Sunday, 5 February 2017

Port Barton

 The journey alone is an adventure. You have to take a minibus, which drives round El Nido, apparently at random picking up people until it is full. Then it's off along the main highway, before turning onto a mud track that leads through the jungle. There are a few concrete sections along there but just enough to remind you what they look like and most still under construction.
I instantly liked Port Barton more than El Nido  (sorry holly) from the moment instead of getting off the bus into a crowd of touts we were delivered to a local official who gave everyone a free map of the town. Not that it is a town as there only seem to be three streets.
In El Nido the streets are packed with tourists, motorbikes, tricycles and booking offices. In Port Barton they are dirt tracks and dogs sleep in the middle of them.
The first place I tried was full and on first asking so was the second so I asked where might have space. The woman looked me up and down "You are one?" "Yes" "Ah wait" I sat down,  after a couple of minutes a man came out and offered me a beer. Ten minutes later he was back again "The room is clean now" so in about 15 minutes the situation went from no space to a bungalow room in a garden.
The boat tour the next day was another highlight. No guide with a prepared spiel "Hello mamsirs..." just the captain and a small boat. We visited two reefs, a beach, mangroves and an area with turtles. I just managed to see one swimming rapidly away.
The final stop was an island /sandbar about the size of a double bed above water with lots of large starfish in the water around.
Back on shore everyone getting off the boat was greeted by a group of tourists sat at a beach bar and offered a shot of their coconut rum. The food in Port Barton is also excellent, at least at Gacayan, where they do quality fresh Philippino dishes.  I could have stayed a good few more days but had to move on.

No comments:

Post a Comment