Friday, 27 April 2012

First day in El Nido

First thing on the morning after waking up- BIG SMILE after seeing the view from our beach huts... AMAZING. Nice surprise after arrival in the dark. Beautiful islands around.

Just on the front of my hut there was a beauty competition by Filipino children :) All of the children I've seen in Philippines are always smiling and happy. There is no parents watching them and saying "don't do this, don't do that, be careful etc." like in Europe. Children stick together and just have fun. And I think they are safe. Really nice childhood.

I've found El Nido really beautiful in terms of nature, scenery, islands and weather but...Too many tourists. It is more and more every year. I am not surprised. It is really beautiful place. But it is not what we are looking for...people everywhere. Met one local guy who just started business with island hopping. Generally Filipinos are really natural, friendly and happy people but this one guy was looking just for the money. Sad, but you can't stop it...

Anyway, we've had a breakfast in Art Cafe. Not the cheapest place in town but food is OK. Found out that they are not doing cash back any more. But, at the gas station (the one on the beach front) they do and they charge only 6% comparing to 8% in Art Cafe . So apart from Puerto there is only gas station where you can get money in El Nido. I think it is good to know.

As I've got some contacts from Richard from Reggae Pulse I went to the places he advised me to go and asked for The Island which would meet our criteria. I've met some girl who works for Tourism Office (we thought that it will be impossible to camp on our own somewhere around El Nido so we wanted to avoid official stuff and just to on our own) and she told us that we can go, not a problem but we need to get permission from the office and then go to the police station and sign some documents that in case something will go wrong they are not responsible for us. It would cost around 4000 pesos for the boat to go there and back. It would be some beach on one of the private islands (I forgot the name). As we could get the papers on Monday (it is Saturday today) we decided to wait so we paid for another 2 nights for our beach huts.

I've spent this day on fishing with some Filipino kid. I had a fishing line and hooks so we were snorkeling and watching fish how to take a bait. The boy was swimming without goggles or mask, I tried to do the same, you can see "something" but not really clear view and your eyes are sour after some time. I gave him swimming goggles and he was really excited. So we swam some distance, putted a squid on the hooks and looking for fish. We could see a lot of fish but it was really hard to catch one as they took the bait, eat it and spit out the empty hook... I've cought one but it was really small one so I've release it. :) My first fish in Philippines! It was really good fun for me and for the kid.

Came back to the beach hut and met the French guy, Stephane, who is traveling for long time now. He travels 12 years already, 7 months every year. Good stuff. I am really envious... Very good guy. Interesting stories with Tanduay in our cups. Long night. He told us about his adventures in Laos (if I remember correctly) that there were some gangs and he found himself in the middle of fire exchange. Wicked stuff... A lot of very interesting stories we have heard this night. Thanks Stephane! Hope to meet you again!

This evening I've seen the most amazing thing in my life. I took my snorkel mask and went with Stefan through the coral to the open sea. Dark, a little drunk, not really pleasure to walk in the water full of sharp coral at night...but the effect...Have you seen The Beach with Leo Di Caprio (BTW one of my favourite film and book). You remember the FLUORESCENCE? (or phosporescence?) It was nothing in the film comparing what you can see live...AMAZING! I've been lucky because this night there was no moonlight. When there is a moon the fluorescence is not so visible (the same thing with the stars in the city and the stars in the place where there is no artificial light). Really something... One of The best experience in my life I can say.

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