el nido day 1: country rides and long, terrible walks on the beach / by mmkeyes

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Waking up in a cool room and a normal bed was lovely. But Brandon was still feeling achy. Neither of us was sure what the cause was, but given the fact that we'd just spent five days living in nature, swimming with crazy creatures, and eating strange foods, we figured it was probably nothing too serious. We were more concerned with my ears at that point. So after breakfast at the hotel, the four of us rented motorbikes for the day (for less than $10) and decided to explore the surrounding area. Armed with a pretty awful map, we got some gasoline in the bikes and headed out, planning to go back to Nacpan Beach where we had wanted more time. The experience was wonderful, driving through the surrounding country. We got some beautiful ocean views, but mostly a peep into village life and rainforests. It was, supposedly, only a 20 minute drive, so after 40 (enjoyable) minutes, we started to wonder when we would be getting there. After stopping to inquire how far Nacpan was, we found out that we had gone in the complete opposite direction and were south of El Nido past a village called Magban. None of us were too put out about it, since we had all loved the drive. We decided to head back toward Nacpan, though. Our planned 20 minute bike ride turned into 2 hours, about a third of which was over pretty rough terrain--unpaved roads with big rocks, sand a few inches deep.

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By the time we got to Nacpan, all of our tailbones were furious with us. Brandon, I'm sure, was especially uncomfortable, given the fact that he had flu-like aches on top of the pain the rest of us were feeling. We spent 10 minutes at Nacpan before we realized we had to had back so that Jess and Travis could make their flight. Obviously our tailbones did not enjoy the ride back, but my eyes were feasting on the scenery. 

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Blue skies, lush green rainforest, rice patties, and many a yak. We nearly crashed at one point because I was so distracted by the scenery that I forgot to lean in for a sharp turn in the road. Focus, Martha.

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Once we got back to El Nido, we had to say our goodbyes to Jess and Traivs (sniff sniff) and then go find a new place to stay. We found some beach cottages in a place called Corong-Corong. The view was actually a little gross when we arrived, due to it being low tide, but when the tide came in, it was really beautiful!

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Brandon needed to rest a little bit but said we could go to a beach after he took a nap. Being the slave driver wife I am, I held him to that even when it was clear that he wasn't feeling too hot. When I asked our hostel manager where the closest beach was, she said, "Oh, just right here," pointing south of the hostel. "How long would it take to walk there?" I asked. "2 hours." Given that she had just said it was "right here," I figured she meant two minutes, especially since her English wasn't very good. So we walked to Las Cabañas beach. And it was a MISERABLE walk. I have never sweat that much in my life--this coming from someone who spent 3 weeks of hot season in the jungles of Chiang Rai, Thailand. I actually looked up the weather, and it was 94 degrees and 92% humidity. For 2 miles in the sand. And my poor husband was so much sicker than I knew. I am a terrible person.

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We got a calamansi slush and a chocolate shake and sat in beach chairs while admiring the views and setting sun.

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We took a trike back into the city to get some food. As usual, we wanted to play it safe, so we went back to the pizzeria. Brandon wasn't hungry, so he mostly just drank juice. He was feeling pretty awful, but how was I to know when he looks like this at his most awful???I figured he would feel much better after a good night's rest.