A bit of a delayed update, but an update nonetheless. Sorry.
So, since Bohol we have caught a ferry to Cebu, a flight to Puerto Princessa, a mini van to El nido and another ferry to Coron. That’s the short version and now here’s the long.
So we left Bohol and caught the ferry to Cebu which cost us 400 php each. Then, once in cebu we caught a taxi from the ferry port to the airport costing 400 php between us. It was then time for our flight to Puerto Princessa which was bumpy, a little nerve-wracking and had a lot of what seemed to be sharp turns. That aside, we made it to Puerto Princessa and jumped on a tricycle (100 php between us) to our hotel, Deep Forest Garden resort. The hotel itself was really nice, swimming pool, jacuzzi, swim up bar, it was just what we needed and to top it off, the rooms had hot water! It honestly felt like a true blessing. There wasn’t much around the hotel so decided to eat there instead. For such nice hotel, we were dissapointed at the menu, very bland and expensive for what it was. Anyway, we spent the next morning in Puerto Princessa town (tricycle for 60 php), had breakfast before jumping in a minivan that took us to El Nido (500 php each) in under 4 hours – this must be a record because google maps said it would take 7!?
Once in El Nido, it felt like we were in heaven. We were staying at Rovic’s Pension House, which was quite literally on the sand. The reception was just on the beach with an extraordinary view of the islands surrounding. The room itself was on the small side but that said, it was great for the money. We spent the first evening wandering around the town watching a school dance performance on the field before working out what tour we wanted to do the next day. We were only in El Nido for three nights so wanted to fit in as much as possible. We had been told tours A and C were the ones to go for, and so after finding a combined tour of them both for just 1,500 php, we couldn’t say no. That evening we had dinner at a bbq restaurant on the beach where the prawns were unbelievable! The next day was time for the tour. We covered most of the destinations on tour A and C, starting with C first. The trip included Helicopter Island, Secret Beach and Hidden beach. While we didn’t get to stop at Matinloc shrine, we did pass it which was better than nothing. As for tour A we stopped at; Small lagoon, big lagoon, 7 Commando beach and Shimizu island. When visiting the small lagoon it was recommended to hire kayaks due to the difficulty swimming in. It was 300 php for a two man kayak, and while it turned out to have been very easy to swim (it was more of a money maker I feel) the kayaks were good fun. The tour itself was mostly beaches and lagoons and although we did stop off to snorkel once (can’t remember the name of the place) the snorkelling wasn’t great. That said though, it was a great trip and great way to see more of the islands in such a short amount of time and for such a small price. After the trip, we headed back to the hotel before heading out for dinner at a bagel and burger bar where the staff (and their dog) were very friendly. We spent the next day laying around on the sand, wandering through bars, markets and cafes, while I applied for a job on my phone (and very stressful process I must say).
The next day we were due to be catching the fast ferry to Coron but after a lot of mistold information by our hotel, we were put on the normal ferry which took just over 8 hours in total. When I say ferry I mean boat. No actually I mean a few planks of wood nailed together and a few plastic chairs thrown on top. (That’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea). It was literally a fishing boat with garden plastic chairs on. It was the roughest boat trip I have ever been on in my life. I would not wish it upon anyone. Not only was it rough, but the plastic seats were by no means safe, there was no air to breathe, and when you looked around everyone was verging on passing out if they hadn’t already. It was bad! However, after eight excruciating hours, we made it to the shores of Coron (although I can’t say Mikey made it back in one piece – to say he was seasick would be putting it nicely!) which brings us up to now.. or sort of. We’re a few days into our trip in Coron, but I’ll update you at the end!
(Photos to be added once I get strong enough internet).