After our evening in Puerto Princessa we took a hire van up to El Nido, a rural beach town that has become a hub for tourists island hopping. It was a 5 hour drive along windy roads. We arrived early in the afternoon and after a spot of lunch, stuffed squids and calamari, we hired some kayaks and paddled out to a nearby beach. The sea was a little choppy but we made it there and back without capsizing.
El Nido had electricity, however, this isn't always guaranteed and that evening as we were walking back to the room a lamp blew out a the town lost power. Many places have a backup generator but the town was pretty much plunged into darkness, along with our hotel, although oddly that was the only time our WiFi worked.
On our final day in El Nido we took a dive boat out and went diving around the islands. After swimming out to the dive boat (it's too shallow for the boats to come into shore and only one jetty) we headed to the first and best site in South Maniloc. The visibility was 15 metres and along with a plethora of fish we saw an amazing reef of giant cabbages and a turtle! So, unless I saw two turtles on the next dive things weren’t getting much better. We did three dives in total that day and had lunch on the boat. A delicious feast of chicken, fish, muscles, baked eggplant and or course, rice; all cooked on a BBQ on the back of the boat.
That evening we headed to Tao Philippines to have our briefing and meet the rest of the people on our 5 day boat trip through the islands us to Coron.