I reached Sabang Beach on Palawan. To get here I had to take a minivan from Puerto Princesa and to my surprise the ride only took the two hours that they told me it would take. I read online that it’s good to book the minivan in advance but I took my chance and just went to the terminal in the morning and there was no probs what so ever to get a seat + they charged me PHP 200 instead of the PHP 300 I was original told. Ok, only a difference of USD 2/ EUR 1.90 but still, every little helps. Another nice surprise this morning was that they didn’t overload the van, with other words they didn't fill the van to max and then squeezed another 7 people + bags in there!
Arrived in Sabang already before 11 PM so headed to my pre-booked guesthouse, Cafe Sabang. Room not ready but at least I could dump my bag there. Girl at reception told me that there was a waterfall about half an hour walk along the coast. Think I might have said this before but ever since I did the Siete Cascadas (the seven waterfalls) in El Salvador, pretty much every waterfall I see just disappoint. Except for an awesome one in Alberta, Canada or maybe it was in British Colombia, I don’t know to be honest.
Still it’s something with the Philippines were I constantly want to do stuff, the complete opposite to Thailand where I mostly is up for doing absolutely nothing at all! So after indulging in a peanut butter/banana pancake for a very late breakfast I left for the walk to the waterfall. During the walk to the waterfall you pass some abandon resorts first. I do like abandon resort, they normally just sit so nice in the landscape! After passing these resorts I just had to walk along the coast and whollla, half an hour later I reached the tiny waterfall. Could have gone for a swim but with rain hanging in the air, I opted for not doing so… Instead I just sat down and then walked back…
Woke up excited over having nice hike in front of me today, the Jungle trail which I read a lot about. Most people do this one after they visited the underground river, one of 7 new wonders of nature. Me on the other hand decided not to join the hordes of people visiting the underground river but just to do the hike of 5 km. After a rather speedy breakfast, only half an hour this morning, I went down to the Sabang information office to buy my permit . They do like permits and various fees in this country… But after a wait at the information center I’m told just to go and pay my fee of PHP 200/ USD 4/ EUR 3.80 at the Jungle Trail desk outside. So that’s what I did, that’s when I also got some bad news that I had to have a guide with me during the hike. Nooooooo, was my reaction to that, I was so looking forward to do a hike in my own tempo just with myself. Being able to walk fast when I want and being able to stop and look around when I want. That was not going to happen today. Then I’m told that I can’t do the full hike because I’m not doing the underground river tour. By now I’m a bit fed up but still I go ahead to do the hike.
Me and the guide who keeps an impressive high tempo in her flip flops leads the way. After about 1 km she stops abruptly, turns around and announces that she needs to rest! I try to swallow a giggle… After a few minutes she is good to go again and speeds up her tempo even more… Then again stops abruptly and points at a huge tree and declares that the tree is very old and then she tells me to take a picture! I felt that I had to obey:) We continue the path and then comes to the point where we had to turn around. On the way back I decided to take “ownership” of the tempo and I stoped a few times to look around and to take some pictures without being demanded to take pictures. The hike took us about an hour and a half and it was really really nice with a good path and lush green all around us. Not sure why guide was a must though since it would have been very hard to get lost. I could understand if they said you needed a guide just in case you fell down and broke your leg or if there was a threat that a monkey would pull you in to the bushes and have his way with you but they didn’t give any of these reasons. Anyhow, the girl who walked with me was very nice and I guess it keeps her in a job.
I had all the intention of going to Ugong rock for some caving and zip-lining in the afternoon but the one and only guy renting out scooters were away from his spot on the pier so I thought I walk back to my guesthouse for a bit. That resulted in an hours nap, followed by lunch. Felt absolutely shattered after that for some reason so decided just to head and get a coffee, do some people watching and continue with my book instead. In my naivety I thought Sheridan beach resort, a swanky kind of resort charging PHP 6900/ USD 138/ EUR 130 a night would have a decent iced americano. I was so wrong, one of the worst coffees I had in the Philippines so far and kind of double the price. At least I got a comfy seat with a great view over the beach walk and the sea.
Coming up to around 430 PM I thought it was time to go for a run. Last year I only logged about 140 KM, the year before I made it to 1000 KM. I’m so hoping my knee will let me come closer to the 1000 KM rather then the sub 200 KM. But slowly slowly at first I guess, so on today’s agenda I had a 4 km run ahead of me and that one felt really good.
On a kind of tight schedule on this trip to Palawan so the next day it was already time to depart to the next place, Port Barton. Sabang was cosy but a day and a half was enough for me!
Where I Stayed:
Cafe Sabang PHP 350/ USD 7/ EUR 6.70
Private room with shared bathroom
Slightly to hippie for me but still good place. Sabang don’t have electricity 24/7, this place has solar power though so have somewhat electricity at all times. They do only have one place to charge phones, laptops etc and you can only do it at certain hours of the day.
I decided that it was time for a career break. So handed in my notice to the company who I worked with for the last ten years. It's time to pack my bag and depart from Amsterdam which been my home town for the last 4.5 years. -"Amsterdam, it's not you it's me and I need a break!". Read more
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