Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coron Day 3 - Kayaking at Kingfisher Park

Continued from Coron Day 2

We woke up late and thus left the lodge at almost the same time that we did the previous day. Although some of our snorkel stuff were left in the boat, we had much luggage to bring as we had checked out of the lodge already. We were going to stay with my dad on another island because he had arranged for our diving lessons.

Like the previous day, Boyet and I had gone to the market to buy our stuff while Ria and Ikee were left at La Sirenneta to order our breakfast. I was so confused as to the fact that even on our 2nd day I couldn't find any other seafood at the market save for fish and squid. I was already craving for some shrimp or crabs but didn't get the opportunity to get any of those. I didn't want to get them from the resto because the prices were expensive. To me, it was silly to buy something priced as high as in Manila when I'm already at the source.

Our boat was still docked there as it really is convenient for us. After breakfast, we headed for our first stop - the Kubo sa Dagat.

Kubo sa Dagat.

I had read about Kubo sa Dagat during my research but had confused it with Kingfisher Park. Apparently, these are two different locations owned and operated by the same people - the Reyes'. Kubo sa Dagat is a lodging place in the waters of Malbato Bay while Kingfisher Park is on the island across it where the mangroves are. Most of the activities being offered at the Kubo sa Dagat are actually done at the King fisher park - kayaking, birdwatching, trekking, firefly tour, etc.

When we got there, I crossed one boat to get to the front desk and asked about the rates. It was 500 pesos per person to kayak to the mangroves where will also do the birdwatching. But Borge and Nikko, the admin officers, gave us one person free and even gave us coffee. So, we took the chance.

To get to the park, we had to bring our boat close to the island. But we were still about 500 meters from the boat to the entrance of the mangrove area and our boat couldn't get any closer because the water level was too shallow for it. Thus, we donned our life vests and paddled our way to the mangroves. The sea had started to get a little rough but we paddled along with the direction of the waves so it was not difficult to cross over to the other side. I and Boyet were together, Ikee was with Mang Godie (our guide) while Rhia chose to go alone. If I hadn't known that she was in the rowing team previously, I wouldn't have agreed for her to go solo. But then that would have entailed a debate. LOL

Inside the mangrove plantation was a stream. We were asked to paddle gently and to stay quiet so that we didn't scare the birds. I brought my camera inside the Lock and Lock container which I bought to keep it waterproof. It is cheap but it served its purpose so well, I tell you. It was a great shock protector too. My "photographers" were to scared to bring their expensive equipment so I was the only one who had pictures. LOL

There were huge trees in the area. Birds seemed to be everywhere but we couldn't see them because they were hiding somewhere. I deduced that we needed more time there so we could see the creatures. I was able to spot one but Boyet had asked me to take some pics and the bird flew. It was kinda big and blue with a long bill. Later on, Borge told me that it was one of the Kingfishers. I regretted not being able to see it for a long time although I was slightly elated having spotted it there. There were 6 other species but of course we told we had to be there as early as 5 am to spot more. I guess this would be one of those things we need to do next time. LOL

After more than an hour, Mang Godie told us that we should leave already because the current was getting stronger. We were on our way out of the path when we saw some women harvesting some shells. Turned out to be capiz shells - the ones that you see in old spanish houses. Rhia took one and ate it when she learned they were edible. You see, adventure IS our middle name. hahaha

From across the entrance I had seen the waves devouring the water underneath them. It got me a little scared because I thought about Ikee and that Rhia was alone. Also, that Boyet and I were no expert "kayakers". Could we make it? I was more sure of Ikee's safety than our own. She was with an expert. Boyet and I had each other but neither of us could be of more help to each other than we are to our own selves. Nonetheless, we had to try... and well, I'm writing this to you now so I guess I could say that we did a pretty good job back there. Thank God.

Another nice thing that the Kubo sa Dagat guys did for us was they allowed us to cook our meal there. We didn't have time to go to a beach to have our meal cooked as originally planned. After we cooked, we paid our fees and were on our way to the Lusong Wreck.

Lusong Ship Wreck.

We spent 1 hour sailing from Kubo to the Lusong wreck. There was no beach there. It was above the wreck that we stopped at. Lunch was at our boat but we hadn't eaten much because everyone was too curious about the ship below. That, according to our boatman and guide, was a ship from the japanese time. It was there perhaps because there was a really strong current that time. We had noticed this and I suggested we do not go into the water anymore. But then curiousity still ruled that a few minutes later we were splashing our way to feed the fish with our bare hands. These little guys were so naive that you can actually kiss and hold them. That's me with a little fishy.

We were going to the Coral garden which was just a few minutes from us but decided not to go. Instead, we headed for Cullion Island.

Cullion Island

The last stop before we went to see dad was at Cullion Island. This was the former Leper Colony. I say former because you can hardly find any leper there now. As my uncle who is also a dermatologist would say, there is about less than 1 percent of the population who can get afflicted. Most likely, we weren't one of those. LOL

First stop there was at the Museum. It was huge as the ones I had seen. But it surely was interesting. There was this video that told about the 100-year plight of the lepers and the colony - how it was a sin to be a leper in the olden days, how the lepers were shot or burned and how they had settled in this once-upon-a-time-God-Forlorned piece of land in the middle of nowhere. Yup, it was interesting and melodramatic at the same time.

From the musueum, we went to take a few shots of the old church and we were off to see dad for our first scuba lesson with Chuck. We stayed with daddy for the remainder of our stay at Coron. For our the first night we went out to sea to fish and stargaze. As in Port Barton, I had seen 4 meteors while waiting for my fish to take the bait. Amazing!

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