Day 6 – Coron
My alarm was ringing at 4am. Not the greatest time to wake up, but it was time for me to leave El Nido Island. Therefore, I tried to be as silent as possible while getting ready to check out. Luckily, there was security around the reception area for the check out. I walked the last time along the beach and headed upstairs to the street, where some tricycle drivers already waited for me. Apparently, I am not the only backpacker on this island, deciding to leave at 4 am in order to catch the ferry.
The check in for the ferry wasn’t the most comfortable procedure I ever experienced. It was dark, but already hot, I was tired, carrying the heavy backpack and sweating as hell, because I had to wear the clothes that didn’t fit in my luggage. But well, I was just happy that everything worked out and I entered the ferry as planed at 6am. I even managed to relax and sleep a bit during the almost 4-hour ride. The time went by so quickly, I didn’t even mind the long drive.
The first thing I saw, when arriving in Coron at 10 am, was a big poster warning and informing about the Corona Virus. We also got some flyers. Furthermore, our temperature got tested before we were allowed to enter. I was kind of scared that my temperature might be too high, considering the hot climate and the long clothes I was wearing. But it was all fine. I was really surprised that the actions taken on such a small island were that strict already. During that time, the virus was definitely a huge issue in China, but in the Philippines only 3 cases were confirmed. However, being aware of the current situation in Europe, those measurements were definitely appropriate.
A thousand of tricycles were already waiting for all the tourists arriving. I took mine directly to the hostel. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to check in yet. Honestly, that’s so annoying! But thinking from a hospitality business perspective, understandable. Therefore, I just got changed and headed outside. I just wanted to have a walk, get a first impression of Coron and eat something for Lunch. The atmosphere was completely different. Coron is definitely a little less touristy than El Nido. That’s probably why many people prefer Coron. The locals seemed to be very friendly and a little more used to tourists than the locals I met in Manila. Therefore, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. What I liked immediately, was the authenticity I felt. I saw students waiting for the bus and locals working and cooking.
And guess what. I obviously went searching for hygiene masks. In some shops and pharmacies, they already had a poster on the window saying, “Mask sold out”. So frustrating. But then!! I actually found some! I was the happiest person on earth. Not kidding! I went to so many different pharmacies in so many different cities and even countries, and now I finally found at least a few hygiene masks. Oh Lord! It really made me feel safer.
For lunch, I just randomly went into a small shop, where they were selling different types of Buddha bowls. From a variety of ingredients, you could just choose what you would like to have in your bowl. It was nothing special, but I was totally satisfied.
To be honest, I really didn’t know what to do the whole day on Coron island. The main purpose people are coming here is to do Boat Trips to the little islands around Coron. There is nothing much to see or do on the main island itself. However, there is a saltwater hot spring in Coron, that I decided to visit. The tricycle drive was quite an adventure, considering the horrible condition of the roads. But somehow, I made it. The hot spring was a weird, but definitely unique experience. Luckily, there weren’t many people. Kind of understandable. It was super-hot outside. And the hot spring even hotter. I thought I almost burned myself when I went into the water. Such a weird thing to do. But it was kind of nice too.
After a few hours I headed back to the hostel and finally checked in. I shared my room with 3 other people. The room was really small, but I actually preferred it to the other hostel, where I had to share with 11 other people. In the afternoon I just relaxed in my bed, watched some Netflix and texted my friends.
Then before sunset, I spontaneously decided to hike up Mount Tapayas. It was quite exhausting to hike up all the stairs, but definitely worth it. I made it just in time for sunset and had the most amazing view over Coron. The scenery was just beautiful. I could see the ocean, the small islands, Coron town and the “mountains” around. I really enjoyed just sitting here and watching the sun set.
Before it got completely dark, I headed back to town to eat some dinner. I wasn’t really sure to which restaurant I should go. I ended up at a Thai restaurant, where I ordered the most delicious mango shake, a papaya salad and green curry. I even had some life music while eating. The food was okay, but I definitely had better curries in my life. Nevertheless, I couldn’t complain.
Afterwards, I just walked back to the hostel, looked at the new pictures from that day, watched a movie and went to bad. The first day in Coron was definitely better than expected. But it hasn’t even really started yet.