El Nido (The Nest)

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May 15th 2016
Published: May 15th 2016
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We left Coron at 8am on another boat, this one a lot smaller. Had a bamboo stabilizer on each side. Max capacity 20 passengers. 6 hours. Glad I picked up a book from the hostel. Tornado Down. I was able to finish the book during our ride on the small boat.

We took a 15 minute tricycle ride to Corang Corang. Our hostel, PH Dormitels. Their logo, "Cheap but Clean". Private room with air con, a fan, and a private bath. 20 feet away from the beach. Quite nice and clean, minus the trail of ants on our wall. But what do you expect when traveling in a third world country. They didn't bother us so no need to bother them.

There was only one slight issue... The island suffered from brown outs, "a reduction in or restriction on the availability of electrical power in a particular area."(Google) So on our first day in Corang Corang around 3pm the island lost power. Our room became a sweltering sauna. It was time to get out of the room and check out the town. We walked to the market, about 10 minutes away. Stalls were filled with fresh fish caught that morning. Hand picked bright veggies. A chefs dream 😊

Across the street we found a "point point" food stall. I say point point because I can't seem to remember what the Filipino word for it, however it translated to point point. We chatted with the fat shirtless owner who's cut off jean shorts were held up by rope. He was constantly playing with his belly button when he wasn't serving us food. I remember looking and smelling at all the wonderful food, while listening to him tell us what it was, in Filipino. I couldn't decide, so I let the big man decide for me. What was placed in front of us was a hot bowl of beef stew and rice. It was good, the meat fell off the bone. We enjoyed our meal in candle light since the power had refused to come back on. When he asked if we liked spicy, i ecstatically shouted, YES! He brought over these incredibly tiny little red chilli's. I took one small bite to test it out, WHOA! They were intense, but oh so perfect with my soup. I believe that Calvin's reaction to them was the best. He licked, no, barley touched his tongue to the one I had taken a bite of and threw the chilli down while shouting "No, nope, no, that'll ruin me." We enjoyed our time chatting with the owner, who seemed to boss his wife around more than doing any actual work himself. He invited us back the next night for fried kalamari and to watch the Manny Pacquiao fight on his 70 inch hi def flat screen tv in his concrete and tarp house. Priorities. Total for that meal 170 pesos, he said we got the "Filipino price". However when we would come back, there was no kalamari and he charged us more...

Walking back to the hostel it was tough to see 15 feet in front of you. No power and of course we forgot our head lamp. While we were walking we could hear motorbikes coming towards us but could not see them, few had headlights. Awesome. Hopefully they could make us out before we, them.

We couldn't stay in our room. It was too damn hot. Instead we lathered ourselves up with bug lotion and chilled outside. The sun had said goodnight and tucked itself beneath the ocean. The ocean breeze offered us a cooler night, outside that is. I remember the exact moment the power came back on. The air con clicking to life had woken me up at 3am. Finally, it only took 10 hours. The rest of that night would be spent sleeping comfotably in the cool peace.

The next morning we woke up early and rented a double kayak for 600 pesos. We decided it would be cheaper and a lot more fun to do our own island hoping tour. The islands looked closer together than they actually were... We were easily distracted by all the colorful jelly fish we saw along side the first island. The go pro was able to capture the beauty that was happening underwater.
First stop, 7 Commandos Beach. Breathtakingly charming. I've never seen water so clear and so blue. By the time we arrived, slowly but surely, all the other tourist crammed tour boats were taking off. We had the whole beach to ourselves. Talk about feeling like a celebrity. We played in the water, collected sea shells, then decided to head out to the next island. This one was rather far away, no matter how much we paddled the island wasn't getting any closer. While we were sitting ducks in the middle of the gosh darn ocean, Jaws popped in my head. Fucking great! Just what I need way out here, da na da na da na. Thanks mind, you sure can be a real asshole at times. My arms just started paddling faster, there was no way I was stopping till my feet were on that shore line. Eventually we reached it, exhausted. We sat down on a fallen tree and Calvin cut up a juicy pineapple for us. We ate lunch and enjoyed the view.
The ride back was the real struggle. The afternoon wind picked up. The friendly sun became our worse enemy, viciously beating down on us. I knew calvin was going to have the worse of it when he had to put the life jacket on just to protect his back. Now you might be wondering, "why didn't you put sunscreen on? Did you forget it?" We had it and we used it but those rays were being a real son of a.
Calvin took a shower when we got back, he layed on the bed, that's when I noticed his legs. Holy moly!!! Those puppies were red, and I mean cooked lobster red, hot to the touch. He was done for, no moving for him that night. I ended up walking all over town, 45 minutes or so, trying to find some aloe vera. A lot of locals had no idea what I was talking about. I would point to my skin and they thought I needed sun screen. I eventually found some, a small bottle, and I mean travel size small, for 340 pesos. Well you know a place is able to charge that when people are so badly burnt they will pay anything to have some relief.

The power stayed on all night.

While we were checking out the next morning we started talking to 2 Swedish women who were waiting for their private van to pick them up. They were headed to Puerto Princesa. When we asked about the price difference between a private van and the big bus, one lady told us that private one was 5 pesos more but you had more room and it took less time. A lady at the front desk called the driver to see if he had room for Calvin and I, but mainly to see where he was cause he was already 15 minutes late. And he said he had room. We decided to take the private van. And it only took another 30 minutes for it to show up. Filipino time. Well they were right about less time, but not about the space. We were packed in that van like sardines in a can. Think of your average soccer mom van, add another row to the back and a small insert in between the seats to create another seat. 4 people in every row. Might as well go ahead and introduce yourself to your neighbor cause you will be sharing body sweat for the next 4 hours. The Danish boy next to me had his head on my shoulder, getting closer and closer to my breasts with every bump and turn the speeding van took. I didn't have the heart to wake him up, I decided if you could call asleep in rose conditions, you deserved to stay asleep.

P.s. I'm sorry there are no pictures. The uploader is being a pain. If you would like pictures you can comment and I'll privately send you them. Or if you have facebook, feel free to add me. Annie Murphy Denver, CO


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