A Travellerspoint blog

TAO EXPEDITIONS DAY THREE - IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE

Robert Dill

sunny 30 °C

Tao Expeditions Day Three

I awake at 6:30 and proceed to the massage tables on the beach. A massage is included in our trip and four Philippino massage therapists are ready to probe our bodies. I close my eyes and my masseuse works into my tight shoulders. When I open my eyes an hour later the sun is shining on a new morning. After breakfast we are taken on a tour of the farm before heading on our way. Another snorkel spot by a deserted Islands with the coral formations getting better and better. I take lots of underwater vidbeos and start to do a few still photos as it's I almost impossible to upload videos here. We meet up with a local fisherman on the water and buy some cuttlefish and an hour later are enjoying fresh fried calamari as an appetizer. We catch trevally for dinner. The guys play off the bow of the boat doing flips into the water, trying to climb the anchor rope and hoist themselves in. The girls suntan in the skimpiest of bikinis. The couples do photo selfies. We camp in the evening on a small Island close to Linapacan Island - a days trip from the nearest small town. No power. We are getting used to the pace and our discussions are turning to deeper more personal conversations while we watch the sunset on our paradise.

THE FARM
1603A5D90F707E34E3D22EEF5C12F706.jpg270_P1080142.jpg

LOVING THE ANIMALS
270_P1080140.jpg

UNDERWATER CORALS
G0173345.jpg
298DAECE05328810ED659DE6535573C6.jpg

CUTTLEFISH APPETIZER
2B5F12DC07B4B2049D771AED7558F86A.jpg

PREPARING SHRIMP FOR LUNCH
P1080113.jpg

OLI KISSING OUR TREVALLY
G0142406.jpg

PHOTO OPS ON THE BOW
90_IMG_1026.jpg270_P1080127.jpg

BEACH AHEAD
270_IMG_1009.jpg

IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE
IMG_0928.jpgIMG_0927.jpg

Posted by RDILL 01:37 Archived in Philippines Tagged expeditions tao Comments (0)

TAO EXPEDITIONS -DAY TWO STAYING AT THE FARM

Robert Dill

Day Two. The night is clear and the stars are amazing. Not a light in sight. It's great to sit on the beach, no bugs, 25 C or warmer. Heaven.
We start out early the next morning to visit Hidden Beach - a popular spot on the El Nido boat tours. We passed it yesterday and there were 20 boats full of tourists all trying to go to the same spot at the same time. We are camped close by so get there before anyone else. We anchor and then swim 200 metres to a cliff wall and then through a small 4 foot cave like entrance into this beautiful little lagoon with sandy beach. It is quite exquisite but we fill it up. It would be a zoo when all the tour boats arrive. They all do the same circuit at the same time. We leave as the tour boats begin to arrive. The wind is blowing and we test the seaworthiness of our boat. It passes the test. Waves crash over the bow but we are all enjoying the scenery as we proceed along the coast. Not much sealife but we do spot a monitor lizard. Another stop for lunch on Nacalpan Beach, then to a small Island to do some more snorkelling and visit the small 20 family fishing village situated there. Finally we proceed to the Tao base camp to pick up supplies, let off the French couple who decide this isn't the trip for them, and we get oriented on the Tao philosophy and history. The foundation employs local villagers, almost half the supplies come from their organic permaculture farm. We tour the farm the next morning including the pig farm, duck ponds, and greenhouses. They are growing local plants and replanting the neighbouring countryside. All electricity is solar. An impressive program to provide an alternative to the locals who have for years relied on fishing and are now witnessing the decline of the fishing industry throughout the Philippines as in the rest of the world

We end the evening with happy hour followed by a 7 course dinner each course a delight in itself. The food is to die for. Healthy but I will not lose weight on this trip.

My accomodation for the night is a luxury thatch hut. They are designed and built so if a typhoon is about to hit they can be picked up and moved, however if hit are designed to shed the wind and if hit can be easily rebuilt.

HIDDEN BEACH
G0082366.jpg

MONITOR LIZARD
P1080129.jpg

THE OPEN WATERS
IMG_0875.jpg

NACALPAN BEACH
P1080136.jpg

KIDS PLAYING
90_IMG_0997.jpg

HAPPY HOUR
IMG_0894.jpg

MY NEW DIGS
IMG_0888.jpg

Posted by RDILL 02:53 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

TAO EXPEDITIONS - DAY ONE THE ISLANDS AROUND EL NIDO

El Nido to Coron in 5 days by water

all seasons in one day 28 °C

5 days aboard the Palanwenya. An incredible journey with 23 like minded souls.
One of the best organized trips I've ever been part of. We start out on the Palanweya, our transport for the next 5 days. There are 23 of us from 10 countries plus 8 local Filipino crew members. The first day we navigate the Islands around El Nido. We are excited since we gave up travel to these Islands to spend time in Port Barton. We circle Cadlao Island and stop for lunch at a beautiful beach on Helicopter Island. Lunch is out of this world and we soon realize the food will be a gastronomic delight. Red rice (nicknamed Philippine power), fresh tuna steaks, freshly caught squid, pumpkin beans and other greens in fresh coconut curry, mango jicama and local greens salad. We stop a couple of times to do some snorkelling but it is not up to Port Barton standards. We spend the evening at a remote site on Miniloc Island. The Palawenya moors in deep water offshore and we have the choice of swimming to shore or getting transported by kayak through a narrow opening into a little lagoon with sandy beach. I decide to swim and am rewarded with a choice of accommodation. I choose a little thatch hut on the beach. Soon we are all set up. We have a mattress and pillow brought in from the hold of the boat, and our own sack containing bedsheets, pillow case, and mosquito net. There is no power, no running water. Shower is a barrel and ladle we pour over ourselves. Soon night falls, we are served rum and fruit juice cocktails and another gourmet dinner. There is lively conversation as the 23 of us get to know each other. Four couples from France, Holland, Austria and Don and Kathy from Canada. Five single females - 2 from Brazil, one from Italy now working in Dubai, one from England living in Australia and one from London. 10 males 3 brothers from Ireland one working in Manila and his two brothers on a 2 week break from college, two brothers of Philippine/ Mexican background living in the US, an Australian, a German, one from Finland, one from Manchester, and myself. It is like a little United Nations. Most are well travelled and we share experiences we have had in different parts of the world. All are young adventurers. Our trip leader is a fun loving likeable local named Oli.

THE PALAWENYA
P1080145.jpg

CADLAO ISLAND
G0062359.jpg

LUNCH
270_IMG_0874.jpg

MY ACCOMODATION
IMG_0878.jpgIMG_0881.jpg

Posted by RDILL 01:44 Archived in Philippines Tagged expeditions tao Comments (0)

EL NIDO

We Hit Civilization

sunny 30 °C
View Philippines 2017 on RDILL's travel map.

We are picked up at 8:00 am for the 4 hour trip to El Nido. The pickup van is a modern 16 passenger coach, the most luxurious transportation we have had so far. The trip is relaxed and comfortable in air conditioned luxury. We catch a trike to our place - The Angelic Guest House. It is situated with a beautiful view over karsh mountain cliffs, and comes with a real bed, air conditioning, TV, and our own private bathroom with toilet seat, toilet paper, and separate shower stall and internet that works. I might be able to upload some videos.. Luxury before back to basic living tomorrow. We hang out for the afternoon and then head for orientation for our 5 day upcoming trip to Coron with a local village tribe in outrigger boat. The town is alive with the young backpacking crowd from all over the world. Cook your meal from fish just caught right on the beach. Gelato ice cream from stall merchants along with chocolate and banana crepes. Exciting just to watch the energy but we seem to get drawn in without even trying.

OUR COACH
IMG_0820.jpg

STOPOFF EN ROUTE
270_IMG_0815.jpg

VIEW FROM OUR TERRACE
IMG_0834.jpg

LUNCH ON THE BEACH
IMG_0826.jpg

EVENING ENERGY
270_IMG_0842.jpgIMG_0840.jpg

SWIMMING WITH TURTLES VIDEO

Posted by RDILL 07:27 Archived in Philippines Tagged el nido Comments (0)

PORT BARTON ISLAND HOPPING AGAIN

Our Second Island Tour

sunny 31 °C
View Philippines 2017 on RDILL's travel map.

We are awakened at 5:30 by roosters. Upon investigation we are situated between two rooster roosts. The roosters are groomed for cock fighting which takes place tomorrow at 10. I keep my eye on them all to know which to bet on. Unfortunately we have to leave first thing tomorrow morning. Then at 6:30 the loudspeakers from the neighbouring church begin to blare. It is time to get out on the water.
Different boat today. I wanted to go to the Marine Sanctuary but it is too rough so we mainly hit the same places as yesterday. It is hot and sunny so it gives me a chance to shoot some more video and I set my go pro so it shoots a picture every 10 seconds while recording video underwater. A chance shoot but maybe something I can upload. We are joined by a French couple, a young guy from Edmonton , and Suzy, a talkative woman from Hong Kong now living in the US. She is one of the first Americans we have met and her passion is to compose us all for photo shoots. So in between adventures underwater we take photos and videos.

We return in the late afternoon. Our accommodation is set in a wonderful garden of exotic plants. A few photos of them and then we hang out on the beach and watch the sunset. Here is the day in pictures.

ROOSTER FAVORITE
270_P1080080.jpg

UNDERWATER SPONGE
G0042326.jpg

TWO CORIS PLAYING

IDILLIC ISLAND HOPPING
270_P1080089.jpg
270_P1080090.jpg

SELFIES
P1080094.jpg
P1080102.jpg

LUCY
P1080099.jpg

GARDEN SHOTS
270_P1080087.jpg
P1080065.jpg270_P1080064.jpg270_P1080063.jpg

THE BEACH AT SUNSET
IMG_0809.jpgIMG_0802.jpg270_IMG_0813.jpg

Posted by RDILL 07:33 Archived in Philippines Tagged island hopping Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 19) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 »