On the highway

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Asia » Philippines » Palawan » El Nido
November 23rd 2016
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 11.1804, 119.395

Our van was supposed to meet us at 7:30am, but it didn't show up until 8:30am. (We learned later that the driver was supposed to be done after driving a group this morning but was called back to drive this van to El Nido.) We let him know that we needed to be at the El Nido airport by 2:45pm, and he thought that was no problem. There were three men in the van when we started (one from Turkey; two from US). We stopped to pick up a French couple from a small hotel in the outskirts. Then we stopped at the bus terminal for our driver to do some paperwork. Then we stopped at a station to pick up another person. Then we stopped to add air to the tires.

And then we were on the road. Except for a stop at the junction to Sabang, where we picked up a Canadian couple. Then a stop (and detour) for lunch. Then a stop for more air for the front tire. Then a stop for petrol. Then a stop (and detour) to check in. Then, finally, to El Nido downtown, where everyone but us got off. Then to the airport, where we were delivered at 2:43pm.

But I should mention the scenery, which was lovely. A good road, winding through rice paddies, where men worked and buffalo wallowed, shadowed by egrets (swans), and green mountain, volcanic and peaky, as a backdrop. Periodically, we would catch a glimpse of the sea, blue and sparkling, and even more rarely of kids frolicking in the surf.

When we reached the airport, we were expected, and asked to sit and wait for the plane (which we anticipated, so we weren't put out). We sat in a shaded, elevated veranda, reading, and enjoying a cup of coffee. Eventually, the plane arrived, with many guests, who were divided up into different groups and taken to awaiting jitneys. We (and about 6 other people) were driven about 300 meters to a pier, where we were put on a launch. Paul and I received green life vests while the others received yellow. (This apparently color-codes us to our particular El Nido resort). Paul and I were the only ones headed to Miniloc Island…so we had outrigger to the island to ourselves (and the crew, of course).

We were greeted by a band, which was vaguely reminiscent of PNG, especially as we were the only ones arriving at that time. We smiled and drank our coconut drink. Then we were shown to our room (with sand just outside our front door). We then went to the bar for happy hour.

At 7pm, we had buffet dinner … but the food was fine.

We spent the remainder of the evening on the chaise lounges, pretending to read, but really just enjoying the lovely, lovely evening with soft tropical breezes (truly caressing) until it was time to go to bed.

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