Published: May 6th 2011March 26th 2011
The hired van we took from El Nido took just over 5 hours to reach the quiet tiny village of Port Barton. From the big town of Roxas we made a turn on a side road and past green rice fields, jungle winding up and down mountains and before you know it Barton is within sight. We were let off just before the bridge that connects a mangrove to the rest of the beach area, we found our accommodation, Greenview resort, we decided to splurge a bit and spend a little more for comfort, it's a big cottage, it can actually fit 5 people, our own toilet and veranda and lots of space. We got it down to 1,200PHP from 1,500/night as we are staying for 5 days. We requested if we can cook our own food and they obliged. The staff are friendly and attentive,only complaint we have is they are a tad bit noisy, they keep screaming from the kitchen and restaurant oblivious to the customers who may want some peace and quiet that's why they came here!
Matthias, Till's friend arrived later than us and we found him walking the road on the way to our place,
we had a quick lunch at the Greenview restaurant, good but quite expensive for our liking. The Spanish couple, Oscar and Maria opted to stay at Summer House GH, they have wifi there and cheaper rates. The beach is simple but beautiful, pure white, fine and sugary, no traffic you hear, just locals walking the length of the beach on their way home or to work. The end we are in has pronounced low tides so we walk around and search for bounties, like small shells and other creatures.The other end has deeper water and bigger waves. We paid a visit to the tourist center where we asked about island hopping trips and and German boys wanted to rent a motorbike to have a drive around, I begged off after my bone shattering experience in Coron.
We tried to get some fish in the village but very rare as the winds were strong and not a lot of boats have fished the last few days we were told, there is no proper market, just small stalls where you buy food. For tonight we decided to buy pork chops for grilling, it was a quiet night, power comes on from
6pm to midnight, good thing there is a good breeze in the night.
The next morning as the boys rented their bikes I just hang about and explored the beach near our resort, there is a number of cheap places near us but we are not allowed to cook, and plus for 3 people the rate isnt that bad. There are quiet bars around too, this place is really for chillin' not partying. the next day we decided to island hop, the Spanish couple came with us and we went to a few sites including the aquarium, its a bit windy and rained at times, the visibility is poor, quite murky but we still see a lot of fish, after 2 stops we parked ourselves in a nice beach where the boat men cooked lunch while we swam and snorkelled and walked the length of the beach, by this time the strong sun is beating down on us. Lunch was grilled chicken and was superbly prepared by Gerry and Tammy our boatmen. A dog from a nearby island swam all the way down to us to partake is the feast, then he left and swam back to his island
when the tourists left.
We found a meter long barracuda in one of the small stores and we bought it, for 480 PHP, about 6 kilos. Till fillet it and I gave the head and left overs to the staff of the resort, I kept the roe eggs for grilling later.it was great feast, i bought some veggies to make the local pinakbet, the only problem is I got allergies from the barracuda, we think, I developed hives on my arms and legs, though did not itch it was nevertheless bothering, Maria gave me pills to make it go away but I opted to wait it out, took 2 days to dissipate. When the Spanish couple left for Puerto Princessa, we did a small hike to the White Beach going through some jungle trails in the process and encountering small village amongst the mangroves, it was a great day of leisure walking.
We discovered a great place to eat, El Busero, cheap and good eats, just near the tourist office and along the beach, we spent our last few days dining there often. We took our jeepney from the tourists office around 9am for Puerto Princessa, the jeep
stops every time, locals hauling in sacks of charcoal, fish, local produce, roosters, name it. 4 hours later we arrived in PP and stayed at Aniceto's Pension house, a great place to stay wth wifi and kitchen at the top floor and good views of the bay from there. We had a bad Vietnamese food at a restaurant nearby, recommended by the pension house, the food sucks!
We decided to shop for dinner at the local market but at noontime the only thing we can buy is clams, most seafoods were gone by then. But boy the clams were excellent! We made a pasta dish and it was so delicious!
The next morning we went back to the market to find food to cook, we bought wild giant prawns, 600PHP a kilo and mud crabd for 420 PHP a kilo, we had a very good brunch indeed! Till got snapped by one of the crabs as he took it out of the bag to investigate, they were still alive, the curious German in him cost him a painful pinch from the poor creature whom he relished the savoury taste moments later in a revenge of sorts.. then off to
the airport to fly back to Manila and explore Luzon.
There are more photos below