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Published: January 13th 2010
We'd been flapping a bit about where to spend Christmas so when we found a resort that was affordable we texted them straight away to try and book a room and thankfully they had a room free so that was sorted. This resort was on Cacnipa Island, a small island a 40 minute boat ride away from Port Barton. After a night spent in Port Barton to relax after our 6 hour dusty bus ride followed by a 1 hour bumpy rooftop ride on an overpacked jeepney we caught the boat over to the island on Christmas Eve.
We were really happy with our choice because the resort was gorgeous with it's own little private beach and beautiful coconut tree garden behind. Our room was really nice, the food served on the island was mouthwatering and we also had our friend from El Nido, Dominic there to celebrate Christmas with us so we couldn't have asked for more really. Whilst all this was perfect there was one thing which let it all down for us a little and this was the most grumpy (Swiss) man who owned it. Now if you owned such a tropical paradise wouldn't you be pretty
he loved Dale and let him stroke him but hissed if Sophie tried! She didn't like him!
happy about it? We would have thought so but this guy made us all feel quite uncomfortable, never spoke to us and didn't even wish us Happy Christmas when we saw him for breakfast on Christmas morning. Thankfully the rest of the (Filipino) staff there were delightful and always had a smile on their faces so it was ok, it was just a shame that his negativity reflected onto us on such a nice day.
There really isn't much to report from our 6 days on Cacnipa. Our daily timetable generally went like this:
08.00 - breakfast overlooking the beach & water
09.00 - 13.00 - laying in the hammocks on the beach reading various books & magazines, occasionally cooling off in the water or snorkelling
13.00 - 14.00 - lunch
14.00 - 17.00 - laying in the hammocks with a beer break at 15.30
18.00 - Dinner
21.30 - bedtime.. the electricity went off!
Yes it was stressful keeping to this timetable day after day but we just about survived this hectic lifestyle! We did manage to leave the beach on one day and tried to trek over to the other side of the island for a
bit of a change of scenery. Up to the top of the hill we went, trekked though the jungle a bit and round... and down... to what we thought was another beach but was infact back to our very own resort! It took us all of 1/2 hour and we didn't really discover much apart from what we think was another unreachable resort on the other side of the island so went straight back to the beach to relax after our days exercise!
So after 6 days of pure relaxation, much book reading and topping up our tans we caught the boat back to Port Barton and then the packed jeepney to Puerto Princesa where we'd decided to spent New Years Eve. We would have stayed on Cacnipa but were a little concerned the lights would be off at 9.30pm as usual and wanted a bit of a party atmosphere.
We hadn't really chosen the best time to come here as our 5 days would cover 2 public holidays when things were mostly shut so we wouldn't get to do the activities we'd planned to do. We fell into a routine of breakfast & lunch in a gorgeous
vegetarian restaurant round the corner from our guesthouse, internet time, wandering around the city and then dinner in the evening which wasn't hugely exciting but we were quite contented all the same.
Along with Dominic we'd planned to spend NYE in the main bar in town where we thought the party would be at. Come NYE night we walked down there to find it closed.. what do you mean closed... on New Years Eve? How could it be possible? Things were clearly a little different here in the Philippines and everyone's life doesn't revolve around getting totally smashed like they do in the UK, apparently most people tend to stay at home celebrating with their neighbours.. something we couldn't do as we had no neighbours! Undeterred we walked down the road and found a foreign owned bar which was open and had a lovely beer garden out back playing live music too. Apparently this was the place to go as seemingly every Western person in town was here!
As nice as it was we wanted to see how the locals do it so nearing midnight we walked down to the port where we'd seen a huge christmas tree
a few days prior, and it looked like most of Puerto Princesa locals were here! too They had a stage act and then at midnight the fireworks started... the 40 minute fireworks show that is! Yes for 40 whole minutes they didn't stop, every time we thought it was the finale and start to clap they would start up again.. and again.. and again! It was really good and totally unexpected but if anyone else has ever watched fireworks for 40 minutes before (which we doubt!) they will know that your neck really hurts after a while!
With sore necks we joined the crowds leaving the port and headed back to the bar to continue the merriment with a few cocktails and more beers. There was even dancing there so we stayed until the 3am closing hour and went back with a slight swagger to our walk. Because we really don't drink much these days it doesn't take a lot for us to really feel our hangovers so the next day was spent in bed nursing very sore heads by sleeping it off and watching tv. Dale was the star of the day managing to drag himself out in
Girl and her baby monkey badge
All the people here seem to have monkeys as pets.. it's a bit sad really.
the evening to pick up some takeaway pizza and coke supplies which saw off the remainder of our hangovers.
We'd thought that we would be leaving the following day but we got the boat days mixed up, meaning another day in PP before we caught the ferry over to the Cuyo Islands where we'd planned to spend a few days before going back to Panay. p.s. We would just like to say a quick thanks to the Travelblog community for voting for us in the best blogs 2009 forum post. THANK YOU.
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