Monday, April 12, 2010

Coron Day 2 - Island Hopping Coron Loop

continued from Coron Day 1...

We were up at 5:30 am because I had planned to leave to go island hopping by 6. But our boatmen who were coming from Cullion Island were not there yet. I was a little pissed off of course because the boat owner, who happens to be my dad's kumpare, and I had agreed that we should start at 6 and not at 5 as I had originally suggested. The poor guys had to sail for over an hour because the sea was a little rough and it was still dark.

At 7 am I decided we should just go to the marketplace where we would buy the food stuff we needed for our trip that day. Part of Coron's allure is being laid back. However, it's too laid back you can't find any food in most of the islands. There are some resorts that do offer food but then you'd have to pay and exorbitant entrance fee and pay for the food too. Now, that wasn't practical because we had intended to go around and not stay in just 1 island. This I think is one great opportunity for those who would like to do business there. hint* hint*

Ted, the boat owner, told me to meet the guys at La Sirennetta, a resto by the sea very close to the market. They have their own dock which our boat can stay at. So, I and Ria went o buy our food while Boyet and Ikee ordered our breakfast. It's a good thing that La Sirenneta had a set meal for 100 pesos each which included dried danggit, tocino, some fried rice, and coffee or juice. Cheap eh? When we got there, the food was served.

Siete Pecados.
Our boat was docked by the pier owned by the resto. It was convenient because the boat was just a few steps from where we were. After we ate, we boarded and were off to our first stop - Siete Pecados. Today's itinerary is the usual Coron Loop. If you are looking for a place on Google Earth, I don't think you'd find it. It's a small island that doesn't even have a beach. Nope, not at patch of land to step on. The great thing about it though is that the people had put some ropes in to the sea so we didn't get scared about drifting off. We had to stay in our boat and jump into the water if we wanted to snorkel. There is a 100 peso fee per person just to snorkel there. We all did but decided to leave just after 30 minutes because the water wasn't clear enough for us.

Kayangan Lake.

Our next stop was the world-famous Kayangan Lake. I guess most of us would be familiar with it as it is always featured as the mountain lake with some people snorkeling in it. I always see in in the Mabuhay magazine of Philippine airlines and the magazine of Cebu Pacific. We docked near the entrance of the trail. There were some limestones at the side that I wasn't able to resist having our picture taken. The water was clear and had different shades of green and blue. There were islets at the background and the sky was blue too with the sun golden up high. It was perfect. Besides, the trail looked difficult and looked unstable. But, there was railing made of wood that it could just be possible for my knees to take the trek up.

We started our hike up. It's so amazing that Dong, our boatman's assistant, was behind us yet had waited for us up at the highest point of the trail. There were some unstable rocks alright but then the trek was not as steep as I had imagined. As we got to the peak, we were directed by Dong to go a side trip before we descended to the lake. Lo and behold, what seemed to be the most wondrous sight was right before my eyes. The view of the greenish bluish water and its islets where some flora had grown and which I had lusted for and tried for my "photographers" to capture. Now, it is a better view and all the more alluring. the islets had the bluish-golden horizon for a backdrop. I wanted to jump for joy as I had looked at the view by the cliff. Yes, it was treacherous. But then again, what beauty does not lie beyond a dreadful trail?

As we went our way down to the lake, what was once a dream for Boyet had now become a reality. It was as beautiful as we had seen in the pictures. Deep, still yet cool and clear water, with towering limestone walls, some tiny fish in the shallow and a wooden bridge that served as both a path and a bench to its visitor. We just loved it. We stayed for about an hour but had to leave as it was nearly 12 noon and we still had to cook lunch. Too bad.

Banol Beach

There was nothing much that we did at the beach but to laze, swim a little and cook our meal. But this stop was really restful. There were some huts a few meters from the coast. Our hut was situated next to a huge kalachuchi tree which gave a wonderful shade. I spread out the mat I brought from manila so Ikee and Ria could lay down. We had broiled pork and fish and a seaweed salad that i had prepared. For dessert, we had brought some local mangoes that were so sweet even while they were not so ripe yet. I kept them cool in the small cooler that we bought. it was quite a meal.

By 2 pm, we were on our way to our next stop - the CYC beach. However, we didn't quite like the place from afar and thought that we would wasted time staying there. So we headed for the Twin lagoon.

Twin Lagoon.

The lagoon is enclosed by some limestones. There used to be only 1 way to get there: you'd have to dive deep through a subterranean hole. However, now, they've placed a platform with a wooden makeshift stairway of about 15 steps up. But, to get to the platform, I had to go through a bridge and ride a raft. The rest of my crew did not want to go there so I was the only who braved it. I saw the hole beneath the platform. It didn't seem to be a difficult swim. But I was told that if you raise your head while still there at the hole, you run the risk of hitting your cranium on to the pointed ceiling. Now, that's a risk I didn't want to take.

Barracuda Lake

After the Twin Lagoon, we proceeded to the Barracuda Lake. It was our last stop for the day because everyone we talked to, even our boatman, didn't want to take the risk of being at sea in the late afternoon. It was a wise decision as the water had become a little rough already. But, we still had time to see one more spot so off we went to the nearby lake which was also on the way back to Coron. Like the other stops, there was an entrance with a platform. I guess the Tagbanuas got used to having visitors around that they constructed several of those platforms for their guests to use. There was a short but winding path leading to the lake. however, unlike Kayangan, this lake had a small mouth which we deduced was the only take off point. It was a little dark and really tight there that none of us wanted to go for a swim. So, we just took some crazy pictures and were on our way home.

As we had sailed back, I notice a white tower northeast. The boatman told me it was a lighthouse. Thus, I asked him to go a little close to it and stopped there for a little while to take some pictures. After that we were homeward bound.

Dinner was at the Kawayanan Grill. I was told this was one of the top restos on the island. It was good but not very good.

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