Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CORON: 05 - Kayangan Lake + Twin Peaks + CYC


The highlight of the second part of the tour is the Kayangan Lake. After meeting the fish of Calachuchi Island, which they also refer to as Coral Garden(s), the boat then takes you to a fishing village five minutes away where you would commence your hike to get to the lake. The Kayangan Lake area is probably the most photogenic in Coron. If you search for pictures of Coron in the Internet and see that popular cove that always comes up, then you would know what I am talking about.


As already mentioned, you stay on the boat. You arrive after five minutes. By then, your cameras must be ready because there would be a series of endless photo-ops. That is pretty much guaranteed unless you have no camera with you. You would not be able to help it since the views are rather stunning. Anyway, let us stop trying to put into words what pictures say best. Just look. Before the hike, a few minutes would be spared for briefing with matching map and all for props. I did not really listen. I was busy taking photos of the place.


The hike is challenging but not that long, not even close to a mountain hike. Besides, there are steps made of rocks, which I guess makes everything even more slippery. Make sure you wear some footwear with good grip. There is an obligatory pause midway through the hike because you would reach a part of the trail with a cave to the left, diverting from the steps going down to the lake itself. It is in that detour where you would see the cave and that cool spot which is said to be the most photographed in Coron.


After asking and giving favors related to everything picture taking, we finally went back to the trail and descended towards the lake. Kayangan Lake is a looker, but just like Hidden Lagoon before it, the lack of activity makes it seem all boring. Do not be fooled though. The good thing is that you would be wading through fresh water now. No more salt! The problem is, you would no longer float here so yes, make sure you bring those life vests with you.


The depth is also an important issue because this lake IS deep. You see a couple of boring rock formations underneath, while several of those elongated fish swim on the surface. I have not seen any hisser or crawler in there, which was a good thing although there was always this lingering thought that a reptile would suddenly sneak behind me and eat me alive.


We did not stay at Kayangan Lake for long although I was able to enjoy fresh water swimming for a while. The hike back up was a bit difficult because my stomach was already asking for lunch. Come to think of it, I should be doing more activities like this. It seems to renew the passion for food that I thought I never had. Another five-minute boat ride to Bulungan came after our Kayangan Lake excursion. After feasting on the delicious lunch, we were back under water, this time at Twin Peaks.


At first, I though Twin Peaks were some sort of tall rock formation which would be another point-to-that-tourist-attraction kind of thing. That thought turned out to be half true when we passed by a pair of islets which one of the boatmen referred to as Twin Peaks. Okay. The catch? It is yet another coral garden, and a livelier one to boot.


No one really wanted to jump because we just ate lunch. I mean, come on. Some siesta time was deserved at the very least! However, the sea beckoned. The vision of a colorful fish playing beneath the surface was enough to make me forget that I just pigged out at Bulungan. And so, I jumped.


 And here goes the anecdote. In spite of the rabid hunger we felt during lunch time, one of the really yummy grilled fish remained to be finished. I was guessing that there was still one fourth of meat to be devoured from that fish. After lunch, it already disappeared to wherever, and I would not have given much of a damn except that it reappeared while I was trying to find the fish at Twin Peaks. Apparently, they threw it over as fish feed. Let me tell you now that the sight of floating carcass, whatever animal it used to be, being feasted upon by fish is not a very lovely sight. Witnessing it gave me a jolt because the fish really swarmed to it and began nibbling. Do not get me wrong, these fish are colorful and aesthetically pleasing to look at but even that wonderful thought is erased once you see them devour their own kind. Piranhas come to mind even if the scenario all seems illogical in salt water.


And so I surfaced for a bit and hollered, Cannibalism lang?! They laughed as a reply, and I was relieved for a bit at least before I descended again. The feeding event helped establish a good foundation for a photo-op though because the fish seemed more preoccupied with lunch rather than the human being going all paparazzi on them. Corals also abound the area, even more than they were at Calachuchi. Perhaps my biggest regret was not finding out sooner that the part under the boat where the ladder was actually had a shallower reef which would have made my life easier as a frustrated underwater photographer. Once again, I was hounded by my efforts to stay submerged because the sea water would not stop from pushing me up. As I once again found myself strapped to that ladder through my hamstrings, I realized how easier everything was. And then I abused Pentax and that was the end of the story. Or not. We still have CYC.


CYC Island proved to be the most boring part of the itinerary for me. The beach is fine and I would not be the one to discount the fact that it is a rather perfect family getaway because of the water’s depth. Well, we did not dock all the way to the shore because even far away from it, the waters would not even reach your waist. The weird thing is that it is also the spot for beginner divers to practice, and one of the boatmen was saying that there was a part of the sea somewhere that was deep. I imagine it to be some kind of a big water hole where you would just suddenly drop if you take the wrong step.


After taking photos of the island, I just came back to the boat to rest and wait for the trip back. Good thing the trip was not as long as yesterday’s. Everybody was tired. I was hungry. Again. Improvement! And so I ate early dinner at the floating restaurant again before going back to the apartelle to finish my pending work. This work while on vacation thing is lovely. It is tiring but it is working, and I know that a part of me wants it to be a permanent deal. We will see. We will see.
 

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