Flat tyres going to El Nido

El Nido Travel Blog

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The boats at the beach in El Nido

After a few days in Puerto Princesa it is time to move on. There are 3 buses a day from here to El Nido. There is the early bus, the very early bus and the stupidly early bus. Leaving at 5 am, 7 am and 9 am. I will be aiming for the one leaving at 7. After my last bus travel I am convinced that the bus will not really be leaving at 7 - sure it left on time the last time - but that only means that I got on the one bus leaving on time in the Philippines the entire year - this one will be leaving at around 7.30-7.45.

 

So I don't get to the bus terminal before 6.57 convinced I will be one of the first people to board the bus.

Beach in El Nido
And yep I am the first one entering the bus - it is actually completely empty - but right next to this empty bus is a bus which is really really full. I get out and check it out - yep that is the 7 o'clock bus to El Nido - what am I doing on the 9 o'clock one - why did people tell me to get onboard that one? I get out and get into the other bus. It is pretty full and I get the outer seat on a triple bench sharing with a local couple and their baby.

 

At seven sharp the bus leaves - this can not be happening - buses leaving at time twice in a row in the Philippines. I am shock and utterly confused of this behaviour. It goes against all my expectations about local transport in this place. But of we go. The first 2 hours is a constant struggle to fight the G-force which tries to force me out of my half seat every time the bus goes around a bend on the road.

The bay area of the town
And there is a lot of bends on this stretch of road.

 

After a few hours some of the passengers leave the bus and there is an open seat on the backbench. I get it. It is actually more comfortable for me because there is lots more legroom back here than on the other seats in the bus. Of course there is some problems with the backseat - you cant really look out of the windows without looking through the top part of the windows which are all coloured class to protect against the sun - and every time the bus drivers over a bump you will jump in the seat - and there are a lot of bumps on this road. And when you hit the major bumps in the road you will jump from the seat and hit the roof - all part of the daily entertainment when travelling overland.

 

The trip is pretty uneventful - except the mandatory puncture - it is not that hard to understand why the buses constantly puncture on these roads.

The cliffs surounding the town
They are not seal and generally pretty rough. When you add the fact that the tires are universally worn down the punctures are just waiting to happen. The crew on the bus replaces the punctured tyre with another equally worn tyre. And of we go - at least for a while - just until we get the days second puncture - once again change of tyre luckily we got an extra spare but I start to wonder how many spare tyres we actually got onboard this bus? This could be a problem if it continues - but fortunately this was the last puncture of the day.

 

On the last bit of the trip the landscape changes - out through the left windows of the bus you can see many small islands. They are all part of the Bacuit Archipelago the main reason people travel to El Nido. Everybody will go island hopping between these islands. And it looks great even through the miscoloured windows of the bus.

Sunset from the beach just out of town in El Nido
And despite the two flat tyres the bus actually made record breaking time. Only 7½ hours - of course this is 1½ hour more than the official timetable of 6 hours to get from Puerto to El Nido but everybody else seemed to spend longer and I have heard about others driving for 9½ hours to get between the two cities.

 

When I get to town I walk down the street to find somewhere to stay - and I get a small beach cottages right at the beach with a small porch and everything. This looks promising and it is empty so I got the place all to myself no one to disturb the peace. After getting settled I have just enough time to go and have a look at the limestone cliffs surrounding the entire tiny town and then heads of to the sunset over the see with the islands in the background.

yheleen says:
hahahaha.... you had some fun in El Nido my friend...
Posted on: Jul 29, 2008
ice9van says:
I guess they don't practice Filipino time in El Nido! :D

Love the pix!
Posted on: Jul 29, 2008
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The boats at the beach in El Nido
The boats at the beach in El Nido
Beach in El Nido
Beach in El Nido
The bay area of the town
The bay area of the town
The cliffs surounding the town
The cliffs surounding the town
Sunset from the beach just out of …
Sunset from the beach just out of…
The cliffs surounding the town
The cliffs surounding the town
The cliffs surounding the town
The cliffs surounding the town
Sunset from the beach just out of …
Sunset from the beach just out of…
El Nido Hotels & Accommodations review
Dara Fernandez Cottages
Finding a place to stay in the of season in El Nido is not hard. There are lots of small places renting out beach cottages on the beach. I stayed … read entire review
El Nido
photo by: tj1777