I woke up at 8:30 this morning and got ready. By 9am Methzie was still in bed and not wanting to get out.
She asked for me to get her a napkin so I handed her a piece of tissue paper. Turns out it was the wrong kind of napkin. Yup, I’m here in paradise fetching feminine hygiene products from the front desk. I went to the front desk and discreetly pulled one of the girls to the side and explained the predicament.
It was while on my way down there that I encountered my second little surprise of the day – rain.
After almost two weeks of sun, the rain finally made an appearance. Of course it waited for the very day we were heading up north to the resort town of El Nido.
So, yeah, it was an interesting start to the day.
When we arrived last night we visited what I thought was the main street in town. Turns out that was the main tourist street with restaurants and bars and that Puerto Princessa is actually a much larger city.
I say this because I just assumed the bus terminal was a quick 10 minute trike ride away. We could leave at 9:30, get to the bus terminal, grab a quick bite to eat and then board the 10am bus.
Well, turns out the terminal is actually a good half hour away across town and, except for some small stalls, there are no places to eat.
We arrived just after 10am and I was pleased to find out the bus hadn’t yet arrived so we wouldn’t have to wait til noon for the next one.
I went searching for some food but was coming up dry. We went to a little stall and ordered fries for Methzie and some spring rolls for me. I knew it would take awhile as the girl had to fire up her deep fryer so I walked over to another stall to pick up some chips for the ride.
Upon coming back I found out there were no spring rolls and I was basically left with eating potato chips for breakfast.
We hopped on our bus around 10:30 anticipating its’ quick departure.
After about 15 minutes I decided to hop off the bus and try one last time to find something to eat. While keeping one eye on the bus to see if the driver was boarding I scanned some siomai (dim sum) at the stall. I bought 8 pieces (60 pesos, $1) and reboarded the bus. A minute later the bus departed – perfect timing!
We drove five minutes and stopped at a gas station for 10 minutes.
Hmmmm… this is gonna be a long bus ride…
The ride was very bumpy even on the paved parts partially due to the fact that our driver was speeding like a mad man.
The bus stopped for 10 minutes three different times so there was a chance to use the washroom and grab something to nibble on.
Finally after 6 1/2 hours we pulled into El Nido as it was beginning to get dark.
Our hotel room for the night is on the main strip so it’s a little noisy but we’re only here for one night.
Funny thing about our room is that our bathroom has a little window that opens up to a bar next door.
I kid you not – you open the window and you can see bar stools and I can actually reach in and open their bathroom door.
Crazy! Needless to say we’ll be keeping that window locked.
After settling in we headed out with umbrellas in tow into the rainy street in search of some dinner. This was easier said than done.
A couple places we went in had a totally americanized menu and a couple more had no more seating available.
We walked further down the street for about 10 minutes and it quickly became apparent that the restaurants were few and far between.
Instead of treading back, we just grabbed a trike to bring us back to where we started and then walked in a different direction.
After about 45 minutes of walking in the rain I was so frustrated that when we saw a hotel on the far corner with a restaurant we just went in there.
The menu was a little more expensive but I didn’t care. I was wet, tired and miserable – I wanted to eat!
The food was good but the serviced sucked big time. Our bill came out to 870 pesos ($20) but they added an additional 10% which was either for tip or because we weren’t hotel guests. Either way, I wasn’t impressed.
Anyway, not a great way to start our trip to El Nido but I’m thinking the rain had alot to do with that.
Rumor has it the weather is supposed to be just fine tomorrow so I think we’ll sleep in, have some breakfast and then do a half day tour the hotel is offering going around the islands.