My unforgettable EL NIDO trip

El Nido is a hidden paradise located in the Bacuit Bay, Philippines. Since the first time I heard about it, I googled it many times, got so fascinated by the photos I saw and really really curious about the real thing. I just had to go there myself! So on July 2012, I did.

Bulan Juli 2012 gue berangkat ke El Nido, sebuah surga tersembunyi di Filipina. Gue terbang ke Pulau Palawan, dan dari ibukotanya (Puerto Princesa), gue naik bus malam bernama Bus RORO dengan harga Rp.110.000 per orang. Ini cara termudah dan termurah untuk sampai di El Nido, tapi bukan cara paling nyaman…lebih tepatnya lagi, ini cara yang sedikit nyiksa! haha!

We flew to Palawan Island, and from Puerto Princesa (Palawan Capital), we took the only night bus to El Nido, called ‘RORO Bus’ (480 Pesos/person). The bus looked normal, until we got on it!

First of all, some of the windows were gone and they replaced it with a plastered plastic. It caused a loud noise along the way, especially if you sit next to it. I did! I had to put on some earplugs to both ears. That almost didn’t help. The second problem was, the driver speed and the road is winding and full oh holes! He didn’t seem to care about the route condition. He kept on speeding like a mad man on that super bumpy winding road, so people were falling off their seats many times during the 6 hours ride. HA! At some stage, lots of the tourists including me started to laugh pretty hard. It was CRAZY! My purpose to sleep on the night bus was a mission failed. I nearly couldn’t sleep at all from 10 pm until 4 am when we finally arrived.

Gue kasih tau ya kenapa nyiksa. Bayangin aja, dalam jarak tempuh 6 jam (10 malam-4 pagi), kita berada di bus yang melewati jalanan berbelok belok penuh lobang dengan kecepatan tinggi!!! Supirnya ngebut nggak kenal ampun dan nggak doyan ngerem. HAAJAAR terus! Orang-orang termasuk kita mulai berjatuhan dari kursi berkali-kali. Dalam satu momen, turis-turis bule mulai ngakak ketawa saking lucunya. Habis ngakak mulai bete, terus ketawa lagi. Seru tapi gila dan serem. Dijamin nggak bisa tidur dalam bus malam yang satu ini. Supir lintas Sumatra gue rasa kalah sinting dibanding supir Roro Bus ini. Dan satu lagi, banyak kaca jendela yang sudah pecah dan diganti plastik yang diplester. Ribut banget bunyi anginnya. SADIS.

Welcome to El Nido! My first impression was, why is it so dark? I couldn’t see anything…I could tell that we were on a market (it smelled like a fish market), and I vaguely spotted some tricycles waiting for us getting off the bus. The rest was just pitch black. Later I found out that the electricity in El Nido runs from 14:00 to 06:00, but at some unlucky nights (like this one), black out happens all night long. It was a complete darkness all over the island. O ow. We straight away looked for our place to stay, with the only source of light were from the small lamps of the tricycle we took.

Sampai di El Nido, suasana gelap gulita. Oh ternyata disini listrik nggak selalu nyala. Subuh ini salah satunya dimana listrik mati sehari semalam. Dalam kegelapan, ada lampu-lampu dari angkutan roda tiga yang menawarkan jasa mengantar ke tengah kota. Kita segera minta diantarkan ke tempat penginapan yang sudah kita pesan sebelumnya.

When we reached the house of Samson and his wife (our booked home stay), it was quite creepy. It’s a bit far from any other houses, and I could see the shadows of this huge cliff standing next to me and I also could hear animal noises coming out from there. It’s scary!! We threw some pebbles to the house, honked the tricycle, and made noises trying to awake Samson. After a while, the tricycle driver realized and told us that we’ve been messing with the wrong house. Samson’s house was the one behind it. SUPER LOL~ That explained why I heard some people woke up from that house but nobody came out. HA! Samson finally showed up, and with the help of some candles he showed us our rooms, which required many stairs to climb. (It was on the very top of a small hill). GREAT!

Rumah penginapan yang kita cari berhadapan dengan tebing tinggi yang ada hutan lebatnya. Ada suara-suara binatang keluar dari hutan itu…hiyy…serem…trus yang punya rumah lama banget lagi buka pintunya. PLUS, kita sempet ngetok-ngetok dan manggil-manggil rumah yang salah, rumah tetangga sebelahnya. Berantakan banget deh kondisi subuh itu. Pas akhirnya yang punya penginapan keluar, kita dibawa dulu untuk mendaki ke atas sebuah bukit kecil untuk menemukan kamarnya dengan bantuin cahaya satu buah lilin. TOP.

My goodness. What is this place, I thought. Why did I decide to go all the way here? No electricity, creepy sounds, crazy ride. Argghh. I found the answer in the morning and soon realized that I made the right choice. When I opened the window of my room, I could see El Nido from a high elevation. Amazing view. It makes you feel like not going anywhere and just stay in your room, reading a book or listening to your fave music or something while gazing at the view. It was raining that morning, so we cancelled our hopping island tour and just took a day to enjoy town.

Gue nggak berani langsung tidur begitu masuk kamar karena parno. Ini gelap jangan-jangan ada tikus atau ular. OMG horor amat ya. Akhirnya ketiduran juga sih. Begitu kebangun, gue langsung buka pintu jendela dan tanda tanya tentang tempat inipun terjawab. Udara dingin masuk ke dalam kamar, terdengar burung-burung dari hutan bernyanyi, pemandangan indah terpampang luas dan hujan rintik-rintik. Sempurna. Rasa lelah dari perjalanan bus gila semalam terbayar. Rasanya pengen baca buku, denger musik, nyemil, sambil bengong melihat keluar seharian.

El Nido is a very small, somnolent town, walkable in 15 minutes (yet we took a tricycle for 5 Pesos each 😀 ), backed by looming cliffs and fronted by the great sweep of Bacuit Bay. According to Wikipedia, El Nido was quite remote from most of the inhabited islands in the Philippines. Its pristine beauty was hidden to the world until 1979 when a sea accident happened in Bacuit Bay. As the story goes, “a tuna line disabled a dive boat’s propeller in the middle of the night forcing it to drop anchor in an inlet. The following morning, the divers woke up to an amazing view of skyscraping dark cliffs, thick green forest, white sand beaches, sparkling water, and rising above it, a series of magnificently sculpted jade islands.

Begitu hujan reda, kita turun untuk jalan-jalan di kota El Nido. Ini kota kecil banget, cuma ada beberapa belokan doang dan bisa di kelilingin dalam 15-30 menit. Semua bangunan yang ada solid tapi sederhana. ATMpun NGGAK ADA disini! Panik banget awalnya karena kita nggak bawa duit banyak. Gimana coba? Ternyata untuk bisa ambil duit disini, caranya ialah menukar uang cash pakai kartu kredit di seorang ibu-ibu yang kerja di pom bensin. Ibu ini punya alatnya dan dia minta bayaran 5 persen dari jumlah uang yang kita ambil.

Anyway, we tried to find ATM machine in town and couldn’t find any. (Remember this part if you’re planning to go here). We panicked! We asked around and were told that the only place we could cash in was at the gas station. There, using our credit card with around 5 percent interest, we could retract some money from a lady working at the gas station office, equipped with a calculator and a credit card machine on a table. She asked us to return the next day to take the amount of money we ‘ordered’. That’s relieving.

At noon we were walking on the beach, rented a Kayak and went Kayaking to some small islands near by. Ah, it’s so relaxing, peaceful and beautiful! We saw some sea eagles soared above our heads on the way. We really took our time and didn’t realize that it was already getting dark and the rain poured down heavily all over again. We were in the middle of the ocean, wet, trying to row our way back to the town’s beach while the dark fog chasing behind us. Nobody wants to get trapped in the fog. At one point, our kayak got stuck on a shallow reef and couldn’t be moved. Help us, God! It was like a movie! Thank goodness, we made it. Such an UNFORGETTABLE moment!

Sorenya kita ke pantai dan menyewa kayak untuk bisa ke pulau-pulau kecil yang deket dari El Nido. Widih turis bahagia banget nih gue. Mendayung pelan-pelan sambil menikmati alam. Ada beberapa burung elang terbang bebas di angkasa dan makin lama kita makin jauh meninggalkan El Nido. Setelah mampir ke beberapa pulau mini dengan pasir putih dan air super jernih, kita niat balik lagi ke kota begitu tiba-tiba langit mendadak gelap, hujan turun DERAS dan kabut mulai turun.OMG! Kita ngayuh secepat-cepatnya di tengah lautan, berlomba dengan kabut yang mengejar cepat. Ditengah jalan, kayak sempat terjebak di atas karang besar yang menyembul di tengah air. OOoo noooo… Untungnya kita akhirnya bisa bebas dan bisa sampai di pantai. Terimakasih Tuhan. Itu benar-benar tak terlupakan.

At night we had dinner at the most famous café in El Nido, called ‘El Nido Boutique and Art café,’ runs by a Western lady for almost 15 years. That’s the same place where we rent our Kayak earlier. At the ground floor, they provide almost everything a traveler needs, from tour packages to swim wear and souvenirs. They used to be one of the places beside the gas station where people can retract money. But for some reason, not anymore. We dined in comfort and style on the breezy 2nd floor terrace and listened to good music. I forgot what I ordered. I usually remember, but I think it didn’t matter at that time. We didn’t drawn in the waters. That’s more important.

Malamnya kita makan di ‘El Nido Boutique and Art café’, sebuah cafe berusia 15 tahun yang paling terkenal dan rame oleh turis bule. Makanannya enak dan suasananya juga oke. Kita membahas momen nyaris terjabak kabut di tengah badai dan di tengah laut tadi. Puji Tuhan selamat. Besok waktunya untuk petualangan baru di EL Nido. Nggak sabar!

We needed some energy for our hopping island tour the next day. I heard the islands were remarkably pretty. Samson had arranged it for us, and we were hoping not to rain. Time to rest…Goodnight El Nido.

you can leave your comments and kindly subscribe to my blog, guys! thank you:)

 

discovering a good place is like finding a good book in the library -olivelatuputty.com -@shiningliv

Tags:  

4 comments to My unforgettable EL NIDO trip

  • Wilca  says:

    how much is the price po in Samson? and do u have any contact detail on Samson? thank u

    • Olive  says:

      hei Wilca, thanks for reading my blog… the price there is around 1000-2000 Php/night,, the name of the place is El Nido Viewdeck and if the phone number is still the same you can contact Phone: +63 916 607 6577 or Manila Booking Office: +63 905 857 9558. Have fun in EL Nido and don’t forget to follow my blog as well:) Cheers!

  • Donoute  says:

    Niceee… Really want to go there now….

    • Olive  says:

      you should, it’s beautiful there:)

Post Your Comment