The last frontier (and my last adventure)
El Nido Travel Blog› entry 14 of 15 › view all entries
So. My internship is finished, time for another vacation!
Four months ago, when I still knew what my hometown looked like, I made up my mind on what I had to see in the Philippines, and there were three places that I just did not want to miss. Two of them I have already seen and they were amazing: Banaue and Bohol. Now it is time for the third: Palawan. It is the stretched island that lies as a bridge between the Philippines and Borneo.
Palawan is known as the last frontier, and it will also be my last adventure in this country. It is a rough land of mountains, cliffs and largely unspoiled jungle. Palawan is really different from the rest of the Philippines; you can find many animals, like monkeys and anteaters, that are absent on the other islands.
I arrived with heavy rain in Puerto Princesa and I was afraid I would not be able to continue to El Nido because of the weather. But I met a funny French guy who introduced me also to many other people and in the end we were going to try to go to El Nido together.
There are many beautiful places on Palawan, but really the whole island is an attraction. I saw some of its landscape during the eight hour bus journey to El Nido and it is just amazing, especially from the roof of the bus! Later on, other travelers showed me pictures of their bus, that fell over. It could have been mine, while I was sitting on top. I guess there is a bus falling over every second somewhere in the world.
Do you remember that scene from Jurassic Park where they arrive by helicopter at the dinosaur island, with dramatic music behind it? Spielberg could have shot it in El Nido and it might have been more beautiful. El Nido means The Nest and it is a little town perched on the beach between the sea and high, sharp cliffs. It is the base from which to explore the Bacuit Argipelago, one of the real treasures of the Philippines. Well, whole Southeast Asia perhaps.
Island-hopping is what you have to do. The islands have rugged shapes, with razor sharp edges, cliffs, hills and secret white beaches and lagunes. We visited the big lagoon on Miniloc Island, which you can only enter at low tide, and the small lagoon, which you can only enter swimming through a little hole in the wall. A completely hidden world suddenly opens up behind sharp rocks. If I would have been a sea monster, this would have been my home!
These lagunes are perfect natural swimming pools.
Everything was perfect. There was a rainbow visible above El Nido when we returned, and we watched the sun go down between the islands. Ten strangers who knew eachother for only a day were suddenly big friends. The next day I did nothing but laying in my hammock and drinking cocktails. Where else if not here?