on the other side of the world….
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Posts from — January 2010

El Nido Update

Hello from El Nido!

We are here in the northwestern tip of the island of Palawan.  The last few days have been great!  Really a nice place and the scenery is incredible.  Truly a “paradise” – at least by the views…

Day 1 – it rained a lot :(rain1

But it cleared up just enough for a quick sunset cruise!

(the picture is more ominous than it really was)



Day 2 – Island Hopping tour and snorkling!!

AMAZING Views and some fantastic snorkeling.  We’ll post videos later on….

(And we have this great underwater bag for Kate’s camera! Lots of fun.)





Day 3 – Climbing!

We climbed some of the limestone cliffs in the area (with a guide).  Great fun but tiring.


Tomorrow we head back to Puerto Princesa and then on to Cebu/Bohol the next day.

The bus ride up here was pretty crazy so we decided to take a more comfortable (hopefully) van back tomorrow.

[UPDATE] – 1/16/2010 – We are now in Puerto Princesa.  Had to leave the internet cafe quickly yesterday could not finish this post.  The trip down from El Nido was fine today – although not nearly as comfortable as we had hoped – 16 people in a minivan is a bit much :) but we made it in about 6 hours and made our way to Anicito’s Pension where we will stay tonight before flying to Cebu and Bohol tomorrow.  The bus/van journey goes down a partially paved road that spans the northern length of the island through tiny villages and huts scattering the mountains and plains.  It’s a sobering reminder of how much of the world lives and definitely adds a layer of guilt to our seemingly voyeuristic touring.  We just keep trying to remember that our tourist pesos help them in more ways that we may realize.  Seeing images of the tragedy that continues to unfold in Haiti only reminds me of sites we are seeing here as we travel.  Amazingly similar – the lack of proper sanitation, shacks made of make-shift thatch roofs, buses overflowing onto the rooftops careening recklessly down dirt roads…  It’s another world.  I can’t imagine adding a devastating earthquake or tsunami to the mix.

Kate and I have been discussing plans for our China Trip in March and we’ve both agreed that our focus won’t be as much on getaway type tourism.  We hope to do a few weeks of “Wwoof”-ing —working on local organic farms in exchange for food and housing or other volunteer opportunities.  I hope it all pans out – of course the requisite Great Wall visits etc will be part of the tour, but to have a more hands on interaction will be wonderfully refreshing, more similar to our experience in Korea.

Anyway – I’m just rambling now, and my ramblings are costing me pesos so I will wrap it up.

Hopefully we’ll have access to internet again before we leave on the 23rd – but if not – look for more extensive updates after that.

Hope everyone reading this is happy and healthy – we can’t wait to see you all so soon!


January 17, 2010   2 Comments

Happy New Year – from Puerto Princesa

Happy New Year! (belated.. )

Hello all,

I wrote a longer post a little bit ago but it got deleted :( Sorry… here is an abridged version -

Kate and I are in Puerto Princesa right now sitting in an internet cafe surrounded by World of Warcraft Gamers.  This morning we were in Manila  – which was an interesting experience.  Very grimy gritty city – more third worldy than we expected but it was definitely worth a day or two.  It Put everything in perspective for sure.  We will post more about that later.

Kate’s sister Molly was in Korea for the last 2 weeks visiting us.  We had a great time with her!! She came to school with us.. toured around Samcheok and went to Seoul for a few days before she flew home and we flew to the Philippines.


Making Lanterns at Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul


Again at the Temple


Kate and Molly on a Seoul Bus Tour :)


Kate and I had to wait in the airport for 12 hours for our flight (after Molly flew out in the morning) .  Gave me some time to practice with my Camera :)


Kate doesn’t like sitting in the airport for 12 hours :(


Some Kids in Rizal Park in Manila.  They were really excited when they saw my camera :)


Kate, Blanca and Ana (friends we met at our hostel) at Fort Santiago in Manila.


The view from our hostel tonight on Palawan Island – Puerto Princesa City…. Pretty amazing.

We’ll post some more pictures sooon when we get internet access again.

More soon,

-All the best

—-Chad & Kate!

January 11, 2010   1 Comment