Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Palawan Arrival

Palawan was our final destination in the Philippines and it was worth the wait. We had wanted to visit the scuba diving haven of El Nido whilst there, however, it was a pretty long journey and as we plan to visit the Philippines again during our travels, we figured we would save it for later!

Our accomodation was close to the downtown area of Puerto Princesca City, named 'Hibiscus Gardens'. The rooms were large and of a simple design, we almost wished we had stuck to native huts, however these are almost impossible to find in Puerto (or so we were told). The surrounding garden however was wonderful!

We checked out the downtown area upon arrival and were pleased that it was much less touristy than Bohol. Local restaurants and shops lined the streets, which pleased us greatly after a week of searching through German/Swiss inspired menus for some traditional pinoy food!

There were also numerous wood and craft shops, which made the most amazing intricately designed native style furniture, jewellery and clothing. I wanted EVERYTHING! I know where I am going to furnish my house!

Much of the furniture from the shops was actually situated in the garden of our hotel.

Our first full day arrived and we had to accept that here in Peurto we would have to be full-on tourist with a guide, travelling about in a little van...oh how we hated such people when we were driving through muddy dirt roads, soaked through in Bohol (this story will come soon). However, we couldnt find a scooter here and were advised that some of the tourist locations required registration, therefore it was better to go with a tour guide.

Our first tour was to the Subterranean underground river. The river is the longest navigatable river of its type (underground) in the world and was currently (or at the time) in the running for the title of one of the "7 natural wonders of the world".  So here it is:

Our new friends for the day!

Paul was the light man

Our guide was awesome and we actually made some new friends, one of which might have wanted to adopt me (theres a first for everything), some locals from Manila. After our little tour of the cave, during which the boat guide was cracking a joke a minute, we indulged in some delicious Philippine BBQ and headed back to the hotel. 

We were hoping to go Splunking on the way home, however the rain prevented such an event. However, if you ever go on the river tour you should definitely ask your tour guide to stop at the Ugong rock and give splunking a try. An 84 year old American woman did it so why can't we! 

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