06.01.2009 28 °C
it's been 4 days...it feels like 4 months...
The day after we arrived here, we had glorious weather and spent the day sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. The only complaint was the sand flies...which are bad...really bad...they make an otherwise idyllic place a bit of a nightmare when there's no wind. If there's a breeze they don't seem to be a problem, if there isn't....well lets just say you spend the whole day and night scratching.
New years eve was very quiet...we had a nice dinner, a bottle of ok wine, and I'll be honest, as we saw other guests heading to their rooms at about 8pm (did I mention its a very quiet place?), we decided to go hang out in ours and were asleep by 10pm. Rest assured though, we were woken abruptly at midnight with the sound of a million firecrackers going off outside our window. I'm sure the owner of the resort and his staff were the only ones out there, but I'm also sure anyone staying here was awake to see the new year in! We didn't bother getting up though.
"kim losing at UNO on new years eve"
We had planned to get a boat to El Nido, about a 5 or 6 hour trip from here, on new years day, but were told that there weren't any running, so settled on the 2nd. New years day was fairly calm from a weather perspective although the winds had started to get up a little (yay...no sandflies!!!). We did however realize that we had exhausted everything there is to do here the first day we arrived! Thankfully "Uno", "Phase 10" (card games!) and the hotel backgammon set (it's on its last legs, but still has all the pieces) came to our rescue.
...and then the storm started. High winds and seas meant no boats to anywhere, especially El Nido. Despite that, a boat to the mainland left this afternoon. 4 brave soles decided they were going to attempt to leave for Port Barton...which, in this weather, is still about a 2 hour trip away. I sat in the bar and watched the proceedings unfold. Just to put "boat" in perspective. These things are about 20 feet long and about 4 feet wide...very thin, wooden canoe like structures with 2, outrigger stabilizers. They are powered by refurbished diesel car engines that drive a single prop on the back, and steered by a a wooden rudder. Well the 2 boatmen spent about 20 minutes wrestling the boat off the mooring. They got it near the shore and attached the propeller and loaded on a couple of cans of fuel. They then pulled it back to the mooring and spent 5 minutes bailing out water with buckets, before letting it back towards the shore to load up the passengers and bags. They loaded on the bags by walking out to the boat with them on their heads, and then the 4 passengers waded out and jumped aboard...the boat was in chest deep water so they basically had to swim out and clamber aboard. They then bailed out water again for 10 minutes or so before setting off at a crawl towards the mainland. The people and there bags must have been totally drenched by the time they arrived.
We decided we'd wait another day at that point. However as the weather is too bad to sit on the beach, swim or snorkel, we found ourselves pretty bored today so are going to go for it in the morning whatever the conditions. We're going for the closest spot, Port Barton. If we get soaked in the process we know we can find somewhere to stay there to dry out before heading overland to El Nido (about a 6 hour drive). We'll see how things unfold in the morning.