Trip Start Oct 24, 2007
Trip End Nov 28, 2007

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mabuhay again,

So a recap is in order, We left Cebu City for Peurto Princessa.  Upon our arrival in PP we decided to go north for a little village named El Nido.  We jumped into a 4x4 toyota with a driver named William bound for El Nido.  A side note is we couldn't fly to El Nido from PP because they only have two flights a week, and one was earlier that day and the other was in three good.  So we drive, its supposed to take 6 hours on a good dry day, now keep in mind the distance is only 50 or so kilometres.  Yeah bad road your thinking...that doesn't begin to explain it.  Not only that, the rainy wet season is late this year...were in it full force So here is the story:

We left at noon from Puerto Princessa, William our trusted professional driver assured us the trip was 6 hours.  Perfect, we thought nothing of the fact we NEEDED a 4x4 to get there, no big deal, a few pot holes and some mud  right?  For most of the trip, the road was good, William would speed up to 120kmh on the straights and hit the brakes for every corner down to about 50.  His horn was the focal point of his driving ability.  He beeps it every time you pass people or other vehicles on the road.  Constantly on the horn, thats normal for Asia anyway, but Willy really likes his horn.  Pedestrians absolutely do not have the right of way here either, we would zing past people and children going a hundred when they are only a few feet away. 

Anyway, the trip pretty much went like that the whole way, there was periods of paved roads then gravel or dirt than mud.  The best part was when the road got washed out by rain, so we had to take a detour into the nearest river....yes i said river.  You know your not in Kansas anymore when you use the river as a road.  Yeah, i'm sure if we were back home, Environment Canada would be loving that.  Amazingly the river didn't get too deep, we were only up to the doors or so.

So we went down the "river road" for a half kilometre or so before William realized we missed the real road, so we turned around and Willy gunned it up this mud filled road.  Now to paint a picture in your mind, this mud road had ruts deeper than the wheels of our truck....needless to say we got high centered and clearly we were now going nowhere.  Completely stuck. Willy cursed for a while as he tried to navigate out of there, but as those of us know that have been stuck before....we were f%&*ed! 

Willy got out into the several feet deep mud and went for help.  Mike, Corey and I sat there in disbelief.  Disbelief then became laughter, a multitude of pictures soon folowed.  We tried to help push to only get a new mud suit.  We were covered in mud, in our hair face clothes everywhere....though Silva managed to stay surprisingly clean i might add.

Willy came back with some new friends, a large truck came to our rescue.  The gentlemen tried several different(questionable) methods of retrieval to no avail.  The chain that we had been carrying actually blew apart when it was used to pull.  But these creative philippinos tied the chain together in a granny knot and then tried worked.  I didn't see of course, i was quite a ways away in fear of chain shrapnel. 

The trip went on and William got us to El Nido safe and sound only an hour or so behind schedule.  However not bad considering a frenchmen told us the next day his trip took 14 hrs because his 4x4 actually flipped over.  Apparently it was the trip from hell.  Ours was just entertaining as hell!  overall that was definately the way to go, it was double the price of flying, but we saw tonnes of the countryside and saw how the villagers live outside of the larger centers.

So El Nido is a cool place, very chill and an absolute beauty!  This place reminds me of Krabi in Thailand with the georgeous islands everywhere and the beautiful beaches and ocean.  I can see El Nido changing for the worse in the next ten years of so with the development and such.  The locals probably getting pushed back from their beaches to make room for bigger "nicer" resorts.  It is an amazing place and some of the islands we visited were so beautiful, its hard to explain them.  hidden beaches and lagoons and snorkelling to die for.  Actually i would have to say the snorkelling was better than the dives we did.  We saw turtles and lots of various fish.

Anyway off the topic its been hilarious, Silva has many a nickname over here, he has gone from the bizzare "Van Helsing"  to Vin Diesel, to Big Boy and our new favorite "Big Fantasy."  Yeah some kid as we were walking by said "hey Big Fantasy"  as he held his hands in such a manner as to say wow you have really big boobs!   hahahaha  Jubes and couldn't stop laughing!!

The other funny thing is every person we have met are seemingly scared of Mike....every time he tries to say hello to someone the people look away or are intimidated or something.  He gets no response from anyone.  We like to say when one of us gets that "we got Silva'd."

Anyway we are in Coron now, supposed to be beautiful wreck diving here.  An entire Japanese fleet of war ships were sunk back in WWII scattered in the area.  There are daily dives to lots of them.  We are booked for two tomorrow, should be amazing, we actually get to go inside them.  the depth of one of the ships is about 30 metres(100ft)

Anyway enough yapping, sorry no officially bit it, i cannot take anymore photos for the trip.  Sucks big time, but Corey and Mike still have theirs.  thanks to Paul, you are probably right....sand and sea water would take its toll.

So everyone take care and talk soon.

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