Where We Went: El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines
First Moment Here: After 13 hours of travel (Bali-Singapore-Manila) we stayed a quick night in Manila before grabbing a flight to our final destination, El Nido. There was a ton of security at the airport (metal detectors + sniffing dogs) but it seemed normal to them. Our flight to El Nido was a little interesting as we were back on a propeller plane and this time, seated backwards. Upon arriving at the open air tiny airport there were women singing a welcome song with a guy on guitar.
Funniest Thing We Did: Chilean with some chileans.
Craziest Thing We Did: No taxis here, instead they drive motorbikes turned into three seaters by making them into tricycles. We had to wait a while for our tricycle since there was a plane taking off and the road crosses the runway. Lol. Then we had a 15 minute ride which was a little unnerving at times and about a mile walk in the heat of the day with our backpacks on to arrive at our hotel. This was the first time Adam used his backpack (2nd time for Chelsea) and it was good to have them since we were walking on dirt roads.
Best Thing We Did: We dove three times here in El Nido. Saw tons of turtles, razor fish, a ribbon tail blue spotted ray, several lion fish, clown fish, puffer fish, really colorful box fish, tons of trigger fish, an eel, really cool schools of fish over cabbage coral, tons of nudibranch and a HUGE bump head parrot fish. The dive master was all ours and these were some of the most relaxing (and longest) dives we’ve been on!
Tastiest Thing We Did: Lunch during our island hopping tour. Kind of crazy that the best meal we’ve had was cooked on the back of a boat. Shrimp, octopus, mussels, grilled fish, pork, salad and the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever had. Plus yellow watermelon, bananas and a few other local specialties. They carried it on their heads from the boat to the beach.
Dumbest Thing We Did: Wait to book our hotel and end up with a one star hotel for $75 a night (super STEEP for this part of the world).
Coolest thing we Learned: The Philippine language shares about 20% of their words with Spanish. El Nido or “the nest” is the name of the town we’re staying in and we hear people using Spanish words for fork, spoon, knife, etc. and counting in Spanish. This is because Magellan conquered the Philippines. Also, the population is about 100 million with another 10 million people living and working in other countries.
Biggest Surprise: How hard it is to use our local SIM card/data and wi-fi. It’s pretty accepted that no one has access to the internet.
Mystery Solved: Though it sounded like it, there was not actually a cat on our SCUBA boat.
-Chelsea was SUPER sick again. Pretty sure I brought it with me from Indonesia.