Look It Up!

20 February 2012

Puerto Princesa - Paradise? - Day 2

Day 2 - Underground River 

Breakfast was care of Raq's. They served us danggit.

Our shuttle picked us up at 8 a.m. and our tour guide was Joan. We made several stops to pick up some tour-mates. Just as an aside, tour groups are okay because you don't need to take care of making arrangements for transpo, meals, tickets for the places you're visiting, etc. It's also a nice way of meeting new friends. But it's not advisable for anti-social and whiny people like me and Rhuel. It was so difficult to restrain ourselves from making mean comments. Hihi.

Anyway, Day 2's tour group was composed of the following:
  1. Aussie guy and Pinay girl 
  2. old American guy and Pinay girl 
  3. 2 lolas
  4. a Pinoy couple.
We were surprised to learn that even if we were leaving at such an early time, our schedule to enter the Underground River was at 3:30 p.m. Everyone was saying, "Seriously?". We knew that the trip to the site would take 2 hours, but 3:30 was just so late. To make up for the early call time, we made several stopovers. I think we stopped at every eatery and store along the way.

At around 10:30 a.m., we arrived at Sabang Beach. We were thrilled to finally see a beach. Mmm, the sand was kinda white but it was not as fine as Boracay's. There were a number of restaurants on the beach and Sheridan Beach Resort was there too. 

 Lunch was buffet-style catered by one of the restaurants there. Food was so-so. I don't think you can really enjoy when you have to line up with a lot of people and there are flies all over.

Perhaps our tour guide sensed our impatience, hehe. She made arrangements for us to have an earlier schedule because we had 2 senior citizens with us. We rode a motorized banca to the Underground River site. The ride took around 15 to 20 minutes. 

 Since there were 11 of us (including the tour guide) and a maximum of 8 people can ride each boat, we were divided into 2 groups. Rhuel and I joined the Aussie boy and old American guy. Mukha rin daw kasing foreigner si Rhuel at ako exotic beauty. Harhar.

We got to the Underground River at around 1 p.m. After accomplishing some paperworks, we walked for about 2 minutes to the loading station. 

We had to wait for almost an hour before we finally hopped on the paddle boat that took us inside the Underground River.While waiting, we were entertained by some monkeys who had fun grabbing mineral water bottles and a wallet from other tourists.

The Underground River ride took around 30 to 45 minutes. Our boatman was a local who made super corny and scripted jokes. We could not understand him. It must have been worse for the foreigners. His stories were so scripted that we could hear the other boat's boatman delivering the same spiels. Our boatman was even rude. He was complaining about the weight of one of our heavyset tour-mate.

The River was, well, a river. It was so dark inside. There were stalactites and stalagmites. The boatman was saying stuff that one formation resembled this and that. But there were times when we didn't get it. Or slow lang ba kami? 

I almost dozed off because things became a bit boring towards the end. Rhuel and I felt that it was not worth the long trip we had to take to get there. Magaling lang daw siguro mag-market si Hagedorn kaya naging Wonder of Nature. Hehe.

The boat ride back to Sabang Beach was scary. It rained so hard and the waves were so huge. The lolas had a hard time getting on their boat because it was slippery. Tsk.

Dinner was at Kinabuchs. It's owned by Butch Chase. He's some popular big biker guy. 

The restaurant was also highly-recommended by the locals. It's popular for its crocodile sisig and tamilok (woodworm). Of course we ordered them. We also ordered some fried chicken and bagoong rice. And tuna sashimi. Hehe. Rhuel had mango shake (again) and I had buko shake.


 After dinner, it was time to meet our friend, Patrick, who was in the city for a business trip. We met at Itoy's Coffee, Puerto Princesa's Starbucks. The coffee was so-so but their singer was great. We had a nice time listening to Patrick's funny stories. =)

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