Monday, December 12, 2011

::Surigao:: Sohoton Cove: Who Said that NO Sting Jellyfish are Found Only in Palau?

From Surigao City, at the top of my list is to swim with the NO sting jellyfish in Sohoton Cove. I read that apart from the Philippines, the only place where you can find them are in Palau. Why go there, when you can enjoy them here?

To go to Sohoton Cove from Surigao City, we took a jeep to the Integrated Bus Terminal (P9). Before even entering the terminal, a moving van was hollering ”Claver! Claver!”. We asked to be stopped at the entrance and took the van. They usually drop passengers off at the terminal, but we requested to be taken to Hayangabon port going to Sohoton (P120). Reaching the port, we had to rent an entire boat (P1,500) to take us to the coves. It would’ve been P2,000 had we opted to be brought back to Hayangabon. But we planned on spending the night in the cove, so it was not necessary.

Apparently, there’s already an organized tour and a fixed rate, so all in all we paid P1,210 (2 pax, 1 foreigner and 1 local).  The boat tour took us around the coves and it was a peaceful ride, somewhat like cruising along a lake. They took us first to a cave with a small opening where we had to swim under a tiny tunnel laden with clams. The attraction was that if you’re inside the cave, the water illuminates the part of your body immersed in water like there was an underwater light. 

Then we were brought to a Diving Cave where we hiked up the stalactites and the stalagmites. 

We then exited to a hole where a diveboard was in place. The jump was approximately less than 5 meters. It took me several minutes to gather my strength and finally take that first step. I landed on my butt. Ouch!

It was almost dark, so we requested to go to a snorkel site and the Tojomon lake the following day. We spent the night at SIFAI, the only cheap lodge available in the cove. It was beyond our budget (P1,000). Lodge manager explained that they usually charge P400/pax only, however since we were the only guests that night, they still had to switch on the generator for us and at minimum it costs them P300.  One mistake we did was not to bring food supplies. Since we weren’t booked in advance, they only managed to feed us instant noodles, rice, and canned meat loaf. Breakfast in the morning was better as he caught some fresh fish for us (P350 for 2 meals/2pax).

SIFAI's balcony offers a scenic view of the cove 

Our boatman was already waiting in the morning, so we took off after breakfast to go to the snorkel site (P300). We were warned that it was not jellyfish season so they may not abound. We still insisted (P200) and were quite delighted that as we approached, several were already floating, albeit small. The sizes varied from the size of my fingernail to the length of my hand. The boat moored and we were allowed to swim with the orange jellyfish.

snorkelling with the NO sting jellyfish

From Sohoton Cove, we wanted to go to Siargao island, so we rented the same boat to bring us to Socorro port (P1500). That's where we took a fastcraft to Siargao island which left 1pm.


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