Last time I blogged about Day 1 of my Puerto Princesa tour with my husband. Day 1 of the tour included the half-day City Tour, which is at the South part of the city. Now I will share the Day 2 of the tour, which will include the enchanting trip to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Underground River), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 2 (February 16, 2011)
The famous Underground River is located in the St. Paul mountain range at the North part of the city and is about an hour away from the city proper. It is actually a river flowing inside a cave full of limestones. I am not so much of a nature lover but visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site is really an honor, pride and joy for me.
The tour guide on Day 1 told us that the tour van would fetch us around 7:30 am. So my husband and I decided to have our free breakfast in the hotel at 6:30 am (my hubby had beef tapa and I ordered tocino). To our surprise, the tour van arrived at 6:30 am! Therefore we hurried our breakfast. We had a new tour guide, Kuya Ian, and he seemed to be in a hurry because he wanted us to be early in the Underground River tour so that we won't be with the crowded tourists. We also had new tour-mates in the van--- a young couple, an old couple, and a family (with a foreigner and kids). We were jampacked inside the van!
The road trip was a silent one. It was like going to Baguio because all you can see are mountain ranges along the way. We also passed by a community wherein their their main source of power and electricity comes from solar cells. My husband became interested about the solar cells, which are on the lamp posts beside the main road because he works at a solar cells manufacturing company.
Solar cells on posts
When we reached the bay wherein we would take a boat ride to Mt. St. Paul, Kuya Ian collected our ID's for registration. While waiting for him to register us, we took time to take shots of the scenery.
I love the waves! :)
The group were divided into half to ride in two motorboats. The first batch included the old couple and the family. The second batch included the young couple and us (my husband and I). After minutes of boat ride, we finally came to the other side of the shore.
From the shore, we had to register our names and walk on a monkey trail towards the river where the cave is located. There were not too many people when we got there yet. We wore our life jacket and headgear for safety. My husband and I were requested by the tour guide (which is not Kuya Ian, but a tour guide specifically for the Underground River) to seat infront of the boat. He also requested my husband to hold the flashlight. Then when everyone's ready, the boat began to paddle its way towards the darkness of the cave....
The cave was so dark and quiet, only our tour guide was talking, since he gave information about the place. He also shared the different rock formations inside, in which, when we use our imagination, formed into things such as vegetables, faces, buildings, animals, and many more. My favorite rock formation was the catherdral. When our tour guide intorduced the cathedral and other rock formations around it that looked like holy things (there's a rock formation that looked like the Blessed Mary, angels, etc.), I was so amazed and awed. I couldn't help but to think that this subterranean must be sacred, and the Heavens take care of it.
Aside from rocks, we also saw bats on the ceiling. The journey must be very scary for other people but let me assure you that fears would fade away once you see the interesting scenery inside.
When we paddled out of the cave, we saw lots of tourists outside, waiting for their turn to ride. Thank goodness we entered th cave before them!
We had lots of picture taking before going back to the bay where Kuya Ian first registered us. Then we went to Sabang Beach to take our yummy free lunch. After that, we finally went home.
At the beautiful Sabang Beach
My husband and I freshen up (I took a looooong hot bath! I loooove it!) and at 7:00pm we dined at Ka Lui Restaurant. Dining at Ka Lui requires reservation and we the hotel already arranged our reservation that morning before our tour. What is nice about this restaurant is that customers have to take off their shoes when entering and while dining. My husband and I got the table for two wherein we had to seat on the floor (reminds me of Japanese culture!). The dinner choices were few, actually, but we ordered a complete set meal (which was hmm...quite expensive, hehe, but sulit and delicious).
Day 2 dinner at Ka Lui
The tour was more than just fun. It was enlightening. It made me a person closer to nature. It made me realize that there are still wonders in this world that are still virgin from man's greedy and worldly acts...and we need to value such wonders so that our children would still see the beauty of our Mother Nature.
Upnext...Day 3 of our Puerto Princesa adventure.