Travel

Paradise In Palawan:
El Nido / Part 2

Hola, children of the internet! I didn’t realize it’s been 3 months since my last post. You see, I got incredibly busy with moving back to Spain, acclimating to my new school and starting the internship for my Masters. Plus, micro-blogging has taken over me (read: Instagram). Before I blabber on about my boring life, let me start this slew of photos of our Day 3 & Day 4 in El Nido with our version of #followmeto (wherein I pretend that I’m swimming when actually the water is just knee-deep).

Read about Day 1 & Day 2 here.

DAY 3 | Tour C – Helicopter Island + Talisay Island + Hidden Beach  + Matinloc Shrine

The boat ride to the first island took more than half an hour and of course, the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and we had an ok weather (being the rainy season, that is). It was a bit overcast but it kept the temperature cooler, so it actually made the trip nicer.
SIDENOTE: I regret not having taken more photos with my Fujifilm camera. The GoPro that we rented for 1000 pesos a day was obviously more convenient to use in island hopping but I’m not happy with the quality.

We began Tour C with Helicopter Island. They said it looked like a helicopter from afar but I thought it looked like a fried chicken drumstick dipped in gravy.

The boatmen gave us 45 minutes to an hour per island to snorkel, swim, or just wander around.

To talk about my fear of the water would seem redundant and whiny but I was just sort of proud of myself for doing this. It was my first time to snorkel ever and sure I had mini panic attacks underwater but hey, I guess there’s nowhere to go but up from here.

Next stop was Talisay Beach. We wandered and swam a little bit while the boatmen were preparing our lunch. The scenery was spectacular so we took plenty of photos and videos. Very few of them made the cut in the QA stage and now I’m 100% sure that GoPro is not for me.

The group’s carnivorous feast of multiple dead animals: pork, squid, fish, and crabs.

On the way to our next stop Matinloc Shrine, the rain started to pour. This didn’t stop us from doing our next activity though, which was climbing up some rocks to get this stunning panoramic view of El Nido.

We had to pay an extra 100 pesos for the entrance. Apart from the hike up the grotto, there’s also an abandoned building. I’m not sure what you can do with that information but just so you know.

Next up was Hidden Beach. The rain hadn’t stopped and one of our guides announced that our trip was going to be cut short. The waves towards the Secret Beach would be too dangerous for our boat. We cruised for about half an hour and we finally arrived at our last destination. Since Secret Beach was off the list, they gave us more time on this island. Surprisingly, swimming (more like waddling) in the rain was fun.

We headed back to El Nido town proper at around 4 PM. Took a shower, had dinner and called it a day.

DAY 4 | Tour A – Seven Commando Beach + Shimizu Island + Secret Lagoon + Small Lagoon + Big Lagoon

We slept all through the night (which for us was no feat short of a miracle). We finally beat jet lag!!! After our low-cost breakfast c/o the local panadería, we started Tour A with the same group of boatmen but a different set of island hoppers. This time, I didn’t rent a GoPro and instead risked my mirrorless camera getting wet for better photo quality. 

Our first stop on this tour was Seven Commando Beach, where the sand was as fine as flour and the water was crystal clear. It was a nice beach to get the trip started. There was a hammock-like swing tied to a giant tree that we quite enjoyed. The only thing that offed me was the crowd. We need a new plague.

Our lunch stopover was in Shimizu Island. While our meal was being prepared, we explored the island a little bit.

We drank out of coconuts and just chilled by the beach.

That’s me pretending I’m not yet hungry.

And finally, our delicious island grill buffet (and finally a decent flat lay shot)!

After lunch, we made our way to the next stop: the Secret Lagoon. The boat stopped far from shore and we had to walk and swim our way into the lagoon. I was gonna pass (no duh) but one of the boatmen offered to help me get there. He told me to float on my back while he literally dragged me to the lagoon. It was a bit embarrassing, to be honest, but really worth it. We had to go through a cave hole to enter the not so secret lagoon. How many times in your life will you experience that? I wanted to capture the moment but I couldn’t en route submerge the camera.

The Small Lagoon was my favorite among the lagoons, and probably my favorite among all the stops in the island hopping tours. Why? you may ask. It was incredible and was like nothing I’ve seen before. You can rent a kayak for 400-600 pesos and explore the not so small lagoon. The boyfriend was feeling kind of lazy and asked if we could take one of the boatmen to paddle for us (I know, qué pijo). We kayaked through turquoise blue waters, marveled at limestone cliffs, and explored a few nooks and crevices.

This is when it started to rain. Good thing the waterproof camera case did its job.

The last stop on the tour was the Big Lagoon. We showed up at low tide so the boats couldn’t enter and we either had to swim or kayak. That would have been another 600 pesos so we decided to just stay and have the boat to ourselves.

We headed back after that, took a shower and had overpriced dinner at Art Café. We were going to do Tour B the following day but decided to take a day trip to Nacpan Beach instead. Two straight action-packed days wore us out. We needed a peaceful place just to sit and relax.

Part 3 coming up…hopefully in less than 3 months.

 

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