07 January 2011

Writing from Paradise ...

This week, I get to check off one more thing on my list of places to visit before I die. :)

I have always wanted to see El Nido in Palawan. I have seen way too many photos of its picturesque bays and limestone cliffs and all the empty beaches and islands, heard so much about its super clear waters and friendly fishes which makes it a great spot for diving or even just snorkelling, and I was really drawn to its sleepy town and the kind of slow days we can have and spend there. So, since we owed the Little Boy a “holiday trip” because we were working on Christmas Day and worked through the rest of the holidays; and because our last two weeks became the busiest, most stressful week we have ever had and we were in dire need of a quiet break just to rest, recharge our batteries and spend time with the Little Boy, we decided (albeit last minute!) to finally go and visit El Nido.

So after a flight to Puerto Princesa, a night’s stopover in the city and a very long, very uncomfortable van ride (more on this later!), we are finally in paradise that is El Nido.

We're actually on Day 4 in Paradise now and we have been enjoying it so much that we’re already dreading the thought of leaving in a couple of days. We haven’t really done much these past few days except for very exhausting activities like feasting on seafood and fruit shakes and fresh coconuts all day, and staring at the water and the views that we never tire of, and listening to the waves, and laying out on the beach, reading a book in a hammock, and the occasional island visits to swim and snorkel and say hi to El Nido’s friendly fishes… and it’s bliss. Spending time in El Nido and having days of doing nothing is such a welcome respite after a very stressful year that I felt went by way too fast.

Our only setback with this trip so far was a fever the Little Boy developed when we got here. We were supposed to spend just 4 days in El Nido, but because we couldn’t really head out to the islands on our first couple of days since we had to let the Little Boy rest, we ended up extending and adding a couple more days to our itinerary and I think and feel that it was the best thing that could’ve happened (Not the fever, of course! Good thing Little Boy’s okay now. El Nido’s Dr. Reyes made a house visit to see him and said it was just a case of cold and fatigue – probably from the 7-hour van ride! And that he just needed to rest and breathe in some fresh sea air.) The thing is, the Mister and I are so used to the “let’s-see-and-do-as-much-as-we-can-possibly-fit-in-a-few-days” kind of travelling, that the concept of not having any set itinerary planned for each and every day of our trip seemed a bit alien to us. Our usual mindset is: since we’re here, let’s make the most out of it and see everything that we could possibly see. But when we were forced to stay in town and in our rooms because the Little Boy had to rest, it made us appreciate the “art of doing nothing”. To be able to wake up in the morning to the sound of waves and fresh sea air, with nothing to do but stare at the bay and not having to worry if you’re running late for island hopping or a breakfast reservation is just refreshing.

Today, the weather seems perfect. It’s 7am and the skies are clear, and with the Little Boy feeling so much better now, I think we’re finally going to head out for some island-hopping today. Today, we finally get to see the famous lagoons of Miniloc, and a few other islands for snorkelling and just lazing under the sun. But who knows? The view is perfect from across our room’s balcony again and that hammock by the beach looks pretty inviting right now so we might just end up doing absolutely nothing again today and the day will still be perfect.

P.S. I realize that in one of my last posts, I made a promise to blog more diligently. Obviously, I haven't made good on that promise. :( And I do apologize. I honestly don't know what made me think I would have the time to blog through the holidays especially since it turned out to be a complete whirlwind for us -- easily the busiest, craziest, most stressful month we had in 2010. It's over now though and while I won't be making any more promises that I might not be able to keep again, I will atleast try to blog as often as I can, every chance I get since I definitely have soooo much more to blog about!