Finally, I am on a journey to one of the most desired tourist hotspots in the country. And it begins in this small plane, similar to the plane I took to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, only more luxurious. I was so anxious to land safe and sound in the northern part of Palawan, in a place called El Nido.
Riding the small aircraft from ITI was an experience. I was on the look out for the islands of Palawan from above. I was disappointed though that there were a lot of clouds that covered my view. The descent was also bumpy because the winds were strong. I was happy we landed safe on solid ground.
We were received in the arrival lounge of El Nido Resorts where we were served some native snacks (kakanin). Afterwards, we were led to a speedboat that would take us to our banca. It was probably low tide, so we had to take the speedboat.
As soon as I saw the landscape, I was off my seat. It started to rain as we began the boat ride to the resort, thus, the view was again not good. But it gave a misty feel after the rain passed, making the scenery very dramatic.
I was actually disappointed at the landscape, since I didn't see anything new. I've been to Coron, Caramoan, even in Krabi and Phi Phi where I saw limestone formations more imposing and impressive. I guess I expected more from El Nido.
The resort was named after the island where it is situated. The island looked huge, and there was forest and towering limestone rocks behind the resort.
We were booked at the Miniloc Resort, which was the cheaper option. It was mid afternoon when we approached the resort, and the water was perfectly calm. I expected the resort to look a bit old, like Pearl Farm, and that was what I got. The newer and more modern one was Lagen.
I liked the charm though of Miniloc, and it seemed laid back. The rooms were fitted in native materials, and ours had a second level. There were two more beds upstairs. I guess this is what they call a family room.
We got a SeaView room, since the Water Cottages, those cottages on stilts, were already fully booked. There was a day bed in front of our room which was pleasant since there was a nice view of the sea.
After settling down and unpacking, we moved to the Activity Pavilion for our first "activity" - kayaking at the Small Lagoon. We were supposed to go to the Big Lagoon as well, but the tide was low I think and we didn't have enough time. In any case, we kayaked and snorkeled in the Small Lagoon, which is very near our resort (Big and Small Lagoons are in Miniloc Island).
We weren't able to take pictures, since it began to rain again when we were kayaking. My daughter was scared at first, but she soon began to appreciate the surroundings. Kayaking in the Small Lagoon was quite calming, though the rain was getting strong. We went back to the boat, and continued snorkeling from there. Despite the rain, we had a great start in El Nido. More posts up next.