Friday, November 13, 2015

Manila Diary | Puerto Princessa, Palawan

Wednesday was our day to take the 6 hour drive back to Puerto Princessa. Our clothes and gear were still fairly damp from the day before. We got plastic bags to wrap everything in, and then we met up with the others. The drive took most of the day so we had a nice dinner and headed to a movie!

The next day we woke up early to do the Underground River Trail! It was a highly recommended place to go, so we decided to go there.  Our guide was Michelle (Mich for short) and she was wonderful and charming! We took a quick boat ride to the entrance of the trail. After snapping a couple photos, we meandered our way through the giant forest. We ran into monkeys that came crawling down the trees, looking for food. We were advised to not get too close... They weren't exactly friendly. Our group piled into the canoe and we slowly drifted off towards the entrance of the cave.

Sunlight was slowly fading away, as we made our way deeper into the cave. The only light came from the front of the canoe, where Evan was holding a light powered by a car battery (thrifty?) Our guide began telling us about the trail. It is actually 8 miles long, but we were only allowed to cover about a mile of it. 

Thousand year old stalagmites covered the ceiling of the cavern. Almost every one that the guide picked out had some sort of nickname. Hundreds of bats were speckled across the vast, 100 foot tall ceilings. I could hear their wings fluttering above us, and drops of water hitting the water. It was the coldest I had ever been in the Philippines, but it was interesting and very unique!

After the trail ended, we rode the boat back to shore. We were bombarded with people trying to sell us bracelets, jewelry, hats and not letting up for anything. We made our way over to the pavilion for a buffet lunch. We had chicken afritada, pancit, muscles, shrimp, fried potatoes and a handful of other dishes. There was a trio of men were playing some classic rock; my personal favorite was Hotel California by The Eagles.

Our trip was coming to an end when Friday was going to be traveling to two big islands for snorkeling and relaxing. Already, we've seen so many of the beautiful similar beaches but this was such a fun trip. We found starfish, jelly fish and all sorts of other fishes that weren't afraid to swim close to us. They would come right around our legs in search of food. As silly as it sounds, I crossed off "Get a henna tattoo" on my bucket list. 

Palawan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been too. It was a week in complete bliss and unmatched scenery. Everyone was very kind to us, food was delicious, and it was also wonderful for us to get one last vacation in before our internship comes to an end. 

Until next time, Palawan!

Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

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