“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
It was a hot and humid day, perfect time to laze on the beach, yet the sea was restless and the waves were stronger than ever. It was Tour A’s turn, after an exciting Tour C the day before.
Our first stop was the Seven Commandos Beach. It would have been perfect for snorkeling as the water was very clear, yet the current was strong and the beautiful marine life were too far from the shore. I wished Kapitan dropped us off before we docked the boat. Sigh.
The next destination was the Small Lagoon. We stopped a number of meters from the lagoon’s entrance, then swam our way to the lagoon. It’s quite ironic that this was named small, because it actually wasn’t. Once inside, I was amazed to find myself surrounded by the rocky cliffs sprinkled with unknown species of plants. Rovel told us that we could snorkel farther inside the lagoon, something that my mom didn’t want to do anymore. Together with my brother and my father, we went farther with a few stops in between, basking in the beauty of this magnificent place that would make you realize that there must be one great Creator who made all these.
Supposedly, our next halt would be Simizu Beach, yet as the harsh waves loved to rock our boat, we were taken to the beach near Secret Lagoon. No snorkeling before lunch this time around, as there were a lot of boats docked along the shore. Yet, it was fantastic to see another piece of great scenery ahead of you, while engaging in conversations with your family and newly-found friends.
Lunch was another great meal. I feasted on the grilled squid and fish, then topped it off with a great deal of watermelon slices. Yum!
Soon after, Rovel and Kuya Rudy showed us the way to the Secret Lagoon. Another great feeling dwelt in me as I found myself surrounded by the rocky formations. As I stood there, Rovel told me there were crocodiles, a nerve of panic sprawled across me. He was just joking, and wanted to point out the crocodile-like rock formation on one side of the cliff. This lagoon was good, but after being taken to the small lagoon earlier, I found that this was a lot less spectacular than the first one.
The last place that we went to was the Big Lagoon. As we entered the lagoon, our boat stopped. It stopped. Kuya Rudy had to paddle our way around the boat. Rovel took me and my brother for another snorkeling expedition as Kapitan and my father tried to figure out what’s wrong with the boat. Perhaps it’s one of the best things that being stranded in the lagoon can bring — you have time to snorkel! A lot of fish cross your path, and you see a few colorful corals here and there.
We went back to our boat, finding that the engine wasn’t working. We were now officially stranded. Wow. This was the first time that I was ever stranded at sea. Did you know that I love beaches but I’m scared of the sea? Oh well. Life happens. At least we were in the lagoon and not being cradled by the waves.
Rovel called for a back-up boat for rescue. Less than an hour later (yup, the islands are that far from the town), our boat was being pulled by another boat to bring us back to the town. Yipee! While saltwater splashed against my face as the harsh waves hit against our boat, I couldn’t help but pray that the rope linking our boat to the boat in front wouldn’t break.
The sun began to set as we approached Cadlao Island, that island marking that we were already near town. It was a beautiful sunset — another good thing about being stranded at sea. A wave of relief spread across me knowing that we’re finally safe.
As I entered the hotel where we were staying at, I was asked by the staff how I was. I was somewhat confused with the greeting, as we Filipinos usually just say hi. Apparently, they knew about us getting stranded at sea, and perhaps the whole town did. Hahaha. They were ready to give us the comforts we badly needed — a warm shower and hot tea or coffee.
All in all, I had a blast in El Nido’s island hopping tours. 😀 Thank you Nido Cruiser for a wonderful experience!
Happy travels! 🙂
Disclaimer: Nido Cruiser was the travel agency we hired for island hopping. I am in no way related to this agency. I am just a satisfied customer. 🙂 Note that we rented our own boat, as we are already nine in the group. Typically, tour A costs P700 per person, while tour C costs P900 per person. You may contact Rovel Abello here for more information.