The tide was high so the boat picked us up just outside our house. The sun didn't show up, but it wasn't raining either. So there was no reason for us or the tour guides to cancel the trip. Yey!
We were all in high spirits despite the gloomy weather. A vacation is a vacation, and good vibes should prevail. Hehe. As the boat started moving, we all looked out to the sea, while our friend Ate Peps hummed My Heart Will Go On from the movie, Titanic. To everyone's laughter, especially when we saw that night the video, which our friend JM took, of that boat ride.
It started drizzling, so I kept my camera to protect it from getting wet, but still taking it out from time to time to take photos of the islands that we see. I've never been as close to nature as I was during this trip. I would've wanted to capture as much moments, but I guess I wouldn't enjoy it as much if I would be too busy taking photos. So I settled for a few photos.
Our first stop was Siete Pecados, a popular snorkeling site. Our tour guides distributed snorkeling gear and showed us how to use them. It was my first time to go snorkeling, and I had difficulty putting the gear on. I asked one of the guides to help me. The gear was either too tight or too loose. When I thought it fitted right already, I joined the others in the water.
From Laurice's camera
Another problem. I don't know how to swim! Sure, we were wearing life vests, but I didn't exactly know how to move on water. When I finally did, I was so amazed with what I saw: colorful fishes. I could hear Under the Sea playing in my head. Haha.
Just then, my snorkeling gear loosened a bit, and seawater entered my mouth instead of air. Blech. I had it adjusted, and when it was fine, I went on snorkeling and marveling at the beauty underwater. When I took my head out of the water, I saw that I was already a bit far from our boat. Because I can't swim, I didn't know how to get back. I panicked, but I was laughing. I must've looked crazy. Two friends pulled me back. Hahaha!
Next, we went to Kayangan Lake. Before you can get to the lake, you have to climb quite a number of steps. It's not 724, but it's still a lot. Some of us and I were like, "I thought we're done climbing steps!", followed by laughter. Climbing the steps also meant passing through a forest, where mosquitoes abound, so we slathered our skin with insect repellent.
The steps were muddy and slippery, especially with wet slippers on. I held the wooden railings so I wouldn't fall, and took each step slowly but surely. We reached a small cave. No one knew what was inside that cave, and no one thought going in was advisable. We just saw the stop as a good photo opportunity, so there. Another group photo!
We were half way through. The path to the lake from the cave involved going down, instead of going up, more steps. Going down was easier, of course, but more scary if the ground you're walking on was slippery. Again, the wooden railings kept us from falling.
As we were nearing the lake, it started to rain! J.M. hurried because his camera would get wet. When we got to the lake, we carefully immersed ourselves in the water. We didn't want to jump, because there were rock formations under the water - those at the shallower part of the lake can be seen - and of course, you wouldn't want to hit them, would you? You'd get really hurt.
Swimming in the lake was sooooo refreshing. The water was clean, it was cloudy so the sun didn't burn our faces, and the lake was beautiful. It was indeed like paradise - quiet, peaceful, and far from the hustles and bustles of city life. I didn't have my watch with me, but I think we stayed there for more or less an hour. Before leaving, of course, we had another photo opportunity. J.M. took a beauty pageant-like photo of us.
It was almost noon and we were hungry. We were to eat at a beach, and the food was courtesy of our tour guides. We went to another snorkeling site, where a sunken war ship is located. We did see the ship, but not so clearly. Maybe because it was cloudy and the ship was located deeper in the sea, unlike the beautiful fishes just near the surface.
We didn't stay long in the shipwreck site. We went to a beach (I forgot the name) for our picnic lunch. It was in one of Coron's islands. Our food consisted of grilled fresh seafood and chicken. I' allergic to crabs and shrimps so I just ate the fish and chicken plus slices of tomatoes soaked in soy sauce and chopped onions. Plus steamed white rice. It was YUMMY! I think all of us had second helpings or more. We ate and ate amidst remarks of "mmmm... sarap!" (mmmm... delicious!). It was heaven.
There were a group of guys playing frisbee on the beach and Ate Micah and I joined them for a few throws. I realized I miss the sport. If only my schedule would allow me, I would want to play again.
The beautiful beach was of course perfect place for another - guess what - photo opportunity! Yeah we're such camwhores. So off we went for crazy group shots.
Photo: J.M. Tuazon
After having lunch, we went to I think one or two more spots, before heading to the Twin Lagoon. On our way to the Twin Lagoon, it rained quite hard. The wind was cold. But we still went on. No bad weather could really stop us! Hahaha! We even sang rain-related songs while the rain poured. Ate Micah even showed us some basic pole dancing. We were crazy!
At the Twin Lagoon, we were in for another relaxing swim. The water was clean... and cold. But swimming in it was fun. We sang songs while swimming, including our alma mater's hymn. Hahaha! The other tourists were probably amused (I'd like to think they were), or they thought we were crazy. Hahaha!
That concluded our island hopping. Our boat dropped us off at the port located at the market. The tide was low, so we couldn't be dropped off near our house. From the port, we walked to the house, stopping by a bakery to buy cheese bread and Spanish bread for our snack. I really like bread from local bakeries. They're so yummy, and tastes homemade.
We took turns bathing. We then decided to eat dinner at a nice place, so we headed to Mt. Tapyas Hotel and ate at the resto there. Let me clarify that it's not a hotel as in a five-star hotel. It was a simple but nice place with yummy food. We sat down for a hearty dinner. Perfect to end our day full of fun and adventures.
Food is not yet served. Hence, the empty plates.
We were bound for Manila the next day. I think none of us wanted to go home yet.