12 Aug
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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

18 November 2018

Swimming with the fishes

Ready for snorkelling

Ready for snorkelling

12 November 2018

Tour C was our second island-hopping adventure, and it was a bit longer than Tour A and also didn’t have the crowds. Each of the five spots we stopped at was for snorkelling, so by the end of the trip I had imbibed a good tankful of salt water and was thoroughly brined. That aside, we’d also seen an amazing variety of coral and fishes, including a slumbering sea snake and a lazily swimming green turtle. There was another secret beach to visit too, which involves swimming through a short tunnel to emerge in a tiny hidden lagoon. It would be more magical without the other dozen people. But at least it wasn’t another 30.

I can see why some people get very hooked on snorkelling. There’s a lot of life down there, and a lot of it brightly coloured and strangely shaped. Even in the hidden beach, where people were just standing in calf-deep water taking selfies and checking their phones (really!), if you lay down flat with your snorkel on, an entirely new world of tiny fishes, delicate sea fans and undulating anemones opens up in only a foot of water. The anemones even had guardian clown fish. Hope no-one tramples on them.

This was a much better tour than tour A. Reasons? First, the weather was better; solid sunshine and no rough seas. The other day we were all soaked within 20 minutes on the boat, and so was everything we’d brought with us (which is why you always use a drybag). Second, the tour was less busy. We might have had 4 or 5 boats with us at a couple of the stops, but that compares well with 10+ boats at the Small and Big lagoons on tour A. Third, we saw turtles, which is always nice.

We also met a couple from the U.S. who are as mad-keen on wildlife as we are, even to the extend of having a real love of otters and owls (which, if we weren’t mammal-watchers, would be our favourite birds). So we can compare notes and locations… I feel a trip to the eastern USA might be on the cards!

Sorry, I’ve got no photos from under the waves. Waterproof camera equipment was one thing we didn’t pack for this trip, given that the few days in El Nido was all the snorkelling we expected to do. Tomorrow isn’t just our last day in El Nido, it’s our last day in the Philippines. I don’t think we’re going to do very much – a day of snorkelling in the baking sun leaves you absolutely cream-crackered!

Sunset, El Nido

Sunset, El Nido

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