TRAVEL: Motorbikes, A Crazy Hike, Our Secluded Visit to Small Lagoon, and a Sick Holly (7/26/16)

My last few days in El Nido didn’t exactly go as planned. By Sunday, I managed to get bit by mosquitos around my eyes. Both my eyes and forehead were swollen. I wasn’t in pain, but it was a nuisance trying to open my eyes all the way and not make contact with my face. By the next day, the swelling had gone down, but I managed to catch a fever towards the evening. Still sick, I’m writing this as we fly to Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines for our next adventure, that I pray I’ll be well for!

That being said though, there were a lot of things to appreciate about my last two days in El Nido, Palawan. We had a bit of a lazy start on Sunday since my face was swollen, but by 1PM we finally left. Alvin, Josh, and Jake decided to rent motorbikes to ride to Nacpan Beach. Josh and Alvin originally wanted to get scooters because they didn’t know how to ride a motorbike yet, but we were instructed to get motorbikes since we were planning on going off-roading. The protective feminine side of me was about to shit my pants at the thought of Alvin and Josh learning how to ride a motorbike in another country. To be safe, I rode with Jake on the way to Nacpan, but to my surprise, the boys picked it up fairly quickly, and we were off to Nacpan Beach in no time.

We stayed for a little, and Josh and I drove back to town to make it for mass. I’m really glad we did. There’s something really comforting about attending mass in another country. It’s interesting to see how different churches celebrate. St. Joseph Parish had a 5:30PM English mass, although the homily and a few of the prayers were still in Tagalog. There was an electric guitar and a choir of young girls singing, which was a cool but solemn contemporary approach to adding music to the mass. The congregation was filled with both locals and tourists, celebrating and praising God all together. After mass, we planned to meet Alvin and our friends at Las Cabanas beach for sunset, but it started to rain really hard and we decided to turn back.

Josh and I ended our night eating the BEST (yes, BEST) burger we’ve ever eaten. We stopped at Angle Bar on the way home and ordered 2 skewer plates and 1 beef burger. The food was a little on the pricier end considering that the portions were small, but quality definitely over quantity in this case. The meat was so soft and tender, cooked perfectly… I’m drooling just thinking about it right now.
The next morning, the boys and I woke up at 5:15AM to book a tour guide to Taraw Cliff. We had to wait a bit, but we finally started our journey around 7:30AM. During the first 5-seconds of our hike, I was already thinking, “This is definitely not what I was expecting.” I read reviews about the hike being difficult, but I way underestimated the strenuousness of this trek! Strenuous is the one word I would use to describe this hike, but definitely, definitely worth it as well. For a better look inside how the hike was for me and my friends, check out my blog post dedicated to Taraw Cliff!

We ended our last day in El Nido at Small Lagoon. The boys and I paid 3,000 pesos total to have a private boat takes us back to our favorite spot, Small Lagoon. We paddle-boarded to the lagoon and found that the lagoon was completely empty. We had the lagoon all to ourselves for most of the time, with the occasional visitor. But for the most part it was quiet and surreal. You could hear every fish splashing, every cricket chirping, and every branch falling. I expected to do a lot of SUP-yoga, but I couldn’t help but take advantage of the quiet and serenity in the lagoon. It was the perfect way and place to end our stay in El Nido.

Lastly, a special thanks to CED Pension for housing us the last 5 days! We loved our stay, and felt like we were right at home. Thanks for all your hospitality!

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