Day 144: Beach Day in El NidoNovember 7, 2016 on the Philippines ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C
After a bit of exploring in the morning (and a stop at a delicious crepe shop we'd seen last night for breakfast), we felt at a slight loss for what to do. The actual town doesn't really have anything to do - it looks much nicer during daylight with the limestone cliffs towering overhead, but it's more of a base for doing things elsewhere, like snorkelling. The beach itself may have been nice once upon a time, but now it's just a polluted strip of sand with garbage washing up and oil slicks from the hundreds of boats in the bay.
So we did the next best thing - we booked a snorkelling tour for tomorrow instead! We spent most of the morning in the room, despite nice weather, just relaxing and using a bit of internet since everyone was out and not using it. We also organised our boat to Coron (an island about 6 hours ferry ride north) as well while we were at it.
After a bit of research we decided to head for a beach a few kilometres south of town, called Los Cabanas. We jumped in a tricycle and headed off on the 15 minute drive, only 100 pesos which seemed pretty reasonable. Down the hundred or so steps to the beach, and this was exactly what we wanted. A wide, long, unpolluted beach with no crowds, just scattered groups of people. A couple of bars at either end playing music and selling cheap drinks, and of course constant jewellery vendors (they are incessant here, absolutely everywhere in Palawan).
We settled ourselves down and I jumped straight in the water. Lovely and warm, and a perfect aquamarine colour - it's times like this you realise why that colour has that name!! Spent an hour or so in the water, before sitting on the sand and eating the bakery food we'd bought for lunch back in town.
A rainstorm blew through but we saw it out in the water, thankfully with a thick hotel towel covering our very-non-waterproof bag. When it got really heavy we retreated to the bar at the closer end which had some beach umbrellas that came in handy! It was just a passing shower and before long we were back in the water, this time with beers in hand, enjoying the ambience and the environment.
Shandos got in and out a few times, but I stayed in for several hours at this point. Did some fiddling with the GoPro, and as the sun started to set I put it in position for a time lapse which turned out pretty well! Once it got dark we decided to leave - lots of young Westerners were piling into the beach bar ready for a night of binge drinking, while we were basically exhausted and ready to head home!
As expected we got ripped off by the tricycle guy on the way home - it was 150 pesos to get back. They explained it away because oh they had to wait so long for a fare and blah blah blah, but they know it's a sellers market out there and it's a bloody long walk back to town if you don't like it! I guess it could've been worse. It was funny though, the guy who ended up with us had the world's shittiest motorbike, and needed a several hundred metre run-up to make it up one of the hills! I guess it's only used to Filipino-sized passengers.
Back in town we headed upstairs, had a shower and changed before going back out for dinner. Visited a Greek restaurant for dinner where I had a pork souvlaki and Shandos had mussels in wine. My food was great though extremely garlicky - I don't think Shandos was impressed! Early to bed as we've got an early start for our snorkelling tour tomorrow, and on top of that we have to switch rooms at the hotel for some poorly-explained reason.Read more