Andrew tries to catch crabs on the beach

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Cliffside Cottages

Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We woke and had to walk down to the town early to try and renegotiate our terms for today's boat trip. Yesterday the woman was completely unable to move on price so we had walked off hoping no one else would book on so that she still needed two more. As we walked up the street she saw us approaching and we already sensed she needed us.  We walked round the corner and our names were on the board.  We explained that we still couldn’t afford the price and she instantly knocked 200 peso off, we agreed the terms we proposed yesterday and then nipped off to find an internet cafe as my Mum and Dad needed urgent info from me.  I found one and looked like a complete fool as I already knew that the power cuts off here at 6am only to be restarted at 18:30 or something. This is a minor inconvenience to keep away lots of tourists and 5 star hotels which would rip the soul out of the place.

Anyway after spotting a boat called 'Erica’ we headed off on the Ken David our boat for the day with two guys who must have weighed about 10 stone between them. We firstly headed to ‘Hidden beach’ which was fantastic and we saw lots of blue starfish, huge shoals of fish and lots of bigger fish too, I really liked it.

We then headed off to another fantastic white sand beach with the most awesome sand.  From there we followed the coral until the sea bed simply fell away down the side of a cliff, the shoals of fish were simply gorgeous lots of Nemos and other fantastic coloured fish (lots of puffer fish as well yesterday).

Erica edit:  I can’t say anymore than unbelievable, looking out in to the blue was like looking in to space it was just blue, everywhere.

We had a lunch of more freshly caught fish, chicken adobo, rice, salads, mango, banana etc which was lovely and had another dip in the gorgeous ocean. We then headed off to ‘Secret beach’.  We arrived and dropped anchor while one of the crew quickly threw his life ring in the water put a mask on and jumped in before swimming to a tiny opening in the cliff face.  It looked ok till a wave came in and hit the rock over the hole.  Without instruction the guy simply swam through it in what looked like a blind panic screaming at us to go after him. We all jumped in the water and diving expert Elie went under water so we didn’t see him again.  Elena was next and had a life ring thrown at her and was quickly pulled through.  Erica panicked and started to swim away so I told her to go back to the boat. The captain (the only man left on the boat) started screaming so I decided I best get a move on. I quickly went for it only to catch it at a bad time for the wave and got a wrap across the ankles from the roof of the cave.  Inside was an Oasis with a beautiful beach and lots of fish.

Erica meanwhile found the reason the captain was screaming was that the anchor hadn’t held and the boat was being beaten into the side of the cliff. This was right on the far side of the archipelago so the sea was very rough.  The assistant came bolting through the sea and managed to get on board to help save the boat. They were so concerned about Erica (who incidentaly may as well just got her 10m swimming badge she is that good in the sea) they left her to panic before kindly chucking a life jacket overboard.

Erica edit:  Sad to say Mum and Dad those swimming lessons at Ashton Baths were wasted on me!

Anyway when the boat was safely re-anchored she got back on and I soon reappeared after nearly being taken out by the roof of the cave again.  It was really dangerous in hindsight and I have no idea what two five stone lads could have done if it all went wrong.

We then went to a church on another remote island with a very dangerous set of steps up to a cross on the cliffs.  A great viewing spot but Erica nearly got stuck as she couldn’t get back down (unlike Alena I have to add who was scaling the cliff faces before turning to pose for photographs.  She has grown on us a lot over the last two days and we are sad to see her leaving tomorrow (although I didn’t think she appreciated me calling her ‘the crazy Russian’).

We then went to try and find some turtles as Elie had already seen one during the day and the rest of us were desperate to see one.  Erica said that today she swam the furthest two distances ever in her life all in one day, so when the boat started to get to far away she panicked and sent us packing back to the boat.  In which time Elie saw another turtle. Oh Well.

We then went to another perfect beach paradise called ‘Helicopter beach’.  The coral here was simply beyond belief it was perfect like someone had spent decades planning it. We saw lots of fish but also a sting ray which put the panic back into lady E.  She then gave the mask and snorkel to Elena and told her to look (Elena having no idea what the translation for sting ray is screamed, swallowed half the sea and flew back to the shore quicker than you have seen any human swim.  We took a walk along the beach collecting washed up coral and I enjoyed chasing all the tiny crabs back in to their holes (USA get in the hole), Erica cracked the joke about me wanting to catch crabs in the Philippines, well not on this beach anyway.

Erica edit:  The ray was so close to the shore that was what panicked me, it was so close when we were swimming over it. Aaaarrrggghhh!

We then headed back home again and caught another fish for the crew’s tea.  I almost started to get emotional coming home it had been such a perfect day.  This place is blowing the socks off us every day. We bought a bottle of Apple vodka for our pre dinner tipple, I smashed my head on the corrugated roof of the shop, the man stating that it was only designed for Filipino’s, (no Tanduay I’m afraid) and then the rains started, so at present we are stuck in our room.  We should be out to catch the e-mails from my Mum and Dad as soon as it stops.  The plan is to sit on the beach outside the place we went last night as we know the password for the wifi now. We cant afford another meal there as it costs far too much for us skinflints.
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Stevie P on

Told the PI can be nice in parts. You did the right thing staying out of Manila see. Great choices of things to see

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