Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Bali to Singapore to The Philippines

I arrived in the Philippines on September 13th and have made my way to the tiny island of Malepascua to dive with Thresher sharks.
4m long Thresher Shark

I left Gili Trawangan on September 9th on a fastboat headed to Bali with Esther who was on her way to Singapore for a Visa run.  I had a very rushed goodbye to good friends and a warm community who I had gotten to know over nearly 3 months on Gili Trawangan.  I miss them all and the island itself dearly but I know I will return someday (maybe soon) so it softens the hurt of leaving good friends too soon.
I will miss the "family" in Gili Trawangan at Melati Garden House (Harry and Allan)
Harry and JoJo
A photo borrowed from a friend of a friends Facebook page.  View of the Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan in the foreground) and Mount Rinjani in the background from a flight from Lombok to Bali.  I will miss this beautiful, friendly Island and I WILL be back :)

Esther and I had a lovely evening in Kuta, Bali with an awesome meal of BBQ ribs at Naughty Nuri's (not to be missed if you are ever in Bali!) followed by a pedicure with a beer in hand and an early night.

Esther and I at Naughty Nuri's just before stuffing our faces with what might be the best ribs I have ever had!

We arrived in Singapore early afternoon September 10th and used the Singapore transit system (MRT = subway) to get to Vintage Inn "Boutique Hostel" in Little India.  The hostel was great!  Very trendy and reasonably priced ($27CAD/night including breakfast catered by the affiliated Indian restaurant downstairs if you book on  The "rooms" are sleeping pods big enough for a twin bed with about 1 foot of space beside it and enough room to sit up comfortably and each includes lights and an outlet to charge devices.  The staff were really helpful, the hostel is conveniently located, has hot water showers, and laundry facilities for a fee.

Esther showcasing the sleeping pods at Vintage Inn Boutique Histel in Singapore

We spent the next two days shopping and visiting the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
Singapore Botanical Gardens...Huge lillypads!
Lovely orchids
A sorely needed reflexology footpath (no pun intended)

Esther had to fly back to Bali Sept 12th leaving me a day to do some more focused shopping for a new digital camera, underwater housing, new scuba BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device), and some scuba accessories (torch, knife, slate, gear bag, pointer stick etc.). I finished all my shopping at 7pm... Just in time to rush back to the hostel, pack up my old camera and BCD and get to the postal outlet to ship the stuff home so I don't have to lug it around with me for the rest of my trip!  My feet were killing me by the time I collapsed into my sleeping pod.
Colorful paper lanterns in Singapore Chinatown, one of my many stops on my shopping excursion

I flew from Singapore to Cebu City on September 13th at 8:30am.  I nearly missed my flight and had a panicked trip to the airport when I awoke with a start at 6am and realized that my alarm hadn't gone off.  I tried to get a taxi but none were around so I booked it to the transit system and took the MRT to the airport, arriving at 7:30am... Less than 1 hour from my flight time!  I still made it and had time to clear security, go to customs and get my tax back on my purchases in Singapore :)
The blue dot is Malepascua Island

Malepascua is a very chill, laid back place with great diving.  It is one of the few (only??) places in the world where you can dive with Thresher sharks.  There is also great muck diving here.  Characterized by sandy or muddy bottom with few hard corals and lots of small weird critters... Not the usual reef fish...just aliens and creepy crawlies mostly NEAT STUFF!
Two local girls borrowed my ipad to play some games.  Kids are the same the world over... They handily beat my Temple Run high score in about 2 minutes ;)
"Main Street" Bounty Beach Malepascua
Cute puppies are everywhere!  This truly is paradise!
Rains most evenings... Typhoon season.  Air is still 30-35C and the water is 30C so no complaints from me ;)
Some local color
My new home at Cocobana Resort $19 CAD/night
Thresher Shark Divers
Thresher Shark Divers dive boat "Esther"... I can't escape Esther's...travelled with one to Singapore, dive off of one in the Philippines, met a new friend (also an Esther) here as well :)
Lovely! Graceful creatures
7mm Pygmy seahorse...sooooo tiny (boop)
Huge jellyfish... They are everywhere.  No major stings yet... Just a couple little blistered ones so far.
Gloomy Tambja Nudibranch
A big, well camouflaged Nudibranch
My favorite, Dusky Nembrotha (AKA Kubaryana's Nembrotha) Nudibranch
Chromodoris Nudibranch
Well-camouflaged stonefish
Peacock mantis shrimp
Spotfin Lionfish
Orangutan crab...ANIMAL ANIMAL ANIMAL (remember the muppets?)

1 comment:

  1. This winter I and my family were on Gili. And that's what I say: it is nice place. We have been transfered from
    Lombok, the way took a few hours. Trawangan was waiting for us with its pretty warm sea water, cozy and cheap
    (only 5 dollars per day!!) hotels. Islands is pretty small, I think it is plus cuz it makes my feel cosily.
    By the way, we was transfered on speed boats by easygili. com The price - 225k. Not so expensive anyway.