Ohh, the beach life
Trip Start Oct 19, 2006
55Trip End Apr 05, 2007
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We spent a day snorkelling and "island-hopping" after a lot of avoiding the sales talk of so many boatmen. Unfortunately the day we went was the one really cloudy and rainy day, but it was sunny enough for some wonderful snorkelling on the coral reefs in the bay and around the small islands there - Exotica Island and Paradise Island
We also hiked up to a waterfall where we met a bunch of young Filipino folks who shared their buko (coconut) juice with us - we're still not sure why it had crackers in it. They were so excited when Christopher was brave enough to swim in the pool, and climb up the rocks by the fall to jump in. We had heard rumors of leeches and bad mosquitoes in the jungle there, but didn't see either one. As we were leaving, there were several group photos, and they invited us to watch them play basketball that evening. Basketball is big in the Philippines, and we were amazed to see all the guys wearing jerseys and real shoes - first time we've seen people who weren't wearing flip flops in such a long time. The ref, though, was in his yellow plastic flip-flops, shuffle-running up and down the court.
Port Barton is a small town - we ate in all the restaurants more than once, and one of our favorites was at the only place in the Philippines we've found that has brown bread! We ate breakfast there three days in a row, grateful for a break from the gross white bread that seems to be everywhere
The change in tide was so drastic that at low tide the beach was maybe 20 feet wide, and when the tide came in - after dinner mostly, while we were there - only a few feet of sand were left between the gates of hotels along the beach and the waves. The cottages that we were staying in were on a very steep stretch of the beach, and the tide going out in the morning while we were waking up made waves that crashed so loudly that they often woke us up, worried that our cottage was about to be carried away. We had a nice porch where we sat in the evenings, mosquite-coil burning and orange cat meowing, watching the sun go down into the palm trees. Our walks along the beach everyday were fun explorations of all the different kinds of shells, coral pieces, mollusks, tiny crabs, and coconuts along the beach.
We had thought that we'd go from Palawan over to Panay Island where there is a big festival, Ati Atihan, on January 21st. Before we left for Port Barton we did a lot of travel planning and flight price-checking and decided that we'd rather just stay and see things on Palawan, skip the anxiety of getting somewhere to see something in favor of appreciating where we are for a few more days