Subterranean river in Sabang
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Mary's rat infested cottages
When Paul and I tried to get back in our huts our key didn’t work. It turned out they had lost our key and decided to give us another one in the hope that it would work, it didn’t. We waited outside for a couple of hours while they figured out a plan, and it was only after I threw a wobbly they deigned to get a locksmith to unlock the door and let us in.
The real trouble started after we got back from our evening meal. We’d had to put our valuables in Ash and Anna’s room as we couldn’t lock our hut. As I picked up my bag I noticed a big gaping hole in it. I realised that we’d left some cake in the bag and a rat had come in for it. The greedy sod didn’t have to eat through my bag though. He’d even had the discourtesy of leaving a line of his droppings at the entrance which left us in no doubt about his visit. Yuck. I walked into my room and found that he’d come to our room as well. Not finding any food there he’d eaten through my suntan lotion (!) and my medicine bag. I was extremely pleased to see he’d chewed a whole Imodium tablet. There’s one mighty blocked up rat somewhere.
Paul and I found it disgusting, but we were used to this grubby living by now. Poor Ash and Anna on the other hand, come from the sanitized and clean otherworld that is Europe. Ash refused to enter the hut and was planning on sleeping on the beach. Having built months of experience with all things filthy, I reassured them confidently that rats would never come in the hut while we were in it. That once we were in, there wouldn’t be any hint of a rat in the near vicinity. How wrong I was…..
As Paul and I got into bed, both our skins crawling with the filthiness of the place we heard a noise by the window. We shone our torch on it (there was no electricity at night) and heard something scuttle back out. Surely, it couldn’t be?!!!! The rat must have known we were inside, trying to come in was against the rules!!! We spent half the night trying not to touch too much of our bed sheets (levitation would have been extremely useful) and the other half, shining our torch at the window to stop the persistent rat from coming in. At one point Paul got so frustrated that he went out looking for the dirty scoundrel. What he would have done once he’d spotted it remains a mystery to both of us.
I would have chased the little bugger into it’s hole and disturbed its sleep instead! In fact when I did go out at about 04:00 a.m. in my underwear (nice sight I have put in your heads) I came across a dog outside our bungalow and a couple walking! What they must have thought I was up to with my head torch and stick will remain in their imaginations!
The next day we all came to a quick decision and decided to find another bungalow. Luckily Karen found some nice bungalows just around the corner so we quickly grabbed our bags including the half eaten one ( hey we are poor backpackers!) and moved into our new plush adobes!
Our advice to anybody coming to the Philippines is to splash out slightly more on your accommodation as the dirt cheap ones are just that, dirty and cheap!
It was well worth the effort though. The river goes on for 8km under the rocks, although we only went for 1.5km. The place is huge with massive ceilings, stalagmites, stalactites, weird rock formations and thousands of bats! It took just under an hour and was something none of us had ever done so we were all glad that we stopped off in Sabang to experience it. You will be glad to know that we did not trek back! It was getting way too late for that. Instead we got on a “ Bangka” which is a traditional Filipino boat that took us back to our beach in Sabang.
Before heading back to our bungalows we had a quick drink with a local guy that we had booked our mini bus to El Nido with. Some local rum with coke. It was very nice so we decided to buy some. It cost 50p for a small bottle of rum! 50p! It’s nice rum too. It was great sitting there with our new found friend but we were all desperate to get to our clean bungalows so we made our excuses and left.
After a lovely shower we all sat on our veranda and drank our rum and cokes. Now this is more like it! Ashley & Anna treated us to a lovely dinner at the best place in town. They did not need to the silly sods but it was lovely of them. Thank you once again guys!
After dinner we headed back to our beds full and happy. A dog even guided us to our places in the dark! I am sure we all got in bed with content sighs, a far cry from last night!
See you all on the beach in El Nido!
Paul, Karen, Ashley & Anna xxx