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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Palawan More Time [Day 3]

Hello Day 3! Hello sunshine! (Pleaaaase!)

We scheduled a Taraw climb today, but the by the time we woke up it was already drizzling.

"It's still a go," we consoled ourselves, "it's not raining cats and dogs, not yet." And proceeded to get guides for our supposed climb. We got three, for Php500 each guide.

The rain stopped as we were walking towards the jump-off, and it seemed that Mr Sun is going to show himself, after all. Yay.
See? The weather was okay by this time. Paasa much.
El Nido town proper | Oct 3, 2014

We were at the foot of Taraw when it started to drizzle again.

"Eh, it's not strong a rain yet. Lezgo!" some said, while some murmured their doubts over this whole endeavor. We continued, all of have us has little something within that wanted to see El Nido from that height so much.

 I dunno what happened to the third guide, but there were only two assisting us by that time.

We saw the sharp rocks and exclaimed our "Uh ohs". We nevertheless pushed on, the rain has not yet dampened our spirits. "The view will be worth it!" I told myself, as I clambered over smelly rocks and tried not to fall. Our footholds and handholds were getting slippery by then. As I hoisted myself up on a relatively flat surface, I exclaimed, "I think it will be much easier from here on!"

To which our guide replied, "Nuh uh. The terrain is the same, more or less, throughout the climb."

Oops.

Picture to raise our sodden spirits
Taraw | Oct 3, 2014

That relatively flat surface was covered in vegetation, the greens glistening with the rain that was starting to get stronger. We stopped for a while, and then the downpour came. We had no choice but to agree, "Tara, baba na. It's too dangerous."

Thankfully, we're the sort of people who makes pancakes when life hands us lemons (or something equally crazy), so we were able to make something out of the rain that thwarted our plans. In this case, release our inner child and play.

Joke, photoops lang talaga 'to.
El Nido town proper | Oct 3, 2014
We gave our guides Php500, half of our agreed-on price. Kuya Rolan suggested we make our breakfast quick, so that we can reach Puerto Princesa earlier than planned and have a bit of city tour squeezed in. We agreed.

We checked out of our inn, paid the Php3200 for our rooms and commenced with the almost 5-hours roadtrip to El Nido. The weather was alternately good and bad, and so I was also alternating between "sana tumuloy kami" and "buti na lang di kami tumuloy".

Our first Puerto Princesa destination was the crocodile farm, where we met Rio the dead large croc, and lots of very much alive ones. The entrance to this place was Php40, which housed not only crocodiles, but several other animals as well. Sidenote: talking birds never fail to amuse and baby crocodile skin is smooth and soft.

We also had a group pic holding a baby croc with a taped mouth (2 pics, Php150 each). A very funny thing happened while we were posing with the croc: it peed. Yes, it did, and the camera was able to capture that moment. Of course we bought that picture. Haha

Croc pee, for good luck
Croc farm, Puerto Princesa | Oct 3, 2014

I'm also including this one because Mel's scared face is spot-on.
Croc farm, Puerto Princesa | Oct 3, 2014
After the crocodile farm, we went to Mitra's farm, where we stayed for like, five minutes. You can ride a zipline there, but I don't think you'd get value for money. We had more fun at our next destination, Baker's Hill, where the landscaped area and the cartoon character statues dotting the place lend to some awesome picture taking time.

That's me with 2 rabbits and a duck.
Baker's Hill, Puerto Princesa | Oct 3, 2014
Their pastries, special shout-out to the crinkles, were heavenly. And affordable. It's no wonder the place is packed.

For our last stop before we checked-in into our Puerto Princesa accommodation, Kuya Rolan dropped us off at a crowded souvenir place. You can get lots of cliche pasalubong there-- keychains, food, tshirt, you name it, they probably have it. The price is okay. We went into a pasalubong-shopping frenzy, which is probably the cause of our funds depletion. We spent dinner (in a nice grill place called Kinabuch) computing what was left of our money, and coming to a conclusion that we'd not be able to afford going to Ugong Rock the next day. Huhuhaha.

We paid Kuya Rolan the Php13000 that was for our El-Nido roundtrip ride (plus the mini city tour in Puerto Princesa). We decided that we'd just roam the city aimlessly the next day via the tricycles that were plentiful around.

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For our accommodation that night, kuya Rolan reserved us a room at Arka Travel Lodge (for Php450 each, with free breakfast, and a ride to the airport). Having stayed in a place where the CR has a lot to be desired for, our room's CR, with its hot and cold shower, was a huge boost. The room also had a tv, three double beds and a single one, and towels and soap-- highly recommended to those looking for a balance between comfort and affordability. :)

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