The Test of Time

It was a Thursday. Air Asia’s Promo Fares encouraged us more. It was our first trip togther after we landed in Philippines twenty days back.

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Thank You Promo Fares. Courtesy Air Asia

The staff, well-equipped us with umbrellas to walk to the aircraft. Thank God they had enough for everyone. Almost drenched, the journey started with goosebumps. The ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido should have been a little more than three hours. Typhoon Queenie was on its way and the first obstacle that came was an uprooted tree. Three vans and around 15 people followed our initiative of displaying initiative in getting a task done. Clearing the path off the uprooted tree, we zoomed past various small uprootings until a broken bridge took the test of time for us.

It was a Friday. Till 5 am we drank coffee and had remarkable conversations. We finally set out at 7 am from Taytay where we were stuck for more than nine hours. The dark clouds of El Nido ushered us into Novie’s Inn. Pre Booked, our rooms were sitting ready for us. As we scowled at each other for the rooms, we settled faster than expected.

Novie’s Tourist Inn

We hired trikes to take us to the beach.

Trike
Trikes- They are bikes with covers. Fits four and a pillion with the rider. 15 PHP per person
El Nido- The nest
On the beach
El nido Beach
El Nido Beach

The beach was crowded and not as pretty as we expected. Commercialization had taken its toll. It was dirty but the sights of the sea and what could be ahead kept us anticipative.

It was a Saturday. We hired bikes and set off to Nacpan Beach.

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The mud road leading to Nacpan Beach
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Tourist Information Centre, Nacpan Beach
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Trikes on the village roads
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Corabao (Buffalo)-The national Animal of the Philippines.

A two hour ride and crossing mud pits and grassy fields, the beach revivified us.

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Nacpan Beach, Sulu Sea
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Nacpan Beach
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Clouds

With a shack offering seafood and beverages, we settled for some beach life. As we swam, clicked photos and laughed, the clouds descended. We finished two matches of beach volleyball with the local boys and had a hearty meal of mussels.

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Mama Cita’s Restaurant, Nacpan Beach
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Mama Cita’s, Nacpan Beach
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Menu @ Mama Cita’s
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Nacpan Beach

As we rode back, the rain played tricks and we went back to Coron Coron only to encounter the most surreal colors and the most breathtaking sunset. A beautiful Italian dinner at La Mezzanine was a perfect end to a long day.

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Sunset @ Coron Coron

It was a Sunday. The rain wont stop and we got lazier. The idea of snorkeling and island hopping got in some excitement and we hired a local guide to take us in to the waters of El Nido. Our guides were called Stingray. The schedule is they take us on a boat for island hopping. It starts with snorkelling in Small Lagoon and a visit to the Secret Lagoon. Shimizu is named after a Japanese soldier who was found here and this where they cook and serve us lunch which included smoked chicken breast, lobsters, fish, rice and fruits. We snorkeled and kayaked there for some time and moved forward to Big Lagoon for the most beautiful view of nature and then to Seven Commandos beach for sunset.

Stingray's Boat for the Island Hopping
Stingray’s Boat for the Island Hopping
Small Lagoon
Small Lagoon
Shimizu
Shimizu
Big Lagoon
Big Lagoon
Seven Commandos
Seven Commandos

A late night in the local Puka Bar which played Reggae music till wee hours of morning, we made friends from all over.

It was a Monday. Half of the group were going back to Manila and the rest of us would spend a day in Puerto Princesa. We walked the whole town at night and ate crocodile meat and after a heavy meal at La Terrase, we took a trike ride to zipline before we left for Manila too. It was a Tuesday. Manila was the same as we left.

I travelled with seven others in November 2014. .

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