Finally! After a month, I am able to blog about my recent trip in El Nido, Palawan. September went by really fast for me and it was one of the busiest months this year with all work stuff, travel and appointments. I won’t be saying so much in this post but instead let the photos do the talking (and I hope they do justice, too). So here it goes….
Day 1 and 2
I had to work half day before my flight so I had to bring all my stuff at the office. Past noon, I left the office and hurriedly went to the NAIA T3 to meet my college friends and travel buddies – Ruby, Rhan, Jella and Gema. Luckily the traffic was not that bad that day and I arrived at the airport with ample time left to hang around. After checking in, we went to the third floor food court to grab a quick meal before proceeding to our Departure gate. No need for Domestic terminal fee, by the way. We waited for a couple of minutes before we were called for boarding.
Our flight left Manila on time and landed at Puerto Princesa International Airport after an hour. We went out of the airport and looked for a man carrying a sign of Northern Hope Tours. We saw our driver immediately carrying a bond paper with Ruby’s name. We placed our bags at the trunk of the van and left the airport. Since the van was for sharing, we picked up two couples at the Robinson’s mall. We also passed by a nearby market place to grab some water and snacks since travel from Puerto Princesa is from 8-10 hours.
I do not usually sleep during travel, especially at night. Good thing that I have Jella and Rhan sitting with me at the back. And well, yes, we talked about Korean stuff, listened to Korean songs and watched a Korean tv show. Not bored at all. After almost 4 hours, we stopped by a restaurant called “Halfway” – probably the mid point between El Nido and Puerto Princesa. We had a quick dinner and then continued our journey. If not for the occasional phone signals and a few songs and movie on my ipad, I would have been totally bored. The roads were almost pitch black except for the light coming from our van or the moon or some houses we would pass by. The roads are still being developed.
We arrived at our resort – Telesfora Beach Resort, almost midnight. The lights were already off and we had to bring our things to the resort with the use of flashlight and with dogs barking at us. It was a pretty scary but funny experience. Surprisingly, our room was huge. It can accomodate up to 8 people, I think. There were 5 of us so still a lot of space to sleep and move around. We settled in, arranged our things and slept to prepare for the tour the next morning.
We started the day by having a quick continental breakfast at the resort’s mini restaurant. We had egg, bread, jam, butter and coffee. Breakfast was really nice especially with the picturesque view of the ocean and some rock formations. After prepping up, we were fetch by a trike driver sent by Northern Hope. We had to travel for about 10 minutes to reach the Nothern Hope booth near the dock. We settled our payment then waited for our ‘tour guide/bangkero/cook/lifeguard’. Haha.
We had a short walk to the dock going to our boat. It was spacious considering there were only 5 of us and 3 boatmen. The weather was a bit gloomy that day but luckily Mr Sun decided to show up and granted us a fine day for boat trip and swimming.
Our our frist day, we did Tour C. We first went to the Hidden Beach. As the name implies, it is a beach hidden between huge, winding mountain formations. It is a small beach but the marine life and view are amazing.
After the Secret beach we went to the Matinloc Shrine, which is shaped like heart. There is a shrine and some old structures at this island that used to hold religious ceremonies. The view from the top took our breath away.
Since it was close to noon already, we headed to the island nearby, the Kulasa beach. Kulasa beach is already a private resort but luckily there were no guests that time so we got to enjoy the beach. While swimming, our bangkeros cooked lunch for us at the boat. Talking about multi-tasking. Haha. We had our lunch by noon which was composed of ensaladang talong, crabs, liempo, squid, grilled fish, pipino, watermelon, pineapple and softdrinks. That was one of the best island meals I’ve had in a long time. Sarap!
We had our quick siesta after our meal then headed out to our next destination, probably one of my favorites – Cadlao Lagoon. The water in this lagoon is just pristine and blue like the sky. The beauty of the lagoon made me braver actually. I do not usually go farther from the boat if I know that the water is really deep but gosh, that place, how can I resist not enjoying it? So I braved the deep waters and swam. Hurray!
Time was really short for us but we needed to head to our last destination which was the Helicopter island. Just like the name, from afar it looks like a helicopter. It has a long shoreline and is also a good diving and snorkeling spot.
We ended the tour earlier and headed back by 3PM. We rode a trike to take us back to our resort. It was a tiring but fun day. Before finally calling it a night, we had pizza, pasta and gelato at the Altrove Trattoria.
Wait for the next day details here and our Tour A adventure! 🙂
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