Palawan the last frontier
Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
54Trip End Sep 19, 2011
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Our flight over to Puerto Princesa was two hours late. The airline we were using was Cebu Pacific and from my past experience with Cebu Pacific this was no surprise. I would say their "on time" strike rate is about 50%. You can't dislike Cebu Pacific all the same, they are the only airline I know that have Karaoke competitions and quizzes in mid flight !! Bazaar. I am happy to say I won a gift for answering a question right. Amazingly enough the answer was, FRIENDS the TV show. I hate that show so badly I can't even describe.
Palawan is known as the Philippine's last frontier. It sits in relative isolation to the west of the Philippine archipelago. The Philippines is the second largest archipelago in the world second only to Indonesia, it's close neighbour. Palawan has been overlooked for many years but tourists are now finding their way here for unspoiled beaches and pristine jungle interior.
We walked out of the airport and got a motorbike and sidecar to take us to a hotel we had picked out of our guide book. It was full so we headed to our next choice, this was also full. We paid off the driver and set off on foot as there was hotels and guesthouses everywhere. 30 Meters down the road we found the Ramari Pension. It was bang on the money at £20 a night. It was a great room with AC and TV and had a couple of monkeys and an Eagle tied up in the garden. I don't approve of keeping animals chained up but I will say the two monkeys were great entertainment!! They even checked me over for knits.
We noticed straight away that Palawan had a good vibe and we knew we were going to like it here. Our time is running short now and we have realized that we have not done nearly half as much sunbathing and snorkeling as we had expected we would. Palawan we hoped would rectify that. Our plan is to travel up to a place called Port Barton for a few days lazing on a beach then travel up to a place called El Nido to do some more lazing and bathing. Good plan. But first we needed to extend our visa. As the 19 TH was a Saturday and the visa office was only open on weekdays we had two nights to spend in Puerto Princesa (PP). PP is also the only place on the island that has ATM machines. Well, as you can imagine I was going to make damn sure I had enough money on me before I traveled any distance from here after the last fiasco.
We explored PP over the weekend and really liked the place. It has a lovely promenade for evening walks and we found a street food stall that did a hog roast every night. Roast pork is called Lechon here and I made sure I had my share of Lechon. Half a Kilo for £2, Crackling the works!!
Monday morning came around and we headed over to the visa office. We filled the forms in and paid the extortionate fee. Half an hour later we had our extension. We headed back to the hotel to collect our bags. That done we flagged a motorbike and sidecar down to take us to a place called San Jose where we would catch a bus over to Port Barton. So now I can sing "yes I know the way to San Jose" if you ever sing the original to me!!