The Stones


Having worked through most of the weekends for the previous 6 months (in June 2011), we decided to try and make more time to discover parts of the island we’d only heard about previously. We went to the unremarkable sounding Bito Depression, which was described to me as ‘hole in the ground’ that I ought to go and see. I wasn’t able to get a better description, but went for a look anyway.

That's not a hole in the ground, it's the lost world inside the grand canyon! I can't understand why this huge chasm isn't better advertised and signposted. I'd love to get down inside it to find out more.

And the view from the road on the way isn't bad either!

When we first took ownership of the land and walked around as if the lords of the manor (which we now were), we noticed that there were many tripping hazards lurking in the undergrowth and long grass, and also several large piles of white-ish rocks,

Every cloud has a silver lining, as a long time player of Age of Empires, I recognised that rocks can either be viewed as a nuisance, or as a builder, a blessing. So we have, over a period of a couple of years, picked up all the surface rocks and harvested all the old piles for use as paths (after breaking) or as fill material for the raised floors of the new buildings.

Damned hard work, but collecting the rocks from the sloping land has two benefits: it improves the quality of the sloping land (and eases the maintenance), and provides material for building. This photo shows the rocks sorted by size prior to being used as fill.

The ‘rocks’ are almost entirely fossilised coral, demonstrating that the isle of Samal was once under the sea.

The more interesting of the coral fossils, we've set aside and used as decoration around our plants

I thought we'd done well to rescue these large clam shells...

...until I spotted this great collection while driving from Penaplata to the car ferry

We asked the owner if we could take the photos, and they told us that they'd picked up the fossils in the surrounding plantation.

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