Friday, September 13, 2013

Lake Kalagawan & Navigating the Abyss

Our last full day we got to take the tour I had been waiting for… Lake Kalagawan! I had seen a picture of this lake months ago on Twitter, and finally we were getting to go see it in person!
The entire tour took us to 5 different stops. Between the marine wildlife sanctuary, the lost lagoon and twin peaks, this tour alone was worth it without the main event—a magical lake.  This trip was also fun because I met 3 Americans, who were teaching English in Korea and got me super excited for moving to Thailand (now Cambodia).

This shirt cracked me up

Danvic and Carlo searching for fishies
On one of our stops, we found out how the toilet on the boat works—as Nader our tour guide put it, “It’s a toilet that’s straight to the point.” Literally the toilet was just over a hole in the boat that went straight into the water. When we were about to get off in the “Lost Lagoon” one of our fellow tourists decided to use the facilities, which is how we found out the toilet was a straight shot… Needless to say we weren’t so excited to jump in the water and snorkel around in poo.

Oddly enough, it was this experience that sparked a conversation between me and the other Americans on our trip. What a better way to bond than making fun of other tourists snorkeling around in somebody’s poop? For that stop, we decided to stay in the boat and have a few drinks instead.
And finally—the stop we’d been waiting for: Lake Kalagawan! The boat parked in a beautiful lagoon...

SO. Many. Stairs.
Then we all climbed out to climb the 100 stairs up and 150 stairs down to the lake. As a break in the mini-hike we stopped for a photo opportunity over the lagoon.

The entire tour group

Our Filipino friends we toured with all week!

  The lake water is brackish and has the coolest rock formations under the water. We even got to swim to a small cave and go cliff diving into the lake! The sights were spectacular and this was by far my favorite part of the trip. Unfortunately, my "life proof" case didn't quite hold up to be life proof... So i did not get any pictures inside the cave or of us jumping from the rock... And I now have an iPhone on the fritz, but that's traveling.

The entrance to the cave is near the end of the dock

A view of the rock we jumped from

the dock and some of the rock formations in the lake
We continued on to boat past the Twin Peaks and then stopped off at an island beach to unwind after our exciting morning. On our way home though, the real experience of the day began. Suddenly the sky got black and you could literally see nothing through the abyss of clouds that covered our path home. The waves grew rough and between the wind and the rain—we were all soaked and it was hard to even see 20 feet in front of the boat. Needless to say, I was terrified. After 30 minutes of pure terror and fear for our lives (only slightly kidding, I was terrified), we finally made it through the abyss.
As soon as we got home, I was ready for bed. Between the jet-lag, hiking, and near-death-experience, I was exhausted

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