Happy (belated) Easter!
Hope you all had a great holiday and the long weekend. Lots has happened for me in the past week — my 26th birthday and a spontaneous surprise trip to the French Riviera for one night (definitely blog post worthy), spring cleaning, ultimate frisbee with the Sole Sports team in Regents Park, and catching up with dear friends over Easter lunch. And of course, digging up my travel photos to Philippines from exactly one year ago and doing a super latergram.
During my few nights stay in El Nido last year, we did the major attraction hopping around the islands. There’s four different tours covering different areas of the little surrounding islands. Having read reviews and going by gut instinct, we went for tour A, which looked the best — small lagoon, big lagoon, Simizu and secret lagoon.
It turned out superb.
For all island hopping tours, I’d recommend starting early morning and getting up before sunrise so you beat the crowds before tens of other boats arrive at the same islands at pretty much the same time. The start of the tour didn’t go very well however with the gloomy skies and a choppy sea.
Approaching the small lagoon
The lagoon behind these rocks are not accessible so we had to dive through this little entrance
Definitely deserves two thumbs up
Beyond this opening is of course, a lagoon and a water cave where we dived into as well, except it is very dark and crammed with rocks and limestones. I wouldn’t recommend nervous wrecks to do this.
The photo speaks for itself
The clarity of the water was superb when we visited last year in April
The big lagoon. Not much happens around here. Great for snorkelling with ample of fishes to see.
Beware of sunburn on shoulders and neck at this point, as you could snorkel for a full 30 minutes easily.
The secret lagoon
This was the best part of the tour. The entrance into the secret lagoon is similar to that of the small lagoon; diving into a small entrance before surfacing to this serene waters enclosed by tall, dark lime stones. I spent a while just floating and admiring the beauty in its entirety, it was simply breathtaking.
The final day before heading out of Philippines, we decided to take on the bumpy ride ourselves with a bike to Nacpan beach, also one of the top attractions in El Nido. When I say bumpy, I mean rocks on grit for a nearly 2 hour ride (for newbies that is). Other visitors generally hire a private tricycle for this but we were confident we can manage swiftly. But no..
We were dead wrong. We struggled in the second half of the journey as we went off the main roads, and fell off the bike not once, twice but three times! Once with Jc not noticing a huge rock in the middle of the path and our bike completely tripped over it before both of us falling off side ways, not thrown off luckily. He suffered a deep cut to his foot while thankfully, I only had minor scratches. My word of advise for non-experienced riders, stay off the wheels for this route.
Nacpan is one long and clean beach that runs over a kilometre. When we arrived, it was really just a stretch of beach and nothing more or less. We were one of the many tourists who arrived and thought, “This is it?”. I suppose nothing was exactly the entire point of this beach. I couldn’t sit any longer than ten minutes before sandflies started swarming my legs, as if I didn’t get bitten enough already. This to me was one of those been there, done that, never again, checked off the list sort of place.
Since we did quite the journey traveling into El Nido with the transfers on different mode of transports, we decided to skip all of that and spend a little bit more for ease and convenience. We hopped off with the Island Transvoyager (ITI), the only aircraft out of the island to Manila.
A wooden boarding pass, that’s a first.
Au revoir El Nido, you are an exquisite and beautiful place.