Exploring Bacuit Archipelago
El Nido Travel Blog› entry 7 of 13 › view all entries
August 22nd, 2008 – by: JeAr
It was a beautiful day. I woke up at 7AM to the sound of the gentle waves and the caress of the early-morning breeze...
Heh, who am I kidding? I set up the alarm the previous night, of course; otherwise. I wouldn't be able to wake up early. El Nido is such a sleepy town. Our guesthouse has a spacious balcony facing the beach, and from there, I could see the towering limestone cliffs and numerous islands and islets scattered across the water. The beach in the town itself wasn't really something that you'd like to swim in, but you'd still see local children (and some tourists) swimming, snorkeling, or just having fun.
We went back to the Art Cafe to meet with the rest of the group for breakfast.
Our first stop was Matinloc Island (eastern side). It was big and its mountain-like features are both imposing and awe-inspiring. Our banca stopped a bit far from the shore to avoid damaging the corals, so I, not knowing how to swim, had to walk-wade my way towards what the locals call the 'hidden beach' since it's hidden from outside by some big boulders jutting from the sea.
I can't describe in words how amazing the place was. The water's just impossibly clear, and even in the shallow and sandy part, you can see colorful fishes and corals. I even saw a few sea anemones complete with several Nemo's swimming among the 'tentacles'. It was crazy! Made me wish I still had my waterproof camera with me (sobs). Aside from the fishes and corals, there were lots of sea urchins and small crabs. The nice part was, I didn't even have to dip my head underwater to see them. The water was just so clear that everything's visible from the surface. I can only imagine what the others were seeing, given that they're in the deeper part of the sea.
After 30 minutes, our guides called us back to the boat. Of course, my friends (except Jen) all had a great time snorkeling. But it was only the beginning for them. In a few minutes, we arrived at our next stop, Tapiutan Island. Unlike in Matinloc, our banca stopped further from the shore, so the guys had to jump in the water from the boat. Jen and I opted out (but of course). Again, it was a great experience for the guys, even better than the first one. More technicolor fishes and corals greeted them. Some even saw a turtle or two. Cool, wish I could join in the fun. Such bitterness.
By then, we're all pretty hungry, so we went to another beach (I think it's called Star Beach) to have lunch. It was just a small pocket beach, but a perfect spot to chill and catch our breath.
During low tide, you could easily wade through it. However, when we got there, it was high tide, and the waves were dangerously strong, big, and persistent. Jen, Lina, and I chose to stay on the boat while the guys and Tessa braved the waters. We were anchored to the bottom of the water, but the ceaseless pounding of the waves started to make us feel seasick.
On the way to our last stop, Dilumacad Island, we decided that we're all very tired and wouldn't mind skipping the island, since it'll just be another beach, and the sky looked like it's gonna burst. However, our boatmen either intentionally ignored our request or just needed some ear-cleaning, because minutes later, we found ourselves heading towards the island. The hell with it, then. I got off the boat and walked the steep but rather nice beach of Dilumacad, also called Helicopter Island from the way its limestone cliffs are shaped when seen from a distance. We stayed there for 15 minutes or so, walking the length of the beach, before going back to the boat.
By the time we're on our way back to El Nido, it started raining. And not just rain, but strong winds, too. That, in turn, produced powerful waves that sprayed water on us and made our boat lurch from all directions. I've never been so scared for my life, not even when I was tubing in Laos. I felt like we're in a roller coaster ride, it was sooo effin crazy! I seriously thought we're gonna capsize any moment, and I secretly cursed the last beach that we went to, The girls, however, were the front liners in a possibly-capsizing boat, so they cursed the beach out loud (couldn't really blame them). The German couple at the back, surprisingly, were busy chatting like they're having dinner at a nice restaurant. Wow, oblivious much?
Miraculously, the moment we entered the small bay towards El Nido, the water suddenly went calm like nothing happened.
Seb and I had dinner at the Art Cafe again, then met up with Tessa and Jen later for some drinks. We went to this place that had live music and tried to enjoy El Nido's nonexistent night life. It wasn't bad; who wants loud music and noise, anyway? We just had a few drinks, had a good chat, and listened to the sweet voice of the singer. A little past midnight, we went back to our respective guesthouses, slightly tipsy but feeling good. I was particularly psyched for the following day's plan, as I was sure I'd enjoy it a lot more than this day.
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