Published: June 15th 2011May 9th 2011
We arrived in El Nido at about 11:40 pm, about 6 hours later than was originally forecast (see Coron blog) and found that the lack of information we encountered on the way to the island continued upon arrival in El Nido… word went around the boat that we arrived after the port was closed and we could not leave the boat… then word went around that we could leave the boat but had to stay in the port office until 6 am in the morning… then we made it to the office and people were allowed to leave… who knows. I ended leaving Venny at the port and wandering around El Nido at about midnight looking for a room which was no bueno (see husband contract page #3)… but we ended up at a solid beach bungalow in Corong Corong beach. Corong Corong is out of El Nido town and the beach has a view of sunset, which El Nido town does not and it’s just about 5 minutes outside of town on a trike.
Enter the Trike
Every destination has its own thing that makes it unique… in Palawan (Coron/El Nido) it’s the trike. The trike is basically the
local mode of transportation and used like a taxi for everyone getting to and fro on the island… it’s basically a motorcycle with a metal housing built over it that seats two passengers and also has a little storage compartment in the back. You can almost think of it like the WWII motorcycles with a sidecar… except the sidecar fits 2 people and is enclosed. These trikes are decorated profusely and each one has its own little flair… custom rims, painted slogans, sound systems, superhero themes… you name it. I had to take some pics of the trikes as we had to take them everyday into town.
Around El Nido
El Nido is a small town that is blessed by its location amongst numerous stunning islands and beaches with clear water and enough coral to go around. Because of it’s location it has become a bit of a quiet travel location with a steady stream of people making the arduous journey A) to the Philippines and then B) to El Nido via either one of two 8 hour obstacles… if you’re in the neighborhood it’s worth the additional effort as the area is beautiful, we could have gotten some
better weather… but then again, I guess we could have gone earlier during high season. El Nido as a town was super relaxed and chill and aside from spending one night with neighbors on both side that were obviously raised by wolves… we had no issues. While there we did some island hopping tours, hung around the town and even did some ocean kayaking from Corong Corong beach to another island. The trip was good on the way to the island but on the way back the wind picked up and we were rowing into some swells and taking on water which made the return a stressful affair… but by the grace of Venny’s burning arms and shoulders we made it…
On our way out we got to do Venny’s favorite thing… fly out on a little propeller plane to Manila (can’t fly into El Nido unless staying at uber expensive resorts, but you can buy tix out). We made it to the airport 2 hours before the flight but upon arrival we saw that it really wasn’t necessary as it wasn’t as much of an airport as it was a dirt landing strip next to a small building
located about 20 minutes out of El Nido… in the pic attached… the runway is located right behind the water buffalo tied to a tree just outside the “lobby” which was an outdoor patio. The way back to Manila was bumpy and Venny drew blood on my arm… but on the plus side there were some nice views out the window and we snapped some shots of the islands out the plane window… next stop Turkey!
There are more photos below