Monday, April 11, 2011

22 Feb 2011 - Last day at Moalboal

Sadly it's our final day here in Moalboal. First thing I did when I wake up is to check my dive gear. Awesome! It's mostly dry except for the wetsuit and bootie which is still damp. Despite not having a dive today, we still got up pretty early. I guess I'm not a late sleeper. Woah, looks like the weather is turning a little nasty this morning looking at the sea when I step out from the room. The sea looks pretty choppy even from our resort where I saw a bangka boat bobbling up and down quite a bit when it went pass the shore just off the wall.

Its breakfast as usual and I've opt for yet another untried item. Bad mistake! I've had a vegetarian pita which was quite sizable. The pita bread itself was pretty okay but certainly not the fillings. To be fair, I generally doesn't like raw vegetables thus the raw tomatoes, onions, lettuce with yogurt (the sourish instead of sweeten kind) doesn't go to well with me. Phew, finally I finished it. 

The pita is larger than my face! (Photo courtesy of NE)

Surprisingly, the most active and adventurous among us turns out to be NE. She initially wanted to go over to the waterfall but time was a little too tight for that. But that didn't stop her from taking a motor trishaw ride out to white beach on her own, after an early morning massage. Apparently we found out later that her masseur also happens to be the one selling us my t-shirts. What diversification of skills they have. I wonder if any of the cook or baker also double up as masseur, working on the muscle just like they're tenderizing a piece of meat or kneading some dough? We also found out later that we could arrange for in house massage which VA and SC had in their room, for 300 peso each! If we knew that earlier, we would have done that at the end of each dive day to sooth our tired muscle after the torturous climb up the stairs.

Spa at Marcosas Cottage Resort (Photo courtesy of GT)
I and RL then went over to the spa in Marcosas Cottages Resort for a massage but the earlier slots have been taken so we settle for the following slots. Only on our way out did we realised that one of the slot was actually taken by GT. It must be good as she already had a session the day before. We pop in to Blue Abyss on our way back to the resort but it was quite quiet. I guess most of the folks are already out diving. Aw, I'm missing the dives already! As there's still some time, we went around with some souvenir t-shirt shopping which can be had for around 150-180 peso a piece.

Resting area for gearing up at Blue Abyss Dive Shop

Various rinse tanks at Blue Abyss Dive Shop

It wasn't too long before we return to the spa for our massage. While it didn't bring any relief to my sore knee, it was still quite soothing and relaxed. The only nit-pick will be the aroma oil (I had lemongrass) being too diluted that I can hardly smell it. Surprisingly when we got back to the resort, the rest are all gathered at the restaurant with their luggage already out by the front desk. The original plan was for us to check out at 2pm but apparently they need the rooms earlier for other guests. It's a quick dash to pack whatever remaining items into my huge duffel bag and off it goes to the front desk.

The whole gang then heads over to the other side of the beach for our lunch at Chilis Bar. It's our first time on this side of the beach during the day time and it's so much quieter than in the evening. Again, we shared a pizza, pasta and pancake among myself, GT and RL. Interestingly, the pizza was presented on some kind of weaved basket. The only awful item was the pancake, which was almost an inch thick in the middle. A friend who came to Moalboal 2 weeks earlier advise us against pancakes, which was pretty nice in the two earlier encounters. Perhaps this is the one he tried. While waiting for the food, we saw some divers heading out to dive. Perhaps due to the large number of dive centre, restaurant and resort in close proximity on this stretch of the beach, the divers seems to have to squeeze pass the huts and houses as they get into the water. Not a problem really but just seems to find it kind of weird and unglam. But it seems like they don't have a flight of stairs to fight with over here perhaps?

Heading over to the other side of the beach for lunch (Photo courtesy of GT)

The van is already waiting for us when we got back to the resort after lunch. Very quickly we load up the van and head for the airport. This was a bigger and newer van with much better seat, making it a more comfortable 3 hour ride than our earlier in bound journey. Surprisingly, the queue was moving very slowly at the check-in counter despite a rather empty flight where all of us and many other passengers can have an entire row of 3 seats to themselves. The counter staff was rather stringent in the weight of our check-in baggage. Fortunately my ticket was booked together with GT and RL and we barely made it within our 3 standard baggage plus one sports equipment upgrade limits. VA’s bag was exceeded by just 1-2 kg and she got to reshuffle her items out to her hand carry. That’s how strict they are on excess baggage so do be careful when flying Cebu Pacific.

With that comes the end of the trip. In retrospective, it was a wonderful trip at a reasonable price. In general, I don’t really like wall dives but the main draw of this place is the sardine bait balls which indeed was very nice. Except for Pescardo Island, the remaining dive sites are essentially lined up on a long stretch of wall just off the shore. The night dives here were awesome and were my favourite. Food is also nice and reasonably priced. The sardine balls have started appearing in just the last couple of years and who knows how much longer they’re going to be here. So do catch them before they decide to relocate someday.

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