Oh my god a good nights sleep

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Cliffside View Cottages

Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Monday, May 31, 2010

I had had the worst night's sleep. Not only was it unbearably hot to the point that I considered trying to sleep in the hammock in the restaurant (only to think better of offering myself up on a plate to all the ravenous mosquito’s), but the new Canadian girl in the dorm made the most weird moaning noises in her sleep all night, great.  Actually it was quite obscene and considering the kind of establishment it was we wouldn’t have been surprised to find a Filipino guy, or girl for that matter, sharing her bunk.

To make things worse the alarm clock had somehow managed to turn itself off in the night so after tossing and turning all night in the dark when I woke up and it was light I woke Andrew to check the clock and we had managed to oversleep by half an hour, it was 6.30am, and the bus was due to take us to El Nido approximately 6 hours away.  We had to skip a shower even though we felt disgusting, grab our stuff, pack and pay the bill.  Fortunately the bus was running on Filipino time so we had chance to do all the above and be waiting at the roadside when it arrived.

There were only two fellow passengers on board, a couple from Spain now living in Dublin (for some reason we attract the Irish don’t we) so we thought we were going to have a comfortable journey with room to stretch out.  So wrong.  After about fifteen minutes we pulled in to a small bus station and the driver abandoned us after throwing all our rucksacks up on to the roof.  Another 12 people crammed themselves and their luggage on to the bus over the next half an hour, so that was 16 of us in a 12 seat minibus, very cosy.  We eventually got going and after about 3 hours we stopped for a break at a tiny roadside eatery.  We chose not to eat and just got a drink but a few of our fellow passengers quickly got a bit of early lunch including the family that were sitting right behind myself and Andrew at the back of the bus.  We hadn’t been going long when all of a sudden I heard the dad shout "No!" which was promptly followed by his 3 year old daughter projectile vomiting in to a plastic bag, the bits that missed the bag almost hit me and Jesus I was stinking enough already! This continued for at least an hour until her parents decided that she was not going to be stopping any time soon so got off at the next town.

Another few hours on the road, some parts debatable whether you could actually call them roads or not, through some of the most spectacular scenery ever, none of which was caught on camera as we were travelling too quickly and we finally arrived in El Nido.  As we hadn’t booked any accommodation we just jumped in a tricycle hoping that the huts that we knew the name of would have vacancies.  Five minutes later we had chosen our cabin, dumped our bags and we were off in to town to explore.  El Nido, on the North West tip of Palawan is famous for its limestone karsts rising out of the sea which are said to be a result of India colliding with main land Asia millions of years ago.  It is the gateway to the Calamanian Islands, some of the most beautiful islands in the whole archipelago.

The town was tiny so we easily found the beach, which was also much smaller than we had imagined.  The beach was lined with quiet beach bars all advertising boat trips to so many different places.  We walked to the far end of the beach and got some lunch in a small beach front restaurant with a beautiful view of the bay and watched all the boats coming and going.  After chatting with the bar owner we decided to book a trip for tomorrow around some of the other islands with good snorkeling, though I will be keeping a watchful eye open for any more sea snakes this time, to add to the list of sharks, jellyfish, sea urchins etc.

We slowly wandered back to the huts, the heat was still stifling so we were relieved to see that the huge cliff towering over the guest house was casting a dark shadow over our room.  Planning to drink the bottle of Tanduay we had bought on the balcony we both had a well overdue shower, we were literally humming, then amazingly we both fell asleep in front of the lovely fan and totally missed dinner (a rarity for us).  I woke up at about 10pm, wrote a bit of the blog and then got my head back down to enjoy a comfortable, cool and silent night’s sleep for a change. Andrew edit: I slept for 14 hours no wonder I was feeling ill, Jeeessuuuss!!
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