Empty beaches and crystal clear lagoons in El Nido
Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
124Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
What I did
Island hopped and beach bummed!
Kaz & Anna quickly found us some bungalows on the beach. Sadly not facing the ocean but a mere 10 seconds walk from it! Tut tut, Ashley & I accepted this calamity with good grace!
There are lots of karst formations in this area of Palawan like in Thailand & Halong Bay and even though I have seen them many times now I will never tire of looking out at these beautiful formations whilst chilling on a beach.
The following day we hired our own boat with a boatman and headed off to a beach called 7 commandos. It is a lovely big beach with incredible white sand. As Karen was getting off the boat she fell into the water. All good fun. Unfortunately, she was carrying the bag with our lunch which was now submerged into the Pacific! So our sandwiches consisted of tuna, salad, sand and sea! Yum yum! It was too windy on 7 commandos beach so we asked our boatman to take us to a more secluded beach. It's crazy to think that we could just pick and choose our own empty beaches!
There are loads of islands off El Nido, some of which are in kayaking distance. So Kaz & I decided to Kayak out to one and spend the day on our own bit of paradise. Sadly Ashley had way too much sun so could not join us. Now I warned Kaz that it would not be easy but she brushed me off as if I was some land loving gimp! I am sad to say that I was proved correct as when we were between islands the water got quite choppy. It was not too bad but it was no walk in the park either!
Thankfully we made it to land and literally crashed on to the beach as if we had been at sea for months! Now the beach we were on was lovely but I don't think we relaxed too much as we knew we had to kayak back. When we did eventually get back in our sturdy bit of fibre-glass the water had become even more choppy. So we did what anybody would do in that situation. We bummed a lift off a passing boat! Well we did want our own Robinson Crusoe moment and we got it in all it's glory!
Paul's been quite kind to me in his description of our terrible kayaking adventure. When we were stuck out in that deep dark ocean in our little, flimsy kayak I felt sheer terror. I was screaming my head off, totally having a hysterical fit that easily surpassed any of my dramatic outbursts to date. My whole life flashed right before my eyes. It was officially the scariest moment of our trip so far!
The four of us got on our own private bangka and toured the wonderful surrounding islands and beaches of the area. One highlight was snorkelling in a secret spot that our boatman's son Kenneth had discovered where we saw hundreds of fish, quickly followed by a superb lunch of bar-b-q's bangus fish cooked by our boatman on a deserted beach. The main highlight however, was the big lagoon. Imagine swimming through crystal clear water through a small opening in the cliffs. Once on the other side you find yourself in turquoise water completely surrounded by tall cliffs. There's no one else there, except a few birds, the silence and stillness is complete. That is how we experienced the small lagoon, one of the most beautiful places we've seen to date. Paul and I swam to a rock in the middle of the lagoon and just sat there admiring the beauty surrounding us. Once again, nature had come up trumps and left us awestruck.
As we'd promised Wee, we ended our tour at Los Cabanas beach, drinking rum, enjoying the sunset and befriending the local dogs. Wee had a special treat for us. When night fell he offered us a lift back to our resort on a boat. As we sailed on the dark still waters in the moonlight, we dipped our hands in the sea which immediately lit up with tiny dots of light formed by the plankton. It felt like we were waving magic wands in the sea and creating sparks. It was a perfect ending to a great day and a wonderful two weeks with Ash and Anna.
We were sooooo sad to say our goodbyes the next day. We'd truly had a fantastic time together, and knew we would miss them a lot (2 months on and we still do!). Ash and Anna, thank you for coming out to meet us. You made our first two weeks in the Philippines truly special!
But it's onwards and upwards for these two vagabonds and a few days later we left our little piece of heaven and made our way back to Manila. From there we were heading to a very exciting destination - Donsol a place where you can swim with Whale Sharks. Woo hooo
See you when we get there
Lots of love
Karen and Paul