During the evenings after the diving we have been around in Coron town.
Coron town doesn’t have too much to offer except for the daily escapades to lovely places and great diving. So it’s basically a small gateway to all the beautifulness around. It’s totally worth a visit, but I would find it difficult to live there.
We loved to have the option to go to the pool of Corto Hotel (expensive hotel but Corto Divers belongs to that hotel, so we can go there and enjoy the pool for free :).
We have been out eating dinner, having drinks or walking around the kiosks buying food to cook at home.
It’s almost more expensive to buy all the food yourself than to eat it outside, well it depends on how many you are though and what you have in, but vegetables and fruits are quite expensive, same price for a mango as a big fish. Also it’s not really as good when you don’t have any spices or anything, it’s really a big difference to eat something nicely cooked than to eat rice with veggies and no spices or anything, not even salt, haha. But to have a coffee or a tea out is much more expensive than doing your own!! (about 10 times more expensive!)
One night we had dinner at a nice restaurant, and Duilio tried the local fish ”Blacked Dugso”, and he was sooo happy about it, delicious he said. My rice with veggies wasn’t as good as my veg food at Brujitas, but I got a doggie bag with me for next day ;)
Next evening we went down to Sirenetta, which is a bar at the beach but above the water where there’s a lovely view to see the sunset. It was truly spectacular. Duilio had a pizza, but since I had already eaten at home, I ordered a cake and coffee. But my cake and coffee was more expensive than Duilios pizza and beer!! Sort of ruined the magical evening there. But but.
We decided to stay another day in Coron instead of going to el Nido, but the room we had in the apartments above Corto Divers were rented out. Olivier, the owner of Corto Divers (I think, at least the responsible there), said we could stay in the ”maiden room” below, and we were just happy to not need to change more than one stair down.
In the morning we put our packed bags in the dive shop while and me, Duilio and Sandra, another woman staying at Corto Divers, rented a private boat to take us to Banana island and Malcapuya. Sandras boyfriend, Antoine, is doing his instructor training at Corto divers, and he arranged it for us while we were diving during the day earlier, so great!
So to rent the whole boat with crew and all cost us 4500php for one day, so 1500php per person, and Malcapuya is about 2 hours away with boat, so it’s not very close! It was the same boat as we had a couple of days earlier while diving in the Barracuda Lake. We decided to rent a private boat because the tour to these islands is about 1400php per person or something similar, but then you go with about 10-20 other people, and you can’t decide times, you just go to one place for 45 minutes, then to another 45 minutes etc. We wanted to have fewer islands and be there for a few hours, to be more relaxed.
We met up with the boat crew down by the pier at 8am and went to the market just next to it, and ahhh, so this is where you can buy cheaper vegetables and food! And so much easier than going to 10 different kiosks around town to be able to find something! Haha. We bought vegetables, fish, rice, coal, fruits, water, ice etc, and it was about 120php per person. Then the own boat staff cooks it for you! We also saw a man performing with a cobra there, hehe.
Then we began our boat journey, I think we all fell asleep for a while there haha. We started with Banana island, and it was quite a small island! The entrance fee was 200php, but there wasn’t really anything there except for one resort, then just beach and water and palm trees. Very peaceful. We stayed there for about 1-2 hours, I even began doing a new bracelet with the beads I bought in India :)
After a while the boatman came to us and asked us if we were hungry. Apparently they had already cooked the food for us! We decided to eat in the boat rather than take everything to the beach, and we had a delicious lunch. They really know how to cook food on a boat huh!
When we were full and a little bit sleepy again, we said we wanted to go to Malcapuya island, and we passed by Bulog island on the way just to check it out, but didn’t make stop there. The entrance fee to Malcapuya is also 200 php.
And Malcapuya, wow, what a paradise island!! It reminded me of Holbox in Mexico, which I like so much. We docked on the other side of the island, and walked through, there seems to be some people living there, there was a group of locals playing basketball all sweaty, a few cottages with roosters etc.
The beach – lovely! It was a big beach with white sand, turquoise water, palm trees, hammocks… perfect. We stayed there for about 3 hours, bathing, doing sandcastles, studying, sleeping, reading books…
We also got bit or burnt by something in the water… Don’t know what it is, but both me and Duilio had burning feelings and itchiness allover the body, which later turned into something like mosquito bites, it disappeared after a few hours again though. We got it at the exact same place, Duilio said he stumbled on a rock, so probably there were some kind of water insects or something that attacked us…
Around 3pm packed up our things to go back, not very happily though but we had still 2 hours boat trip back again. What a lovely day, just what I (we) needed!!
We came back to the dive shop in Coron and got the keys to the ”maiden room”. It was a good room! Olivier had said it was ”nothing like the ones upstairs” but we were only overnighting, and it was much better than many of the rooms we had in Mexico haha. We even had AC! :) And, it was supposed to be 400 php, but we got it for free. Like, whaaat? Omg. How sweet is that?!?
So our last night we enjoyed a few drinks out in Coron. We went to the famous ”No name bar” and ordered 2 different drinks. Duilios was ok, some kind of mango, but mine really had an aftertaste of vomit, so I couldn’t drink more then the 2 sips it took to understand it. Then we changed place and found a dive bar by the water close to the Sirenetta, a very nice and cozy place with some sea influences, were we had beers (at least we know what that tastes like) and we got some free popcorn with that. Then about 22-23 it was time for us to move back home to sleep ;)
Next morning we ate up the last things we had kitchen as breakfast, said goodbye and took a tricycle to Coron Pier where the big boats to El Nido goes from (about 15 minutes away with tricycle from the town). It took us about 20 minutes to get a tricycle, because being Monday morning 7am, everybody was on their way to the school, and all the tricycles that passed by us where packed with kids in school uniforms! Finally we made it though. :) We had to pay and additional terminal tax of 20php except for the 1200php we had bought the ticket for already.
The boat was fine, not to comfortable, I thought it was going to be more a sort of ferry or something, but it was just like a bigger version of the other boats we have taken on the daytrips. It was a quite wavy day and the sea wasn’t very calm, but everything went well. It took about 7 hours to reach el Nido by boat, and lunch was included too. :)
Overall, little sad to leave Coron even if we both feel quite happy with our stay there, we have done the best out of it and 6 nights is enough :) It has been very enjoyable!