Third day and we would be finally able to experience the sea! Again, breakfast must be arranged the night before. We were rushing so much that I had to wolf down the contents of my plate in four go’s. LOL
Again, the tour agency was a couple of blocks away from us, and we were just in time before we started walking to the port. Having heard the unfortunate news of a guy getting allegedly killed by a sea urchin, we opted to borrow beach shoes.
Coral Garden was located not too far away, and I was expecting the boat ride to be a bit longer. When we stopped in the middle of the sea, I thought there was just an engine problem. We were then instructed to jump into the waters and begin snorkeling.
I have no problems swimming, but I was honestly too afraid of the sea urchins or whatever. However, I have noticed that some of the corals in the area were crushed and bleached, maybe because of the frequent stops done by boats and tourists.
Next stop, and definitely not too far away from the Coral Garden was CYC Island. It was still low tide when we got there and this lone/seemingly marooned mangrove tree was conspicuously perched by the shore. Poor thing needed a neighbor. Just kidding.
The weather was nice and you can see that the skies and waters looked fabulous, thus the obligatory tourist shots below. =D We have no tripod with us, and we either had to take turns taking each others’ photos or prop the camera against something just to position them.
Sometimes, I’m still astounded of how AMAZING our country really is. The beaches are indeed to die for (no pun intended).
Our next stop, and the one I was most excited about, was the Twin Lagoon. Approaching the area, the arresting view of the limestone formations was just sublime. I think I have taken about a dozen photos.
When we reached the stop on the first lagoon, we had to swim all the way underneath that makeshift bridge (which I think was purposefully blocked to oblige people to swim below it). The next lagoon looked small but it took us forever to reach the other end with the shallow waters. It felt like we were treading the waters for hours, and I nervously laughed on the way back because it would be another grueling (I am exaggerating, of course) bout.
The boatman informed us that the bottom of the second lagoon was teeming with GoPros and other underwater cameras from tourists who recklessly swam in the waters. Good thing my brother’s underwater camera had a flotation device of its own. I did not fancy buying a new one just to replace it if it were lost.
For lunch, we stopped at a beach stretching for only about 250 meters. The food was very fit for the beach: seaweed salad, grilled fish and pork, a bunch of rice and others that completely escaped my mind. We were there for about an hour to eat and rest, before it was time to go to Kayangan Lake.
However, when we were already boarding the boat, it rained hard. I admittedly got scared because, well, being on the sea while riding the boat when it is raining is not exactly summer-y and ideal to me. Nevertheless, there was a reef nearby and we got the chance to feed some fishes again.
The boatmen even got a puffer fish (butete), which puffed immediately the moment it was taken out of the water. It was very slimy. I know fishes in general have a protective coat to ward of parasite and bacteria, but this puffer fish took being slimy on a another level. It was like a soft, bloated, round okra. =D
For Kayangan Lake, we were informed beforehand that the area has lots of mosquitoes. While malaria was out of the equation, I thought that we can never be too sure. Thus, I brought a bottle of citronella oil and Off! lotion and slathered every exposed inch of skin that I have. I felt like a puffer fish.
Given that the rain has not completely stopped, the trek going up and down was not easy. I had to grab on every rock for dear life unless I wanted to end up in the next day’s news
The spot in the picture below had a very long queue. I did not realize that it was a prominent spot for Coron tourists and I just followed our guide’s instruction.
Obligatory shot with the background
Then after we took turns to get our photos there, we had trek down again and at the risk of falling down the slippery slope, we finally reached Kayangan Lake.
The perimeter of the lake where the tourists arrive has lots of wooden bridge/stilts/sidewalk (LOL). It was stable and safe, but one can also risk falling once you begin shooing the mosquitoes. The water was very clear and you can see jagged rocks submerged by the lake’s edge.
I paid the price of watching too much thriller movies that I was a bit paranoid of water monsters (cue: Anaconda). But once I finally got over that initial fear, it was smooth sailing (or swimming). As it was freshwater, we had no icky feeling after getting out of the water. We even had the chance to go inside a mini-cave, with only a slice of sunlight filtering high above the ground.
From Kayangan Lake, our last stop was the Hidden Lagoon. The water here is quite odd. It was like a badly adjusted bath tub water, with some parts warm, while the others are cold. You can even see the water swirling where warm and cold parts collide.
The brackish water was very interesting that one foreigner tourists exclaimed that he has never experienced such water before. And speaking of this tourist, he was French and as expected, I was the one translating to him things that our guide/boatman explained to us.
It was a very fun day and the weather has cooperated on our way back. We were too tired during the boat ride and the lulling sound of the revving motor sent me dozing off.
We only rested for about an hour at the lodge, before deciding where to eat dinner next. When we had dropped by the souvenir store the day before, we saw this Korea restaurant. We agreed that we must sample their kimbap, because it was a must in every place that we visit if ever there were one.
I think I have already mentioned this before, but food in Coron is not the cheapest. However, we did not mind since we opted to be on the safe side of things given Mon’s unfortunate history with food when our of town.
We were too happy, anyway, given that we only stayed in last year on our 6th. We could not wait for the following day’s activity, but we could no longer afford to jump from one island to another. We then agreed that a one island stay for tomorrow would be ideal — to Malcapuya Island, it is!