Thursday, February 28, 2013

Philippines, Palawan: Island Scenes

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I was fortunate to get a few nice shots traveling the islands attached to Palawan, which is the long, skinny island along the southwest of the Philippine archipelago; most of my trip was marred by rain, however, as a typhoon camped off the west coast of Palawan. The photo above is on a sunset bangka trip from San Vincente to the Blue Cove Island Resort, where I was scheduled to spend three nights. I left the next day, however, because it was terrible: my "cabin" had one small window, one small sliding glass door, and no ventilation so it was almost impossible to sleep; the beach was rocky and seaweed-clogged; and the food was awful.

The rain started up on my bangka trip to Port Barton, and did not stop until the day I took a van ride back across the island and south to Puerto Princesa. Aside from the interminable rain, Port Barton was a nice place. I mostly stayed at Eldorado Sunset Resort:

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Port Barton is a sleepy little town with a few roads, some sandy beaches and a handful of resorts. There are also small shops, flowers, and a bridge which leads to my resort, as well as Greenviews, next door.

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The bridge is at the end of Rizal St., which is the main road of every Filipino town, named in honor of national hero José Rizal, nineteenth century Filipino polymath and reform advocate during the Spanish colonial era. His execution in 1896 ignited the Philippine Revolution.

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Well, on Thursday evening, it looked like the weather Friday would be fine, so I booked an "island-hopping tour" for the next day, 9 AM. For the first hour, the sun was shining, the sea as smooth as a bedsheet. As we left the first island, however, the rains returned. We made it to couple more stops, but after lunch, I called it quits and headed back to Port Barton. You can see the rain and wind in action in some of the photos:

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Above is a shot of my personal island-hopping bangka, operated by Cap'n Win-Win.

On Saturday, I returned to Puerto Princesa, the capital and big city of Palawan, where I took up residence again at Puerto Aventura Resort (about which more later); the beach isn't much--not much more than a place to sit and read a book--but it makes up for it with a nice swimming pool. The accommodation is quite charming:

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Next time: we'll visit Puerto, ride a "tricycle" and visit the city's amazing market.


Tanner Brown said...

You should include some dialogue. In this case, it would be you telling the Blue Cove desk manager how shitty the rooms are and that you're bailing.

Tuttle said...

Not much dialogue to recount. I went swimming first thing, or tried to: I was thirty yards out and it was still rocky, with seaweed fondling me, water only up to my shins. Then I came in for breakfast: overcooked eggs, undercooked bacon, and stale toast. I said to the server, "I want to talk to the manager."
She said, "Wait a minute, sir."
When the bookkeeper Joseph came (the owner was on the mainland), I said, "I don't like it here. I want to pay my bill and I want a bangka to Port Barton."
That's about it, except he tried to charge me 1400 PHP for the cabin, when my email showed clearly it was 1200 per night. The change was made and the rest is history.
Then it started to rain.