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Coron, Palawan

Whilst being on dry land for the evening was a treat, the hustle and bustle of Coron town was not. And neither was the incredibly loud and terrible karaoke outside our room, which we were confined to most of the evening due to James managing to obtain a minor case of sun-stroke. It was to be expected, given both the guys had experienced a case of it already. James was just lucky it was after the five days on the boat trip. The next day, still feeling fragile, we took a trike out to one of the resorts and spent the afternoon by the pool. A well-deserved and relaxing day.
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That evening we walked the 700+ steps up Mount Tapyas to watch sunset over the island before meeting up with some of the people from our boat that evening for dinner and drinks. The top of Mount Tapyas offered spectacular views out across the town and to the many neighbouring islands that surround the island of Busuanga.
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The following day we headed out for a day of diving. Our first dive was at Lake Barracuda. A very different dive to usual in that it was both sea-water and fresh water with hot streams up to 39 degrees. Whilst initially, it was a little discomforting and we were concerned about being that hot for 45 minutes at 22 metres deep, it soon changed and we were in the cooler stream. The scenery looked a bit like the moon under water. The hot temperatures mean that there isn't much sea life there except some small catfish and prawns.

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No wet suit was needed in the 39 degree water.
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Next we headed to some wrecks for two wreck dives. The wrecks we explored were a Japanese cargo ship (Olympia Naru) and a naval aircraft ship (East Tangat Gunboat). Both wreckages were sunk in 1944 by the American navy during the Second World War. As our first wreck dive it was both amazing and at first a little nerve wracking diving inside the wreck. In the naval ship you could still see the perescope and the remains of the kitchen and boiler rooms.
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Our last evening on the island we took a trike out to the hot springs. An evening activity, due to not wanting to sit in 39 degree water during 30 degree weather. The springs were worth a visit, however, the journey there was hair raising. We took a trike with two others we met on the Tao trip. A motorcycle with a cart attached is not supposed to carry the weight of 4 people plus the driver in any situation, let alone on this road. It was quite possibly the worst maintained road in all of the Philippines. On three occasions going up a hill did we had to get out and walk and on the fourth when it conked out, I jumped out of the trike in fear of rolling back down. The trikes wait for you at the springs to take you back to town. I'd opted to jump in with Ivor and Phil for a slightly newer more robust looking trike (with music) and after attempting to go with our other trike James and the others ended up with another driver as his trike had burst a tyre and he also had to hitch a lift back with them on another trike. So, in summary, it was worth the trip but if I was to do it again I would choose a sturdier looking trike.

On our final day in Coron we moseyed around the town and had some farewell drinks with Ivor and Phil. Our hopeless hostel booked us an airport transfer that would barely get us there in time, however, we did make it only to find out the airline had over sold the flight and there was only space for one of us and he next available flight was in a few days time. Eventually, they worked it out as another passenger gave up their seat in return for some free flights. So we were pretty lucky and very grateful to said passenger. Finally, we were able to board and headed back to Manila for our final day in the Philippines.

Posted by Time Well Spent 13:50 Archived in Philippines

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