So after arriving late and getting to bed by 11ish, we had to wake up by 2:45 to meet our driver at 3:15. It was brutal, but for a good reason, we’re going swimming with WHALE SHARKS! However, the place to do this is in Oslo, which is about 3 hours from Cebu. We were doing this activity for 1 day, and then leaving Cebu for our next island which is why we stayed so far away from the activities but it made for an extremely long day!
The good thing about this early morning pick up was that we were the only ones in a 15 passenger van. Awesome, we thought, we can all lay down and get some sleep for the drive. What we didn’t realize was that the roads were going to be so rough, we’d be bounced around. Also the driver was a liberal horn user. There were tons of scooter, walkers, and slow vehicles on the road so he was always honking at them to move. It was 3 hours of rough, loud, chaos, and I think we were all seriously questioning whether this was going to be worth it. I had a lot of choice thoughts about Ty’s trip planning during these hours…
However, when we arrived in Oslob, we met our guide for the morning. She hustled us out of the van and down to the sign in and staging area for the whale sharks. It was right off the shore! The kids were both a bit nervous for this activity but the fact it wasn’t way out deep in the ocean helped. Within about 20 minutes of arriving, a prayer, and a 2 minute safety briefing, we were loaded into a boat and off.
Ty was the first one out of the boat of course. I got in and the kids followed. Ryder said her skin started stinging so she got back in the boat. Ty said he felt it a bit too, but Linc and I seemed fine. It was a bit overwhelming how close the whales were! The safety briefing said to stay 15 feet away from them but they put us in between our boat and the chum boats so there wasn’t that much room. The whales honestly paid us no mind, and just focused on eating, going back and forth in front of the line of boats. There were 4-5 of them, perhaps young ones, since they didn’t seem full size. It was a beautiful experience!
After the swim, they took us to breakfast. A little resort with tables set up by the water. It was beautiful.
The next activity of the day was to check out the Tumalog Waterfall. A short drive up this well paved road. They were still working on it but it was good to see the investment in improving their infrastructure. Once we parked we were given the option for a scooter ride down to the waterfall or walk. The walk was 5 minutes down and 10 minutes up. I was all for walking, getting a little exercise, but when we found out the cost was $1 per person, we went for it. The ride down was crazy steep! And these drivers were hilarious, they were wearing numbered jerseys and they would just shout their number at you. This way you got the ride back up with the same guy and he got paid for you.
The waterfall had several different pools. Ty and Linc walked out and stood under the falls. The water was a bit too cold for Ryder and I.
After we had a crazy ride back up the hill to our van, our guide informed us it was time for lunch. We had just finished breakfast right before the waterfall and had spent less than an hour there! But she said we needed to eat it now since our next destination was an hour and a half away. Personally I think our tour company needs to work on their logistics a bit and arrange a lunch location closer to the next activity but what can you do? So there we were having ‘lunch’ at 9am!
We left our guide at this point and drove to Badian – Calangcang which was about an hour and a half away. Our next activity was canyoneering! Ty and the kids were super excited about this. I don’t love heights, and jumping off things, so I was prepared to push myself.
After our 2 minute safety briefing we were given an option of walking 45 minutes to the start or paying extra to zip line there and walk the remaining 5 minutes. Of course we chose the zip line! In addition to the zip line we got to jump on some scooters again to get a ride up to the zip line. This ride was crazy. Ty got a video of it.
The zip line was fun too. Of course! They had Ty tandem up with Lincoln otherwise he’d be too light and stop before the finish. Ryder and I tandem zipped as well. We’ve never done that before, it was fun to have someone with you.
From the zip line finish we walked down into the canyon and started our next adventure. We spent 3 hours swimming, floating, jumping, climbing, and just having a great time.
At the end we had to walk back about 30 minutes to get to our stuff and the van. It felt like a very long walk in those thin water shoes, and everyone was pretty exhausted. But it had been totally worth it. The hard part now was we had a 3 hour van ride back to our hotel. With the bumpy road, and constant honking and lane changing. It’s just a bit overwhelming to the senses for that many hours. Just thankful there were no issues and we made it safely. We left in the dark and we arrived back in the dark.
We ordered room service, and cleaned everyone up while we were waiting on it. The food was devoured quickly and then the kids were tucked into bed. They were asleep by 8. Ty and I had a special treat planned, massages at the hotel spa! The only problem was we had to stay awake till 9:30 to get them. It was a struggle, but totally worth it. I was sore after all our plane travel and physical activity today, so the massage felt magical. The hotel was having a huge New Years Eve party so we stopped by for a quick selfie before tucking ourselves into bed at 11pm. So thankful our last day of 2022 ended so perfectly, a combination of struggles, and amazing adventure.