My trip to El Nido was one of the many things I didn’t thought would actually happen. Dreams do come true right? Hence after marvelling the Underground River, with much thrill and excitement in our hearts, we took the journey to the Philippines’ last frontier.
Our 10 hour journey to El Nido started on board the Cherry Bus in Puerto Princesa. Since our time was very limited, we woke up as early as 4 am to catch the first bus to El Nido. There are buses and vans available for commute to El Nido. If you have money to spend, vans are the best option since they are the fastest transport to El Nido (5 hours at 500php/person). My initial plan for our trip was to take the Roro bus- 6 hour trip at 380 php for aircon and 290 php for non-aircon but the transport was suspended due to an accident that happened days ago. Hence, we opted for the ordinary non aircon bus (Cherry bus) at 250 php/ person which according to my research would take 8-10 hours.
It was around 5 am when the Cherry bus left from San Jose terminal. We were full of enthusiasm at first thinking that the much coveted El Nido is just a few hours away!
First stop- the town of Roxas.
The stop-over serves as a place where commuters take their breakfast. It was after all early in the morning when the bus took off.
The nice thing about taking a non aircon bus is you get to feel the warm and pleasant atmosphere of the countryside and you get to see the scenic greenery of the province.
The drawback was- the trip was very very long. As the bus ascends its way to El Nido so did our weariness. The enthusiasm slowly faded as the century old with 5 kph/hour speed bus makes several stops to pick up for passengers. We were beaten and derailed. Our only consolation was the thought that despite everything, somehow we shall be reaching our destination, we just don’t know when! haha
Faces of weary passengers.
Bacuit Bay at bay.
And just when we were about to give up, we noticed that the road became smaller and the houses and stores were showing more often. We were at last in El Nido!
After 10 hours of that grueling trip, the bus made its final stop at the town’s market.
We then took a tricycle to take us to The Alternative Inn where we were booked for the night.
THE ALTERNATIVE INN
My research led me to this humble yet cozy place. Our room was located on the ground floor facing the sea- so close that one can really hear the gush of the wind blowing off the waves.I forgot to take a picture of the room(my bad!) but it was decent for only 1300 for 3 persons. The town is shy of electricity hence most pension houses are devoid of tv and aircon.
The Alternative Inn’s signature mini balcony.
They also serve food but it was a bit pricey so we ate around the town for our meals.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the town of El Nido. It was raining hard when we went out.
Long strip of white sand in Bacuit Bay.
These boats are used for island hopping packages which we shall be doing the next day.
We also took the time looking for tour packages for the next day, we were able to haggle a private tour package for 3,000 php. Since our time was limited, the group package was really not an option though it was cheaper.
See my separate blog for our island hopping adventure.