El Nido – Our Journey

El Nido Text - Our Journey

My favourite place in the world is El Nido and I am finally back! As soon as we get closer to somewhere I recognised I instantly am in awe of how much El Nido has changed. I was thinking maybe my minds playing tricks on me and I don’t remember as much as I used to. We arrive at the hotel and I want to go and explore to see if I am right and again I am shocked how much everything has changed. There are so many more hotels, restaurants and generally more western looking shops. I was only here a year and a half ago, how could it of changed this much in that time?!

El Nido  - Our Journey

That evening we met up with Sasha and Simon and headed to the Outpost hostel for some food and drinks and to book our trip for the next day. This place is amazing, brand new, great food and cheap trips! I was beginning to think that change was a good thing for El Nido. Unfortunately the next day it rained all day and we postponed our island hopping trip but as we had a private boat we didn’t loose any money. We spent the day in bed, watching films and updating the blog and doing ‘Life admin’. 

 

Island hopping day!! First stop was to the Big Lagoon, which our boat literally drove in and drove out as it was very busy. We then went to Shimizu Island for some snorkelling but the current was so strong I thought I was going to drown!

El Nido  - Our Journey

Our highlight of the day was the secret  lagoon, we arrived here later than we expected and we were the only ones here. Me and Olly became the dream team and kayaked though the cave to reach it. We stopped paddling and just floated around, amazed at how clear the water was and how blue it was. It was amazing!!!

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

We kayaked over to a secluded beach and of course a photo shoot broke out. This boat trip was amazing and I was reminded why I loved this beautiful place so much. 

El Nido - Our Journey

The next day I demanded a beach day to top up the tan, we headed to Las Cabanas beach which was the closest one to El Nido and spent the day chilling and swimming and not really doing much. As the sun was setting we headed to Beach bar to grab a bean bag and a few drinks and this is where we met Ali, Mo and Patricia. These guys had a drone and drone wars took place which was cute to watch as Olly and Mo were teaching each other about their drones. I didn’t care too much as I found two puppies and instantly my day was made.

 

We figured out that we were all on the same ferry to Coron together and planned to see them there. The ferry was a 5 hour fast boat at 7:45 am which I wasn’t too happy about but once we got on board it actually wasn’t bad. I couldn’t even feel the fact I was on boat and passed out while Olly took photos of me 🙃

El Nido  - Our Journey

El Nido is so beautiful, but I can already see how it will slowly lose some of this beauty. The amount of tourists they put on boat trips, the amount of new hotels going up and the amount of money things are costing, not to mention they now have a functioning airport. It’s loosing it’s untouched feel already and it is 100% due to how much the Philippines has blown up on social media and bloggers promoting it. This place is still as popular as ever, the hotels are still booked up weeks in advance and it’s still people’s number one place to see here in the Philippines. Not all of it is bad, every restaurant is adamant on not using plastic straws and reducing their waste. This can only mean good things and hopefully the government won’t have to close it like they have Boracay.  

El Nido  - Our Journey

 

Coron is the last island we are visiting before we head back to Manila to catch our flight to Sydney. We tried to look for flights to Siargao as Olly really wanted to go surfing here, but Boracay has closed and everything has sky rocketed in price. Coron is also another island neither of us have visited. I enjoy going to new places much more as I don’t have any expectations or anything to compare it too. So far every place we have moved on too has seemed to top the last place. Hopefully Coron doesn’t disappoint and tops what El Nido has to offer. 

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Port Barton – Our Journey

We have landed in Puerto Princesa!! This is our third week in the Philippines and this was only our second flight, which I am very impressed by. Last year I did 9 flights within 2 weeks in the Philippines to get around as there are so many islands to visit. We arrived at the airport and boy has it changed since I have last been here, I didn’t recognise anything! We found a tour company who would take us to Port Barton in a van with a few other people. We got to the van and there were already 12 people squished inside, plus bags. I get the seat near the front and push Olly into the back where the bags go, not enough room for a human. I was already in a bad mood as I wanted to sit next to Olly for this 3 hour drive and the journey is not pleasant. I knew this drive was bad but I clearly had chosen to forget how bad it was. About half an hour in Olly shouts for me and I turn around and he’s saying he needs to get out, I turn back around as I was thinking he’s joking but then he shouts to me again ‘Milly I need to get out’. As soon as I saw his face I knew he wasn’t joking. I signalled to the driver to pull over and call us a private car. Olly gets travel sickness anyway but being cramped in the back with no way of seeing where we are going, no air con, 13 other people and bad roads- It was a recipe for disaster. As soon as we pull over another couple get out and ask if we can split the private car with them as they didn’t feel well either. It’s situations like this I don’t care how much money things are, as long as Olly felt OK that was my main concern. We all jumped in another car, just the four of us and we all fell asleep within half an hour. 

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I had herd Port Barton was a beautiful fishing village which broke up the journey to El Nido. I also herd there wasn’t much here but I didn’t really think too much in to it. If I have learnt anything from being in the Philippines, it is to not expect anything. We arrived at our accommodation which were 3 rooms in the middle of nowhere. We are told that there is only electricity from 5:30 till midnight and that goes for the whole town, so if we want to sleep, make sure we fall asleep before midnight so we don’t notice the fan going off. HAHA..THIS..IS..GREAT. This is also the first time I haven’t even looked at what Olly is booking and he’s booked us here for 4 nights. Our first evening we took a stroll into the main street and got something to eat but we were pretty tired so we headed back to make the most of the fan. I have said to Olly on this trip, I need to get back into the backpacker head space and I need to not be such a princess but this place has me waking up sitting straight up and screaming. I am either screaming because there is a millipede on me or a mango from the tree outside and has fallen and hit our tin roof which makes it sound like someone has fallen through the ceiling in the bathroom. Yes I did make Olly check if there was someone in the bathroom on the first night and no I do not feel stupid.

Our second day in Port Barton was much better. We had arranged with the couple we have travelled here with, Sasha and Simon, that we would rent a private boat and do an island hopping tour. We all met on the beach and jumped on our boat and headed to the first snorkel spot. The water was so clear!! Oh my goodness it was incredible! As I am the biggest wimp known to man I still make Olly hold my hand, just incase I see a shark and he pointed out all the clown fish! I have always wanted to see a bright orange clown fish and I finally saw an adult one!! It was amazing!

We headed off to German Island which was just out of this world, we saw the biggest turtle which literally turned and posed for me and I reckon it was bigger than Olly is tall. As we were on a private tour we asked our driver to take us to the spots where the tourists weren’t. WOW did he pull through! He took us to his friends island who let us visit and there was no one there. The crew started to cook our lunch which was fish and veg whilst we took photos. Naturally Olly’s drone caught the attention of the locals and some kids ran over to come and play with us.

An afternoon of more snorkelling and swimming was just what we needed and we dropped Sasha and Simon back off at their accommodation. On the way back to our place we stopped at the sandbar to take some drone shots while there was no one around. At this point me and Olly had drank some beers and were tired. Olly starts to land the drone and shouts ‘ catch it’ to which I panicked. ‘What do you mean catch it! No I DONT want to’. He ignore this and keeps telling me to catch it so I put my hand up. Right as I am about to grab it he shouts ‘ turn it over’….WHAT! Its so strong I cant turn it over, its naturally trying to take off again and me being an idiot start to bring my other hand up to help bring it down. This was a bad idea and my fingers met the drone blades while they were full power, I didn’t even feel a thing. I brought my hand down and was so worried I broke the drone I didn’t even look at my hand, I handed the drone to Olly and turned around. At this point my driver has run over shouting and 4 of his friends are also running over. I looked down and see my whole hand covered in blood dripping on the sand. I couldn’t even see what had happened and I was still trying to see if the drone was OK. The Filipino’s brought a first aid kit over and kept trying to get me to sit down but I was insisting I was fine. At that point I got extremely dizzy and had to squat down as I didn’t want to sit in the sand. I turn to look at my hand and I still cant feel any thing but I can see a lot of blood. They wrap me all up and we get back on the boat. It isn’t until we are right about to dock I burst into tears as suddenly the adrenaline wares off and all I can feel is so much pain in my fingers. I am crying my eyes out and all I can do is hold my hand up to stop the bleeding. Olly tries to do anything he can to calm me down which involved chips and a milkshake and him telling me to breathe. The pain was unbearable and all I could think was, what an idiot I was. Why did I bring my other hand up!! I hurt two fingers but as I haven’t had an injury in years I just freaked out and I wouldn’t even let Olly clean them as it hurt so much. 

Worth this shot though !

The next day called for some much needed rest and a lazy day on the beach, which is exactly what I have been after. I just had to slice my fingers open to get it! We topped up our tans, drank on the beach and chilled. We managed to explore more of Port Barton by just walking around. We didn’t want to get a moped as this was the time we set to relax and not do much!

Not having wifi for a few days was really nice and refreshing. I know how lucky I am anyway to have Olly in my life but these few days put it all into perspective for me. He lets me watch Drag Race, he calms me down when theres a bug on me, he investigates the mango intruder and he mends me when I am ill. I am so lucky to have him in my life. Not only are we 99% of the time on the same page, but he is all I need to make me happy or cheer me up in what ever situation and its times like this which make you really appreciate this and makes me want to hold on to him even tighter than I do.

 

Next stop El Nido