Best. Day. Ever.
El Nido Travel Blog› entry 8 of 13 › view all entries
August 23rd, 2008 – by: JeAr
Seb and I met up with the girls at the Art Cafe for breakfast. The German couple went diving early, so they couldn't join us. We wanted to spend the whole day just lazying on the beach, staying there til sunset. According to our guidebooks, the best place to do this is at Seven Commandos Beach which is still part of mainland Palawan but accessible only by boat.
After breakfast, we inquired at the cafe how much they charge for boat transfers to 7 Commandos. They quoted P300 per person, which was fine by us. However, while talking about what we'd bring to the beach and what time we wanted to go, a cafe staff told us that they charge an additional P200 per person if we wanted to be picked up after 5PM. Whoa... what the hell?!? That's P500 each just for a round-trip boat transfer to a nearby beach.
Okay, time for Plan B. Which is... to look for another place that rents boats at a cheaper price, methinks? Yeah, that was the plan. We were sure to find one, so while Seb and Jen were getting their stuff, Tessa and I went looking for boat rental places. Walking towards the end of town (jeez I made it sound like it's too big), and just a few steps from Art Cafe, we found Ralf's, a restaurant that also offers island-hopping tours and boat rentals, just like most tourism-related places in El Nido. So, Tessa and I inquired inside and sealed a deal for a round-trip boat transfer to 7 Commandos for P700, excluding lunch (same deal with Art Cafe).
So, we ordered sandwiches and drinks for the trip, and agreed to leave at 10.30, to be picked up at 6.30PM at no extra charge! Bwahahaha! Arte Cafe can suck it! :P
We had our beach towels, sandwiches, and drinks ready for the trip. Seb even brought a hammock with him! Talk about well-prepared! Ralf's also lent us a cooler box for our drinks, which was nice of them. So, by 10.30, we're all set and rarin' to go!
Leaving El Nido is always an experience in itself. You'd have a view of the majestic limestone cliffs towering over the sleepy town, and the farther you go, the more astonishing the color of the water becomes.
Unlike the previous day wherein we went westward, our banca took a different route southward. We sailed very close to the shore, and in some places, the clarity and color of the water was so unbelievable that our jaws literally stayed open almost the whole time. I just can't describe how mind-blowingly beautiful it was! I can't even say if it was turquoise; it's so amazing that the color must be out of this world. And because it's so clear, we can see all the corals and fishes underneath, and we couldn't judge how deep the water actually was at that point.
We passed by a few beaches (some with people) before we reached our actual destination. Each beach that we passed was more beautiful than the one before it, so when we finally passed a headland that separates 7 Commandos from another beach, our anticipation just went overboard. We could see corals underneath us, but as we approached the beach, it became clearer and clearer that it's bigger than the others, had a bigger shallow area where we could swim, had tree-covered areas where we could escape from the sun, and best of all, it's effin empty! Promising!
We literally just had to jump off the banca to the beach itself. After getting our things from the banca, it sped away, leaving us to enjoy our beach-bumming day in peace.
So basically, our day went like this: Some of us would lie on the beach, sunbathing while chatting with each other, reading, or dozing off, while the others would either swim or snorkel (the corals-fringed part were very close to the beach).
There were occasional interruptions to our very nice beach life, such as tourists dropping by because 7 Commandos was part of their tour itinerary. Alas, we only rented a boat to take us to the beach, not the beach itself. But, the tourists never stayed longer than 20 minutes, just admiring the beauty of the place, or snorkel for a bit. Besides, the beach was big enough, so we didn't mind the intruders that much.
The sun started setting at 5.30PM. By then, we're just lazying in the pool-like beach, waiting for the perfect timing to start taking pictures. It happened at around 6.15. The sky was very clear and the blazing sun was a perfect orange ball. The sky wasn't as colorful as what we saw in the books, but then sunsets were never the same every time, anyway. It was still a beautiful sunset, and a perfect ending to our perfect day as our boat approached the beach, creating a dramatic silhouette in the distance.
We got back to El Nido, hungry but happy. So happy that we decided to book with Ralf's for a trip to the famous lagoons the next day. By then, we've come to a conclusion that Art Cafe overcharges, so they just lost 4 gorgeous customers (bwahahaha!) Then, off to our guesthouses to shower, meeting up later on for dinner at the girls' place (which was just 2 doors away from ours). Then, we went to the same bar we were at the previous night for a cocktail or two.
By midnight, we're off to bed, excited for our tour the next day...
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