Bohol is a lovely little island, one million inhabitants, a couple of hours from Cebu City by boat. Though, it was severely impacted by the recent earthquake, that hit the Philippines a few weeks before the Yolanda typhoon. As you can see below, it has suffered massive destruction.
So, as a consequence, few tourists are visiting Bohol those days. Though, the famous tarsier monkeys are still there.
A tarsier often measures no more than 100 millimeters, which makes this endemic species, here in the Philippines, the smallest primate on earth.
A tarsier can turn its head by 180 degrees to nearly 360 degrees. It has to do this because it can’t see from the corner of its eyes… Eyes that are the size of their brain !!! And they use their long tail as a tripod !
Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects, which they retrieve from wood. Cute, aren’t they ? The average weight of a newborn tarsier is 23 grams.
The magnitude 7.2 quake, which hit the Visayas region on October 15, has definitely caused a whole lot of trauma on the fragile creatures. The epicenter of the quake was somewhere near Carmen, Bohol. The roads to the Tarsier Reservation in Corella, Bohol were not damaged, but the frightened tarsiers reportedly went down from the trees and stayed on the ground.
This was a real trauma for tarsiers, who have, anyway, a tendency to commit suicide when they are too stressed… The animal being sensitive to daylight, noise, and physical contact.
I’ve seen three of them in their Bohol habitat, and it is true that tourists are really behaving stupidly there, using their camera flashes, laughing like crazy… They are so small that you can barely see them at first glance.
Then I passed by (another) butterfly sanctuary.Caterpillars, cocoons…
… And an alive predator : a spider. That far, I had never seen such a big spider. The guide was playing with the net to make it move, just above hour heads. I thought I would kill him. I ran away !
Then I got to see the famous Chocolate Hills : 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square km (20 sq mi).!!!
These conical hills are geomorphological features called cockpit karst, which were created by a combination of the dissolution of limestone by rainfall, surface water, and groundwater, and their subaerial erosion by rivers and streams after they had been uplifted above sea level and fractured by tectonic processes.
These hills are separated by well developed flat plains and contain numerous caves and springs. The Chocolate Hills are considered to be a remarkable example of conical karst topography.
Though I didn’t hike long as rain, fog and strong wind were waiting for me…
So I took a tour on the Loboc river, full of silly tourists who were playing karaoke on the boat. But apart form that, this river is breathtaking.
Due to the heavy rain, the river was brown, but usually it is as blue as this small affluent below. A wonderland !