A major benefit of living in the Philippines is employing a family driver! And we had him earn his paycheck this past weekend since he drove us to our last vacation spot that was 12 hours away. Kalani didn’t have school on Monday or Tuesday, so it was a perfect time for a 4-day weekend get-away. We left at 4am on Saturday morning and arrived in Donsol by 4pm. The drive down was beautiful with long stretches of lush green scenery with protruding volcanoes. There was a good 2-4 hours at least where we didn’t come across any McDonald’s or Jollibee fast food places because we were in such rural areas.
We left at 4am and slept for a while in the car. But, when we were awake there was some beautiful scenery as we headed toward Donsol.
After 12 hours in the car the kids just wanted to hang out by the beach and especially on these hammocks. And luckily there were other kids from Kalani’s school at the same resort (Elysia Beach Resort) so they all had someone to play with.
Also on our first day we went to see some fireflies. It was amazing to see thousands of these insects synchronize their flashes of light. It was like watching a bunch of “Tinker Bells” communicating with each other…or Christmas lights that kept changing their light pattern. However, none of our photos or videos turned out from the firefly experience.
We got down to the pier by 7:30am to try our luck at spotting a whale shark. Peak season is from March to May, so we were a week or so early. The weather was bad and we didn’t have any luck.
We then headed to Legazpi to try our luck on that side of the region, but because of the weather, we weren’t allowed in the water. So we drove an hour to our second resort “Misibis Bay“.
We spent some time swimming, playing table tennis and then everyone had a chance to play a video game.
Since we already paid to have a whale shark excursion at a location, we woke up early to try our luck again. And we had a beautiful view all the way to the pier of the Mayon Volcano.
Matt and I got in the water twice to swim with a 12 foot whale shark. It may have been the same whale shark, but we were the only ones lucky enough to swim with it in the 2 hours we were on the water.
And while we were supposed to be looking for whale sharks, we couldn’t help but enjoy the view of the volcano.
After our whale shark experience we wanted to spend some more time in Legazpi, so we rented ATVs and headed to the lava wall of Mayon Volcano.
We took a small hike up to the 2006 lava wall of Mayon Volcano…then Matt took the zip-line down, but the kids didn’t want to try that so I walked down with them.
Apparently our day wasn’t exciting enough since Kalani got stung by a box jellyfish in shallow water. The resort had vinegar on hand (and I also had my own bottle that was used), the doctor was on sight and stayed with her for a couple of hours.
She got stung on her leg and feet, but her arm was the worst with a tentacle wrapped all the way around her arm when she came out of the water. So one hand is scared and swollen for the time being.
We left the Bicol region around 7am and again enjoyed the beautiful view of that area of the Philippines. 12 hours later we were at home nursing Kalani’s wound.
More photos our our Bicol Vacation here.