And so the adventure began. We escaped mainland Luzon and rode a boat to Palaui Island. The island is said to be rich in flora and fauna. The relatively large island had dramatic coastlines, with hills and cliffs jutting out into the open Pacific. Beaches line the shores, and there was green everywhere.
The waves got rougher as we moved further, and more smaller islands showed up. There were rock islands, that made you feel that you were invading Jurassic Park. There was no human life in sight, no boats, no tourists, no activity.
Suddenly, the view of a lighthouse came into sight. This was the famous Cape Engano Lighthouse, regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country. Built in 1888, the lighthouse served ships crossing the Babuyan Channel and the Pacific Ocean.
We hit a coral sand beach that was the start of our shortcut trek to Cape Engano. Our boatman tells us that most hike from another entry point in Palaui Island for two to three hours to get to the lighthouse. We're glad we took the shortcut, since we didn't have much time.
We found a trail going up, but before that, we were treated to this wonderful meadow scene. It reminded me Caramoan at some point. I wouldn't know if Batanes looked the same, since I have never been there.
The trail going up was orchestrated, as there were even steps along the way. The local government may have set it up to promote tourism. We were the only souls in sight, so I guess, it is still a relatively unknown destination.
After a grueling climb due to the heat of the sun, we made it to the lighthouse. And what a sight it was!
I feel that we were transported back in time. The lighthouse at Cape Engano was beautiful indeed, andvery mysterious. The complex was relatively huge as well, compared to other lighthouses in the country. I don't know if it was still in operation, because there was no caretaker.
We took a while to take in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy the magnificent views. From the lighthouse, one could also see a better view of Dos Hermanos, two islands that we passed by on the way to the cape.
The lighthouse was a perfect place for a photo shoot, so we took as many pictures possible. It was also a great place to meditate, as you will feel you are really a million miles away from civilization.
The 360 degree view of Palaui Island was breathtaking as well. You could see the rugged beauty of the island.
We spent almost an hour on top, and decided to descend since we wanted to explore more islands. We had one last look at the mysterious lighthouse, that seemed to put us in a trance. We went down with high spirits, rejuvenated from a very satisfying excursion.
We took some time to swim at the coral beach. The water was clear and refreshing. It was perfect after an exhausting hike up ad down the lighthouse.
It was already 2:30PM and we still wanted to go to another beach, that was already being touted as the Boracay of this part of the Philippines. We left Palaui Island and Cape Engano with a promise of a return.