PHILIPPINES PART 4 – THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE

Slowly we got the feeling that we have to give just every time that bit of extra effort before we can enjoy something in the Philippines. First we have to bite the bullet before the nice things happens. They definitely didn’t make it easy for us in the Philippines. Our trip started in the beautiful rice fields around Batad, but before we got there we had to survive the horrible bus drive and to return to Manila same story. After the rice fields we went to Bohol but before we could reach the island we were one day stuck in Cebu because of the typhoon. On Palawan we had to go from Puerta Princesa to Port Barton and this drive should only take three hours but we did it in about seven hours. And our flight to Puerta Princesa was also delayed for a few hours. The drive from Port Barton was neither a nice one. The third typhoon caused a one day delay in our expedition from El Nido to Coron. And fortunately we didn’t know at that time what others surprise they had in store for us. Until then all delays didn’t cost us any extra money. Besides it didn’t take away that every destination was damn nice and beautiful but somehow the way to it was never flawless.

One of the many typhoons we faced in the Philippines

On the 4th of January it was finally the day where we had looked forward to from the beginning we had arrived in the Philippines. The extra day of delay made us dying to go on the boat and leave El Nido behind. Together with 23 others we gathered together at the meeting point in the center of El Nido from there our two nights and three day ultimate adventure would start. Like always in the Philippines it took more time to sail out than initially planned. But we were patient because we knew that something nice would come. And finally at 11:30 am we were ready to sail out. During the waiting the crew had to do some engine fixes and did all the paperwork at the coast guard, but we didn’t mind anymore finally we could go. The atmosphere on the boat was good as well and everybody was looking forward to the upcoming days. We already had the first beers jus after twelve and despite we had a heavy rain shower nobody cared because we all knew this would be an unforgettable trip.

After everything was on board and a few hours of waiting it was finally time to go

That the first night would be legendary night was not something anybody had expected. We enjoyed the whole day at the boat stopped near Nacpan beach, went there for a swim and had lunch. Furthermore it was important that we would go as far as possible the first day so that we could visit some nice places on the second day. Unfortunately we had another setback, the waves were that high that we couldn’t go full speed. That was not all, the second boat got again some engine problems and the sun already started to go down. In the meantime more of us were questioning how long it would take to reach our first destination and whether or not this would be for darkness. The answer to our question was “one and half hour” which the kept saying for two hours. At some points we even had the feeling that we weren’t sailing at all and nobody understood why. But actually nobody seemed to care because we were enjoying a beautiful sky full of stars and some nice beers.

In the morning we could finally enjoy the beauty of the place where we stayed the first night

Around 8 o’clock, when it was already dark for one and a half hour, a lot of us got quite cold. And our wet swimming wear wasn’t helping either. They gave us some hot coffee to stay warm and ensured us that it wouldn’t take that much more time to arrive. And slowly we got to understand the situation. It was dark light hell and the crew had only a few flashlights with them to navigate. They knew where we had to go but they were also very aware of the fact the we had to pass pearl farms and sometimes the passage was not much wider than the boats itself. You can understand that the farmers would not be happy if we would hit one of these nets. Afterwards we learned that only a few months ago a captain got killed by one the farmers because he hit one of the pearl farms with his boat. Fortunately we didn’t know this back then. And around 9 o’clock we finally reached our destination. With kayaks the brought us from the boat to the mainland. Finally we reached the destination for that night and despite we couldn’t see that much we knew we had reached little paradise.

Breakfast wasn’t bad either

The dissatisfaction about the delay of that day disappeared in a puff of smoke when we saw the beach huts where we would sleep that night. And we shouldn’t complain because in the meantime at the boat the cook prepared another delicious meal for us. Together with the meal the bottles of rum appeared at the scene. We mixed some rum with coke, ate something and everything was good and fun. We were fantasizing about our surroundings and talked about the adventures of that day. After a long and special day but also tiring it was finally time to go to bed.

Visit to a local village at one of the many islands of the Philippines

The two boats we went with

The weather, the beautiful beaches and the good food made everything perfect for the coming days. And slowly we started to know each other better and better and we had good fun with each other. Unfortunately not everybody felt that good and some of us got see sick or got maybe sick of some bad food or even got a sunstroke. One thing was at least sure and that was that not everyone was top fit and the fish got feed every once in a while by somebody’s stomach content. Hopefully they can look back on a unforgettable adventure in a good way like we do. The second day vanished all the bad memories of the delay at the first day. When we arrived at the destination the sun was slowly going down and while we were enjoying the beautiful color in the sky, the crew was setting up our tents. That night was another perfect night where we enjoyed another time the local rum but this time around a campfire. So ended another day in paradise.

Sunset at our second destination

Sunrise next morning

The food we had was really amazing

After three days spending on a boat, snorkeling, good food, nice drinks and surrounded by nice people the adventure came to an end. It was time to say goodbye to each other. What a nice time we had and so many impressions. Totally satisfied and tired we went out like a light that night. Unfortunately we had to deal with some new problems that morning. We found out that our ferry to Manila was rescheduled. It would leave one day after the original departure day. This meant that we would miss our flight from Manila to Vietnam. After looking for all possible alternatives, a drive to the airport and a visit at the ferry office we found out that the cheapest way was to reschedule our flight to Vietnam. Despite the rescheduling costs were higher than the price of the original tickets we had not better alternative available. And so we would finalize our Philippine journey once again with some setbacks.

What a good time we had with these guys

Despite all the rescheduling, delays and horror drives we are fully aware that we can’t complain at all. We are both healthy we live our dream and we see so many beautiful places. And in the Philippines we enjoyed so many things, we met new friends and experienced unforgettable things. Now it’s time to go to Vietnam and despite we will miss the Philippines with its beautiful beaches we are also looking forward to a new destination.