day one hundred and eight: january 15, 2016: lake mainit and mabua pebble beach

Surigao City is not the most interesting city by far. As we approached our arrival in Surigao City, we began to do some research on what there was to see there. To our disappointment, everything interesting to see was on another island at least a several hour boat ride away, making it a little bit difficult to visit in one day. Since we didn't have enough days to stay the night on one of those islands, we had to explore by car within driving distance of the city. Thankfully, we had a private driver, Noel, who graciously took us around the area to explore. 

First stop was Lake Mainit ( "mainit" means "hot" in Tagalog) one of the largest lakes in the Philippines. Our initial research showed that we might be able to rent kayaks near a resort on the north shore. Our intuition told us that with such a huge lake that there had to be water activities for tourists. We were wrong. Sadly, all that was there, was a run down resort run by the local government. The resort was in pretty poor shape too. We ended up eating lunch at the restaurant there since there was nothing else close by. We did some further research on places nearby, but only found a small hot spring and waterfall that didn't look too exciting. So instead, we headed to our next stop, Mabua Pebble Beach.

Mabua saved our day, there were barely any other people at the beach and we were able to relax. We skipped rocks for a while before taking a dip in the perfectly cool water. 

We also took in some local tunes from an old blind woman with a four stringed guitar. She sang some old Philippine folk songs to us.

As sunset approached, we climbed up some rocks on the north end of the beach to watch the sunset.

day one hundred and nine: january 16, 2016: lumondo falls

The next day we were faced with the same issue as the day before, what to do?! We had read about Lumondo Falls as a must visit place on many sites, but were having trouble actually finding the location of it so we had scratched it from our list of potential activities. Ready to just sit around the hotel and do nothing, Jamie pushed for heading out there and seeing what we could find. She managed to find the GPS coordinates of the falls. We had also read that the road was bumpy, narrow and muddy at times, so we were also worried about the van getting stuck. We plugged the GPS coordinates into our phones and hit the road.

To our pleasant surprise the local government had paved the road leading all the way up to the falls trail. Again to our surprise, there was no one at the falls except one small group of locals who had walked almost four hours to get there.

On our way back up the trail, we were greeted by a caribou, or water buffalo. The falls were definitely worth visiting, so we're glad that Jamie pushed for us to stop being lazy.