Approx 364 Miles
Day 1 - 2
4 months in the making, almost went alone (stupid typhoon ) but became a friendster 2nd-3rd degree outing. A regular travel buddy invited officemates who invited former officemates who invited a boyfriend. Invited an ex-colleague, who tagged along a lost college friend. Being social have never been fun :)
First major travel by sea. 10 hour journey onboard superferry. Hmmm are those chicken pens at the stairs? Can't sleep with the lights on, especially if the light is just 2-feet away from your face. It's not that the ship have low ceiling, but my double deck bed is probably too high. Jason Mraz is singing "Im Your's" In a playlist loop. Dudu dudu dudut.
Never seen a sunset so vivid. Burning orange orb sinking at the fluid horizon. Pitch black night at the deck. Never ever seen so many stars at night! Look to the left, it's Milky way's arm! Out comes the Holga. Blue flash, red flash, yellow flash. I think that's a dolphin following the ship.
Yawn. Its Dawn. WOW! Entering the Coron group of Islands feels like being inside a windows wall paper. Towering limestone cliffs, sun peeking somewhere the foggy morning, birds flying and salty sweet scent of the air. Unfortunately, no camera can capture the moment. Glad we took the ship and not the plane going here (as if there was any)
Breakfast at the Inn. Yum tapsilog!
9AM Settled and breakfasted at the Inn. Now time to find a boat for island hoping. My ever reliable contact (cum cook/house keeper/reservations officer/ kargador & town guide) Went with us and helped find an affordable boatman. We get a crew of 3 that comes with tattered looking life vests but then again, like I said, it's supposed to be affordable.
First stop, Maquinit Hot Springs, which I think is purposely redundantly named to emphasize its nature. It truly is a HOT hot Spring. Seriously I think my eggs were boiled.
Next Siete Pecados which translates 7 Sins. A group of islets with rich fauna but unfortunately bleached corals. First time I went Island hopping by swimming. Training for Survivor Philippines. Chased a school of Nemos.
Highlight of the day is next, Kayangan Lake. A crystal clear lagoon inside an island. Think Leo DeCaprio's The Beach but only better. Looking for the cast of Dyesebel but no luck. Sigh. The stairs are high and steep going up the pass, but rewarding once you're at the top. The hike and the view literally and figurative takes your breath away. Lake is blue with visibility of about 20 feet! Waded and snorkeled around for about an hour before we call it quits. There is a hole/cliff at the middle. Suddenly out of nowhere you can't see the bottom! Inihaw na Isda for lunch by the beach. Boodle Fight style.
Next is the much hype hidden lagoon. Which you have pass an underwater tunnel to get into -- during high tide. We came at low tide though. Not much you can do unless you're a strong swimmer. No beach to rest.
Last stop, Banol Beach. Our own private patch of beach. Only a couple of make shift cottages and no other people. White powdery sands, blue calm waters, generous sunshine, isolated beach & wacky travel buddies assures us of an almost perfect vacation (perfect with booze)
Back to town at 5pm. Walking around this sleepy town is relaxing. So relaxing my buddies fell asleep at first contact with their beds. Didn't even touch the Tequila we brought. Amused myself by watching "town notice" on TV.