is like coming home to your best friend. It is like putting on those old shoes you love and fit you so well. Everything just works, she knows me better than my self and it is just easy! It is like being with another, less funnier, version of my self. That and for once in my life I am browner than her! HA!!

Being home and not living with Olly will be difficult as we have been together for months on end now but coming home and meeting everyone I have only herd about is going to be so exciting. Doing normal things will be exciting. It is like I know him so well, but we still haven’t done the basic things couples do because I don’t even know where he lives. Coming home with someone is the best thing I can imagine. I would be so much more depressed coming home with no one to talk to who truly understands everything I was going through. Being home is hard and it sucks! I have no money, I live in North London where all my friends live in South and I have no car to go and see them. Its hard coming home, I wont sugar coat things and sell you dreams like I do on Instagram. Being home sucks oh and I don’t have a job which really sucks. But somehow Olly has put up with me the whole time! He met me when I was carefree, fun and brown and for some unknown reason, he still likes me poor,pale and pissed off. 

Travelling is honestly the best thing I have ever done. I know everyone says that but when it is the first thing I have ever done for my self and probably the most selfish I have ever been, I mean it! I loved every second of it. I know I have grown as a person, I know I look at things differently, I know I value my friends and family sooo much more than I have ever done I know I am grateful for everything I do have and I know I am a better person for it. Oh and I also am not a fussy eater anymore and I drink water out of choice!  Every day was an adventure, every thing good that happened is an unforgettable  memory and everything bad is a hilarious story! I have seen some of the most beautiful places on Earth and I know how lucky I be able to say that. If I could tell anyone to do anything with their lives, it would be to travel. You have no idea how big and beautiful the world is out there until you go and see it. It actually pains me when people have what I call ‘ Small town syndrome’ where they think going to the pub every Friday night is living. It is not! Living is jumping in someones car you met that day in the pool, heading to a waterfall you heard about through someone you spoke to in a kitchen of a hostel a few days ago and going and being blown away with how beautiful everything is and how you where so small minded before. I laughed every day, I met amazing, interesting, funny or beautiful people everyday. When is the last time you can say you’ve laughed so much your stomach hurt?  Travelling is life changing, I met the love of my life because we both just so happened to think ‘Fuck it, I am going travelling’. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that after meeting some of the most amazing people while I was away and having the most fun anyone could have. I love travelling and I will forever have the urge to go and see new places and see what the world has to offer. Until the next adventure – M x

Unexplored