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Winter Vacation Part 4 – El Nido

Hi Everyone!  here is the El Nido installment!  This is a rather large post laden with videos that I suggest you watching.  We got a little obsessed with our water proof camera case!

January 12, 2010 06:19 PM

I don’t know if Chad mentioned that it was raining A LOT when we were in El Nido.  Above is a picture of Chad on our first day.  We were famished and dirty from the bus ride.  We just sat and watched the waves.

January 12, 2010 06:21 PM

A view from the restaurant in our hostel.  Watch out for sea spray!

January 13, 2010 11:20 AM

I have to say, yes, I went to the Philippines because I wanted some Vitamin D.  That being said, it was really wonderful to see the islands surrounded by storms.  You never see clouds in a postcard.  Despite the fact that we couldn’t run around in the sand without being pelted by rain drops, it was very beautiful.

January 13, 2010 05:30 PM

One our second day the weather cleared up by the late afternoon so we decided to take a sunset cruise.  Cleared up meaning we could walk without being drenched.  It was a rocky boat ride but it was nice to get out and Chad took some magnificent photos.

January 13, 2010 05:36 PM

On the third day we decided to sign up for an island hopping tour and brave the weather which cooperated above and beyond our expectations.

January 14, 2010 09:40 AM

Island Hopping Boat Tour – Sea Level

January 14, 2010 09:44 AM

Sunshine!  We are so happy!

Next is a video of me waving.  Woot.  You can tell we were adjusting to the underwater filmography.

Kate Waving – UNDER WATER!

January 14, 2010 09:49 AM

My mask was a little tight.

January 14, 2010 10:14 AM

Chad has some awesome nautical moves!

January 14, 2010 11:07 AM

This is probably me favorite video (LaGOONy).  Chad head butts the camera and when the lens is in and out of the water it looks like we have HUGE bodies and tiny heads.  Oh, and NAME THAT TUNE!  Sorry, it’s me and not Chad singing!


January 14, 2010 11:17 AM

We finally found fish!  This spot was amazing.  We saw more fish here that our entire diving trip in Thailand last year!


Look forward to another fish video at the marine sanctuary on Panglao.

January 14, 2010 12:31 PM

This is our lunch spot.  Look at the video for a panoramic view!

Lunch Break Beach

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

Relaxing after a long and wonderful day on the water – wow we got roasted!

January 14, 2010 06:15 PM

The porch area of our hostel.

January 14, 2010 06:17 PM

Our final day we decided to do a cliff climb.  It was fantastic.  Just us and the guide and limestone!

January 15, 2010 02:52 PM

The view was incredible and terrifying!  Look at the video!

Cliff View of El Nido

January 15, 2010 03:07 PM

January 15, 2010 03:10 PM

We could see that red flag from the beach in front of our hostel – it was soooo tiny!

January 15, 2010 03:11 PM

Me with our guide.

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Water break!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

Whoa Nellie!

January 15, 2010 03:50 PM

So, after the sunset sail we went on an evening swim in the ocean.  I got in a fight with a stray board – it won.  While we were snorkeling my wounds got sunburned!  You can tell that I had fun!

January 16, 2010 06:58 AM

Time to go back to Puerto Pincessa.  Above is the kind of bus we took to El Nido.  Below is the less comfortable option we took back.

January 16, 2010 06:59 AM

Next, Bohol!

In other news, we are doing really well!  I can’t believe that our time here is almost up.  We finish at school next Wednesday, we leave Samcehok a week from tomorrow, then we take off for Beijing on the 4th!  Also, we will officially be back in Chicago on the 19th of April at 3:10 PM!  YAYY!!  We can’t wait to get home and see all of our family and friends!

Thank you for keeping Grandpa Baird in your thoughts – keep it up!  He is improving to the point of serenading Grandma Baird on her birthday/Valentine’s Day!  We are very happy!

Well, it’s time to look for some more Couch Surfers for our trip.

See you two months from today!

Love, Kad & Chate

February 19, 2010   Comments Off

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