Sunday, May 18, 2008

My new love...

What's there to say about the Philippines other than the people were friendly, the rum was cheap, and the ocean was unbelievable.

The pictures are in no particular order - I had over 1,200 to go through so it would have taken me another week or two to post if I had to worry about that. I hope you enjoy them anyway.

!Vive El Nido!

Here's the little plane we had to fly in to get to the island of Palawan.

And here's the cute little 'tricycle' coming to pick us up.

El Nido town beach.

We left Ulsan after work on Friday at 8 pm and didn't arrive in El Nido until almost 5 o'clock on Saturday evening. It was a long day but the beautiful sunset we saw on our first night there let me know that it was worth it.

Helicopter Island beach.

There are beaches here and there on many of the little islands. It's easy to find a deserted one where you can chill.

Jason was overcome with emotion - he loved everything about the place.

I don't know what my face is doing here...but the background is a typical store in El Nido. You have to ask for a specific item and the shopkeeper will bring it to the counter for you to purchase. It wasn't too hard because everyone spoke English. If they had those kind of stores in Korea I think I would have starved to death long ago.

There was a healing center in El Nido that we patronized for their wicked cheap massages - which were awesome (but not as good as Jessica's).

This cute little tree frog hung around outside our room at night.

Marber's restaurant is owned by a Filipino lady and her German boyfriend. Jason enjoyed many a German meals there while looking out at the ocean.

We went on a island trekking tour to Cadlao island. The hike went through the dense forest, through mangroves, to an inland lagoon, and along the beaches.

Inland lagoon.

Cool rocks surrounding the lagoon.

Cute little piggies that lived on Cadlao island.

The two songs that ran through my head our entire trip were Yellow Submarine and Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

A pic of me showing off my handy umbrella hiking stick.

This is an example of most of the homes in the villages around El Nido.

This cuddly little spider is the size of a softball. It was hanging out in our bathroom for a few days. The lady owner of the resort told us it wasn't dangerous and left it there. We ended up having one of the kids who worked on the resort catch it for us. He chased it around the bathroom for five minutes before he caught it - in his hand with only a gardening glove as protection. We were told that it was a baby spider and the adult ones get to almost a foot in diameter. Yikes!

We went on an island hopping/snorkling trip the third day we were in town. In order to get to some of the beaches and spots we snorkled you had to weave your way (in a boat) through these tall rock mazes.

We went snorkling in this little cove. The water was clear and beautiful but it was also full of tiny jellyfish. The sting didn't hurt too much more than being snapped by a rubber band. Good thing too since I was stung about fifty times that day.

The snorkling here reminded me of a Disneyland ride I went on when I was little. It was a fake submarine that went underwater and you saw things like mermaids sitting inside giant clam shells. That stuff is true! We saw giant clam shells big enough for me to fit inside and blue starfish two feet wide. I still think there might have been mermaids there too.

If you look closely you can see one of the many monsterous bug bites I got. It's just above my right knee.

These cool mini islands were dotted all around Bacuit Bay.
We were spoiled at our resort - this is the view we had while sipping our instant coffee and eating breakfast everyday.

This is the boat the resort used to shuttle supplies to and from town. The resort was called Taiyo Village.

The notches in the tree are hand and foot holds. We saw a little boy about seven climb up one of the palms and knock down some coconuts. He shimmied up the tree so fast it reminded me of a fast forward scene from Giligan's Island.

There were two ways to get from our resort to the town. One was along the beach during low tide. The other was through this village in the forest.

If you look carefully in the lower left hand side of the picture you'll see a water buffalo enjoying the shade.

This little restaurant was on our way to town and it beckoned us for a beer a time or two.

The sand crabs ran so fast I could never catch them except with the camera.

We were invited up to see the view from some local people's home. The couple (a Filipino lady and English gent) had the coolest house. It was built into the side of the cliff.

The lady of the house gave us some water and a few books to look at that were about the local flora and fauna and the people of the Philippines. Everyone we met was wonderfully friendly.

Another view from their perch.

These are the type of boats that are used in the Philippines. They have bamboo stabilizing arms on the sides of them - very effective.

Jason hanging out in front of our resort. Cadlao island is behind him.

Another beautiful sunset.

This cutie is hanging out on the local transport. They're called tricycles but they're more like a motorcycle with a sidecar.

Kids and women walked through the streets of El Nido selling fish. We bought a snapper one night and Jason cooked us up a delicious meal.

Ladies about town.


The beach path to town.

The roots that you can see of this tree are actually parasitic. The real trunk is only about a foot wide.

I took this picture - I'm very proud of it.

These hard core kids threw up some gang signs for us. That was about as scary as it got in El Nido.


The sand in many places was still very rough. There were huge shells and coral everywhere as it hadn't been picked over by beachcombers yet.

Our only couple photo of the whole trip and it's terribly dark.

Goodbye El Nido...until next time...

Friday, May 2, 2008

El Nido, Philippines

A long time ago in a far away land I worked for ACNielsen. Although I loved sitting in my cubicle everyday sometimes I needed a little pick me up. I would surf the net looking for pictures to use as the wallpaper on my computer. I usually picked tropical places or mountain scenes. One picture in particular sticks out in my mind. It was of two men in a fishing boat in beautiful tropical blue water.

While I was planning our trip, I ran across the same picture on a tourism website for El Nido. I'm going to visit the picture I saw years ago on my computer in Minneapolis. The picture I had to use to get through my day sometimes.

Yes! I'm so excited. I'll let you know how it went as soon as we get back.

P.S. I'd have pasted the picture in here but National Geographic is all technically savvy and I can't figure out how to copy the picture or even the link. Bastards!

Here's a different picture of El Nido to enjoy while I'm away. :)