Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag El Nido, Coron, Manila, Angeles
30 januari 2015
El Nido, Coron, Manila, Angeles
Martin was supposed to arrive at Puerto today so I waited around the hostel for a bit. I didn't do much today except play round the table at the ping pong table with a few dutch girls. I also let this Israeli an dude who told me that there loads of countries that Israeli and can't go to. Learn something new every day.
We took the bus to El Nido which took about 6 hours. Martin and I didn't book any accommodation because we figured it would be easy to find some. However, when we got here everything seemed to be fully booked. We did find a hotel room after about an hour but apparently it only had 1 bed. So we had to spoon.:)
This was also the day I found out that there is no ATM in El Nido. In the end I needed to go to western union and send myself money.
There are 4 island hopping tours you can choose from. We did the most popular one (C). It took us to amazing places to snorkel and chill on beaches. I especially liked the secret beach where you need to swim underwater for a bit to find it. There were loads of Chinese and Korean tourists here whom can't swim. It was funny to see the tour guide trying to get them to snorkel while they can't swim. They moved as a group as an island of swimvests dragged by a single tour guide.
It was a bit crowded by tourists but it was fun. We met a few German guys and girls and we hung out together the next couple of days. We went to bars and parties together every night. Although El Nido actually only has one bar that is any good called the Rasta bar.
We rented a few mopeds today. I decided to get a semi automatic because it is a bit like riding a motorcycle. However, it didn't have a clutch and gearshifts are the complete oppose sit of what I'm used to. Pushing the pedal down means you shift a gear upwards and pulling the lever up mean s you shift down. We were with 5 people and we only had 3 mopedsso I had to take a portugese passenger as one of the German guys had never ridden a mopad before.
While going to nactan beach we missed our turn and asked around. We were then sent towards a rickety bridge and figured this can't be right. Then a local offered to guide us to the beach. But he took us through a jungle path filled with bushes and loads of muddy roads no wider then 50 cm. It was really hard to keep control of the moped, especially with a passenger. We then found a really nice beach with hardly anyone there. We played with the waves and even found two locals willing to get us coconuts from the trees. They climbed 10 meyres up in the trees and cut them down with a machete.
That night we met up with Ricardo again. Martin and I decided to play a joke on him to convince him to change his extremely gay profile picture. This lasted for days before he finally did it.
We decided to go zip lining. It was a huge zip line from a mountain to a peninsula close to el nido. It was fun. We then chilled at the beach for a bit before walking back. We then went for a workout at a gym. I have missed the gym or working out in general so that was good.
We were supposed to go to a karaoke bar that night as it was the birthday wish of a German dude called Matt. However, he went to bed early for some reason so that night we went out to the rasta bar and I said my goodbyes to Ricardo. However, as I walked in my dorm I stood in something wet. Someone had puked all over the floor and door. It was gross but someone from reception quickly cleaned it so it was better again. Sucks to be him.
I had to get up early to go to the boat to Corom which took 8/9 hours to get there on rough water. I'm not prone to getting seasick but it was quite the ordeal. Apparently the previous day more then 50 percent of the passengers were puking. Martin told me as he went on the boat a day before me. I met a Australian guy called Josh whom I am sharing a bed with as most accomodation is fully booked. Back to spooning I suppose.
When I finally got to Coron I found a dive shop. There should be good wrecks here which I want to see. But first I'll need to get my discover deep diving permit to actually get to those depths. I spent the night studying the deep diving theory.
Today I went diving. Two wreck drives and one lagoon dive. There are about 10 Japanese wrecks here which sunk on 24 sept 1944 by an air raid. Now divers use them for recreational wreck dives. Although the engines and propellors have already been salvaged, there are still these huge husks that belonged to the imperial navy. It was cool to see them and the marine life, like giant lobsters and batfish, that spawned in there. Then after we went into this lagoon. They told us to drop our wetsuits as the water is approximately 28 degrees. However on 10 meters depth there is a thermocline, but instead of it getting colder, it got warmer. Up until approximately 38 degrees by which time it becomes a bit dangerous to overexert yourself as you're unable to ticipate heat to your surroundings. By doing these dives I earned my referral for the advanced open water PADI for deep dives.
Although my right ear is still hurting a bit since the first dive, it was a good day. The plan is to go diving again the day after tomorrow.
On a slightly less positive note; Ziph, the israeli guy whom I was talking about before in Puerto princess, got involved in a robbery and the girl he was with got shot and needed to go to the hospital. Not sure what happened after as I only heard this from Martin, who is in contact with Donna, who is in contact with Ziph.
I met 3 Australian girls last night at the Marley's hostel. They were thinking of doing the same island hopping tour as me so we went together. They took us to 3 beautiful islands where we went snorkeling. We had a good lunch with rice, fish and some vegetables. After the tour we chilled for a bit in Marley's hostel.
It was raining today so we didn't do a tour. Instead we went to the hot springs near Coron which was a bit boring and really got. 40 degrees. This was my first time in a hot spring though, so I guess I can strike that off my bucket list. After we went hiking to a cross on a hill from which we could oversee all of Coron.
I went diving again today. I did three dives in several wrecks. One was a gunboat which probably was the escort for the other ships. A few guns were still intact as well as a torpedo. The only problem was that it was 33 metres deep so you can't stay there for long because it might cause decrompression illness and niteogennarcosis. The next dive was in a oil tanker which actually still had the remains of one of the crew. Well, at least his jawbone and a femur. A bit freaky but cool nonetheless. I saw tonnes of fish as well. The last dive was more relaxed at 15 meters depth where there are loads of fish. I took the time to progress my agility under water by practicing 360s and bouyancy control whilst preserving as much air as I could. Preserving air seems to be the main factor of your skill level as it displays your ability to relax and move as efficiently as possible.
All flights pass through Manila and since I'm still not sure where to go next I decided to spend a night with a few people I met in Boracay at the pink manila hostel. But first I'll need to fly with Philippine airlines again on a small propeller plane. I was a bit scared about the rigorous weight limit of 10 kg for a check in bag. So I wore another 3 shirts and jeans over a shots to stay within the weight limit. It worked though.So now I can go shopping again as my next flight will allow for 23 kg instead of 10.
That night I was supposed to decide where to go next. I was thinking of either Batangas or Angeles. Batangas is a port city and my experience with port cities so far have been far from ideal. I also heard it is a bit of a sleepy town at night and I already went to Coron and El Nido which were pretty sleepy at night as well. Angeles on the other hand has a bustling nightlife, but sucks during the day apart from a vulcano which should be near. Also Angeles is a bit of a seedy town. I couldn't decide so figured I'd stay another night and chill with Martin and Donna who would arrive a day later.
Martin, Donna and I went to Chinatown with the metro. We stayed there for a while before going to Makati to have lunch. We went back to the hostel afterwards where we got a few people to go out for food and drinks. Some guy said the Mexican restaurant Chupacabra was good. I was very disappointed by the portions especially since it cost 6 euros which is a lot in the Philippines. We tried to go to a midget boxing match, but we didn't feel like waiting and overpaying 200% for beers so alas we left.
I said my goodbyes to Martin and Donna who were flying back to Germany and Australia. I was sad to see them leave because I really had fun with them. Oh well....these things are bound to happen eventually. I took a bus to Dau bus terminal in Angeles.
I met a Swedish dude called David in my hotel. We went out that night to see what's what. This place seems like Phuket though. Just loaded with prostitutes. We went back to the hotel quite early.
Went shopping today as the weight limit on my next flight is no longer an issue. Everything is quite cheap here. Even cheaper than all the other places. After my shopping spree I chilled at the pool for a bit and then I got a massage. I went to bed quite early. I also decided to go back to Manila the day after since David had already left. My company had been reduced to 50 year old guys who came there just for the prostitutes.
I woke up, had a few coffee and went to the bus terminal in Day to take the bus back to Manila. Manila isn't great but at least there are more backpackers there. I checked in and hit the gym. I mostly chilled at the hostel after.
Went to the mall and did some shopping there. Everything in this mall was really cheap so I splurged most the money I had left on clothes and souvenirs. That night I met up with two of the three Australian girls I met in Coron. We went to a bar and had a few drinks. I went to bed fairly early.
I woke up, hit the gym and packed my bags. The Manila airport is very crowded and loaded with lines for check in and everything else. I'm about to jump in my first flight from Manila to Abu Dhabi. Not looking forward to this waiting game though.
I had a great vacation and I've met hundreds of people. I find it hard to remember the names that belong to the faces I can can still remember. Highlights for me were snorkeling with the Manta rays in Nusa Lembogan wreckdiving in Coron, the people and nightlife of Boracay, Surfing in Kuta and Bonding beach, new years in Sydney, the island hopping tours in Boracay and El Nido, the ease to meet new people, moped driving through the jungle in El Nido to go to Napcan beach, zip lining from one island to the other, abseiling and canyoning in the blue mountains, drinking games in Perth, the snorkeling in the gili islands where we saw the turtles, visiting my roots in Bandung. There a probably a lot more, but I can't think of them right now.
The low points of my trip have been the smoggyness and chaos of Jakarta, the city Manila, the sleaze of Angeles, the prices of everything in Australia, the groups of German people in Melbourne who were unable and unwilling to speak English for an extended period of time, the chaos of Manila airport, the weather in Ubud in the rainy season, pur social experiment in the Legion street of Kuta, the feeling of unsafety in Malate and some other places in Makati.
In conclusion; I wasn't at all sure about my ability to meet people when traveling on my own, but it was very easy. I have found that if you simply ask to join a few people for a beer or game at a hostel that nobody ever says no. In the Philippines you keep bumping into the same people, you meet up at different destinations and you really become at ease with being in each others presence. It actually were the people that make a trip like this so amazing
31 januari 2015 13:11 | Door: Ma
Quite an experience, and I am proud of my son. But also good to see you safe and sound back home again today!