Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up around 5:30 am on February 9, 2009. We hopped on the boat around 6 am. There was an American couple joining us. It seems they were late. They couldn’t find their room key. We left Port Barton at 6:30 am headed to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. Ivan was told that the boat journey was 4 hours long. The boat ride was mostly smooth. Although, we got splashed with water many times. The boat journey turned out to be 5 hours long.
We arrived in El Nido and it was sunny. Hurray! We finally found perfect beach weather. We checked into Lally & Abet Beach Cottages. The room had a fan and hot water. It was a nice room. The shower was located right over the toilet. So, Ivan had trouble taking a shower since the toilet was in the way.
We walked around the nice small town. Ivan read about El Nido Boutique and Artcafe in his Lonely Planet book. We stopped there for lunch. The restaurant has a lovely balcony with a great view of the sea.
There’s also free wi-fi available. Jennifer ordered Tomato Pesto Spaghetti. I got a Banana and Tuna Salad. Ivan got the Fish Soup. Our food was really good.
Everybody was tired since we only had about 5 hours sleep. We went back to cottage and took a nap. We chilled away in the room.
It was time for dinner. We walked around to find a nice restaurant. We sat down inside Barrack’s Cafe. Ivan ordered the Sizzling Mackerel. Jennifer got the Sizzling Chicken. I decided to get a Banana and Red Snapper with rice. Our food tasted nice.
We woke up around 8 am on February 10, 2009. We moved our stuff out of the room we were in, and into a much better room at Gloria’s Cottages where we had a room overlooking the ocean. Only problem was that there was no toilet seat at all – I didn’t like this – I mean I have a hard enough job as it is not falling into the toilet when I go, but without a seat, what would stop be from being flushed away!
We were going on a Island Hopping tour today. It was tour A. There are four different tours available named A, B, C or D. We boarded the boat shortly after 9 am. Our group consisted of 8 people, one monkey, one guide and a driver.
We drove to the Small Lagoon. Here we had to swim through a hole in the rocks. It took us to the beautifull lagoon. We were able to snorkel here. I sat on a life vest and floated around. I don’t really enjoy swimming.
The lagoon was really amazing to swim around in.
Then it was time for another lagoon – this one was called a secret lagoon – and I think that was because it was you would never know it was there if you didn’t know about it. To get to it we had to park the boat, and climb through a very small hole.
Then we went to Simezu Island. This was an incredible island, that we were told we were going to have lunch on – but first was some time for some snorkeling.
The snorkeling was great. The visibility in the water was really good, and there were lots of colorful fish everywhere we looked! This was truly a paradise island. I felt like a very very lucky monkey to be in such a place. This is the view that we had as we were eating our lunch.
For lunch we had freshly cooked fish, cooked on the BBQ on the beach. I asked for my bananas I had brought along with me to be BBQd – they said it was a request they didn’t get that often, but managed to accommodate me, which was nice.
After lunch we listened to some music on Ivan’s speakers he had brought along – and then got back into the boat and went to the big lagoon. We parked the boat in the middle of the lagoon and jumped into the water and went exploring in the crystal clear green waters.
I floated around on my life vest again – I got Jennifer to push me along, so I didn’t have to get my little monkey paws wet.
We swam into the lagoon and saw a large light that looked like it was for a movie. We decided to explore a little more and swam up to these cabins that had been built over the water.
As we swam up, we noticed TV cameras and lights everywhere – we asked what movie they were filming, and they told us they were filming the Swedish edition of ‘Survivor’ there.
We hang around for a bit longer snorkeling and enjoying the amazing views, and then went back to the boat.
The final stop of the day was the 7 commando beach. I don’t have any photos of this beach, but trust me – it was truly a paradise beach once again.
Once back on dry land , we showered and went to a place on the beach called ‘Sea Slugs’.
It was a simple place – just a few chairs and tables on the beach. We started with some really tasty drinks- Jennifer and Ivan had mango and banana daiquiris, and I had a banana juice. All really really tasty – ESPECIALLY the mango Daiquiris.
We started with some garlic mushrooms – and then Ivan had grilled Mackerel, and Jennifer had some shrimps. I had some of Jennifer’s shrimps but didn’t really like them, because I’m not really a fish-monkey – more of a banana-monkey. So predictably, it was more bananas for me.