A new wonder of the world - nha probably not
Sabang Travel Blog› entry 3 of 42 › view all entries
I am heading out of town today on a short daytrip to the Sabang underground river which is the longest navigable underground river in the world. There is quite a bit of hype around this river for the moment with some people trying to get it elected as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. If it is so impressive that you will try to get it elected as one of the 7 most outstanding natural sites in the world it got to be great so I am really looking forward to this place - what is it gonna be like? I get on a day tour and much to my surprise I am actually the only European on the trip - the others are all from Manila I find it refreshing to actually be travelling with some semi locals instead of foreigners which so often is the case at the main attraction of a country.
First it is necessary to drive to the national park headquarter.
We get to the parks headquarter where we have to wait for the boat to transport us to the river opening. And while we wait it is time to enjoy the whether once again. It is quite impressive - we never ever have this much rain in
The boat to the river is a small banka - or outrigger boat which is the standard local boat all over the
In the waiting area it is all about trying to hide from the elements and regain some heat after the cold and wet sailing trip across the ocean.
I started chatting to one of the other on the day trip - a young nurse from
Two month before I had not heard about this underground river - or the Palawan island group for that matter - I just choose the
She on the other hand had been dreaming about going on this trip for years. And had saved money for 2-3 years to be able to go from
Her story left my a bit embarrassed felling like I had not worked hard enough to get here and thinking about the inequalities on the globe which you can not do too much about except hoping that economic growth will finally come to the Philippines so the wages in this country will go up significantly in the future - they got a good basis with a very well educated labour force.
Well after a bit of a wait it is our turn to go in the canoe and go in to the river - the part of the river you can sail on is
The trip into the river begins and now we will be dry for sure? No the river seems to be leaking and there is lots of water coming down from the sealing of the river so we will keep being wet for the rest of the trip.
After the river it is time for a lunch at the beach at Sabang. In principal it is also time to enjoy beach life but the whether is so bad that nobody really would like to spend too much time lying on the beach so it is only a short look down there and then in under the shelter to protect against the rain when it is around. The meal is really good. But it is Pilipino style meaning supposed to be eaten with the hands - and not with a knife and fork.
After the lunch we head back to town. The road is once again going along the road/river through the landscape where there is rice paddies spread all around. I have seen a few in the south of France several years back but this is the first time I get to see the majority of the farming being rice paddies all over. There is also a bit of grass along the road and the cow is taking advantage of the green grass. On the way back our driver stops suddenly - a cow which is tied down on one side of the road has decided the grass is greener on the other side of the road - and it has decided to go over there with its rope blocking the road. As far as I can tell the grass is equally green on both side of the road - which means very very green with all that damn rain falling all the time.
I get back to the pension I stay at - and there I meet some other guest who has been out island hopping around Honda Bay during the day. They have not all enjoyed it that much since they too felt the rain and some of them complained about freezing half to death on the boat in the rain. I start to wonder - I have a trip to Honda Bay planned for the next day how bad can it be?
It is getting time to go to dinner - and I want to leave this place for dinner tonight. But it is raining - again. And I really don't want to go out and get wet in the rain again. So once again I end up eating at the place I stay.
People start telling me, that this whether is not the usual whether this time of the year.
A bit after dinner there is actually a bit of a break in the rain and I venture out to the main square around the regional parliament building where there are a lot of activities going on because there is a local festival going on in the area for this time of year. Walking around the market is quite ok for a while and listening to the live music at the square is fine as well.