TWO DAYS IN EL NIDO
El Nido beachfront is inviting especially that we reached the place just before sunset. We swam just a little after sunset which starved us and sent us searching for a good dinner thereafter. We want to have dinner in the beachfront but it is full house and for a company of nine, we have to be waitlisted. We found a Thai-inspired resto that we chose because they can accomodate us right away and we seem to like the reggae band on the resto next door.
The discomfort of town's regular brown-out from 6 am to 2 pm and limited water supply which we woke up to in El Nido kicked our patience out. But once we started the tour and as we approached the karsts and the same got clearer and clearer, our memory of the discomfort also got blurry. We started the day with Tour A.
We rented the boat for P2,500 for the whole day, mask and snorkel (P75 each) and two kayaks (P700 each). We started the day with the secret lagoon, then the small and big lagoon which all feature the nature's wonder, the karsts.
Karst of all shapes and forms abound in El Nido and as defined in Wikipedia, it is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. Karst topography is a geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock usually carbonate rock such as limestone, dolomite or gypsum, but has also been documented for weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions.
After feeding our eyes with the beauty of nature, we proceeded to then the zimisu beach for our lunch and capped the day in the 7 commando beach where we enjoyed a sunless swimming as it rained on our way to the said beach after the Zimisu beach but then the rain stopped in the middle of our way. We had a great time swimming and playing in the 7 Commando sand sans the sun. This last beach, so named according to our guide because of some military exercises done there before, serves for a fee cocktails but we opted to have fresh buko juice!
The next day, we took the Tour C and I recommend this tour in case one has only a day to enjoy El Nido. This tour gives one an overview of the giant karsts up close and personal as well as enjoy the white sand beach of El Nido. We started the day two with photo taking before the giant karst in Secret Beach which also has a small cave. Then, we went to the Matinloc Shrine where we had a nice time touring the abandoned hotel once maintained by a religious order and climbing the pointed karst. We then had our lunch at Talisay beach where we came to observe the fruit plating skills of tour guides. After lunch, we then headed to the Hidden Beach where we entered a small entrance in a big karst, only to be welcomed by a small beach inside. It was such a feat for a non-swimmer like me. After that, we capped the day in Helicopter Island which is also a white sand beach but we did not enjoy the waters much as it was windy and the big waves were smacking the rocks in the shore. This is a picturesque part of El Nido too.
*Published in June 4, 2013 issue of Sunstar - Bacolod and at the Sunstar website: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/bacolod/lifestyle/2013/06/03/my-coron-el-nido-and-puerto-princesa-travelogue-285566