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Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Secret Paradise on Palawan

I finally got my film photos developed from our trip to Palawan! I love how they turned out. I even got an accidental-but-really-cool-looking double exposure:

We stayed at Secret Paradise resort, which was like enjoying all of the good things about camping and none of the bad (well, some of the bad - we were attacked by mosquitos a lot). Can you see the 'resort' below? look closely, where the beach meets the jungle, towards the left of the picture... see the little huts? that's Secret Paradise! You can also kind of see in the water that there's a reef under there... the cove has two reefs that you can literally walk out to for snorkelling. It's full of beautiful fish, including lots of cute clown fish families and there are often turtles hanging around! I only saw a turtle from the shore, but my friend ran into one when she was snorkelling.

They have these cute little outrigger canoes for guests to borrow and paddle around the cove - there are other little beaches to visit, all owned and protected by the resort.

This is our little hut - note the small lake behind it! We arrived in a typhoon and the area behind our hut flooded. This is probably why the mosquitos were so bad, they're probably better in the dry season.

We took an island hopping trip one day on this beautiful boat. It was by far the best day of our stay and the best thing about Secret Paradise. All beach resorts offer island hopping trips, but most of them involve stopping at the same islands as all the other tour companies, rigid schedules, and mass-produced lunches. Small resorts often hook you up with other resorts so you form a bigger group. This trip was just Jess, Caitlin and I, the two guides, and we hardly saw another person all day. We saw a group of around 8 tourists when we stopped for lunch, which just made us appreciate our tour even more - our lunch was cooked freshly for us by the guides (it was delicious!) and they'd brought lots of cold beer for us, which the other group was a bit jealous of!

The day involved a short walk to a secret waterfall. We passed through a beautiful little village along the way.

At the bottom of the waterfall (below) was a perfect little pool to swim in. It was cool, clean and we had it all to ourselves. The guides let us stay as long as we liked and we enjoyed every minute of it. It was beautiful.

At the end of the week, Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit and our blissful getaway came to an end. I wrote more about the typhoon situation here.

After spending two days shut inside a Puerto Princesa hotel, I've never been so happy to get back to Manila!

I had more posts planned for this month, but I'm using James' laptop and it doesn't seem to like me so I'm not sure when I'll post again - I might have to give blogging from the iPad a try. We're flying home to Australia tonight and staying for the next few weeks. I am SO excited. If I don't get time to post again before Christmas, have a lovely Christmas or just a great Wednesday, if you don't celebrate Christmas. OK, I'm off to pack!

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