We Live To Travel

Island Hopping Tour B

December 6, 2010

Senne’s Summary: Today we took another “island hopping” tour.

This morning we headed out on Tour B… another island hopping tour from El Nido.  This time there were only 4 people on our tour including us… and we were lucky enough to get the same guide as last time—Mark.

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Heading out for the day.

Our first stop was a very beautiful white sand beach.

Stunningly gorgeous! How often in your life do you get to visit a beach like this?

Stunningly gorgeous! How often in your life do you get to visit a beach like this?

I’m not sure of the name of it. If you snuck around one of the big rocks through the water you could see one of the expensive resorts. There are a few expensive resorts on the smaller islands. I’m not sure why you would want to stay there. It’s basically the resort and nothing else. You are held captive by their expensive prices and can’t get off the island without them. I prefer to be in the main town where there are lots of restaurant choices (and where the hotels are cheap :))

Steve doing a little exploring.

Steve doing a little exploring.

While we were at the beach we basically just hung out. Steve had a little energy (surprise, surprise) so was climbing trees and rocks like a little monkey!

Born in the year of the monkey… coincidence?

Born in the year of the monkey… coincidence?

Poor Mark was very concerned that Steve would hurt himself.

Poor Mark was very concerned that Steve would hurt himself.

Our next stop was Snake Island. Mark assured me that it wasn’t called Snake Island because there were snakes, but because of the shape of the sandbar out to the island. (You can see it in the photos!)

The aforementioned "snake"

The aforementioned “snake”

Some dogs smelled the food, and headed across the sandbar to join us ;)

Some dogs smelled the food, and headed across the sandbar to join us 😉

We walked the length of the sandbar while Mark and the boat captain cooked our lunch. And then we enjoyed our food under the shade of the Mangrove trees.

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Our next stop was an island with a cave and then some snorkeling. You had to climb through a hole to get to the cave (which made me a bit nervous!), but it was pretty cool inside.

Mark demonstrating how to get in the cave.

Mark demonstrating how to get in the cave.

Inside the cave!

Inside the cave!

After this Steve and I went snorkeling and then spent some more time on the beach. (I’m still not a pro at the snorkeling, but it’s a little more enjoyable now!)

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After this stop, we headed to our final stop which was another beautiful beach with snorkeling.

Side note: The number of beautiful beaches here is astounding. I think you could go to a different one everyday for months. If you haven’t been to El Nido you need to put it on your list. I’m not sure why it isn’t overrun with tourists (not that I want it to be ;)) but you HAVE to see this place!

The beach was beautiful and the snorkeling was great. I finally got to see lots of different fish and sea creatures.

These fish are swimming in a circle around me!

These fish are swimming in a circle around me!

While we were lounging on the beach Mark and the boat captain got us down a coconut from the tree to drink the juice from and made me a pretty spiffy hat. Don’t worry there are photos of the hat. Words won’t describe it 🙂

That's quite a hat!

That’s quite a hat!

On the way back Steve was chatting with our guide Mark quite a bit. Mark is only 17! (but an excellent tour guide nonetheless!) He answered some of my burning questions…

1)   What happens if you are under 18 and aren’t home when the curfew bell rings? You go to jail. It’s as simple as that. This sounds like incentive to be home on time 😉

2)   Do you have to pay for school here? No. Public school is free. Kids go to elementary school until they are about 12 and then high school until they are about 16. Everyone has to go to school. We were curious about this because we had seen some kids playing on the beach while others were at school and were wondering if they couldn’t go because they couldn’t afford it. We were pleased to know that all kids should and do go (unless they are playing hooky on the beach I guess :))

We arrived back at El Nido around 5:00 and were starving at this point (all that sunshine and fun makes you hungry!). We quickly showered and headed out to the Art Café. (Good restaurant, tasty food, store downstairs has everything you need including sunscreen… but a bit more expensive than the other restaurants). Kat, a girl we met on our tour today was at the restaurant so we enjoyed dinner with her.

After dinner we picked up more sunscreen (probably our most purchased item of the trip) and headed back to our hotel.

Oh! I almost forgot the power went off tonight. El Nido is a dark town when the power goes out. Not sure if it’s related but there were army personnel outside the police station with scary looking guns. I’m not sure if this was for a different reason or just meant to remind people to behave themselves even if there is no light!

When we returned home we watch a short TV show on the computer and then Steve fell asleep at about 8:30. (He just needed a little nap… that lasted about 11 hours :))

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