I arrived in the late evening. After taking the wrong turn (there are only two) I found myself walking down main street El Nido. And, I immediately got a good vibe from the place. It was a touristy town, no doubt. Guides here, tour that, go here type signs were everywhere. But, not one was hassling me.
Which was a shame as I couldn’t find a place to stay. The local police where friendly, but had only arrived there themselves so couldn’t give be directions. The locals themselves seem not to have heard of any place other than the one they were sitting at. And, the cost of the average hotel was 1000 plus. There were worse. I had the name of a single place at the end of the beach. Which end it was at, I didn’t know. Sufficed to say, I took the wrong turn.
Beach front restaurants, open bars, idle dogs, locals and foreigners all sat soaking up the end of the day’s sun. Colorful boats lined the shore line, and the water sparkled a translucent blue. One could see how beach lovers would like the place. What for a non beach lover like me?
I walked on. Occasionally asking for directions from vague passerby’s, more occasionally nodding in approval and the local children merely said “Hello, welcome.”
Rather than “Give me money!”
Towards the end of the beach as the sand wore out and rocks became more frequent I finally started to come across cheaper accommodation. 800, still to much.
I took a turn to the place in my notes.
“600, but we are booked out until tomorrow.”
I walked on, passed more trees and down what seemed like a more local area. I wondered if I’d end up in the wrong part of town.
“500 pesos, with breakfast”
Then the jackpot, a friendly old lady. “400 pesos.”
Then the usual travelers kick in ass. “But booked out until tomorrow.”
I like the place. Big, spacious, and the cottages looked very clean.
“How long you stay?” asked the old lady.
“Not sure,” I paused to look around. “Mind if I take a look?”
The old lady smiled and followed me as I made my way to her shoreline. It was rocky, but the view was quite spectacular. The sun was setting and the sky was lit up into a brilliant orange. Straight ahead were several small islands. Each one looking like it could be straight out of that scene from a pirate movie when they arrive somewhere tropical.
Lush green trees hiding a small cliff, under which there were bright strips of white sandy beaches. As the sky deepened in color small fisher boats began to appear. The still sea water reflecting the sheer serenity of it all.
“Do you know a place I can stay tonight?” I asked the old lady. “I will come back and stay a few days here.”
She looked at me and I could see here thinking. So I added some new incentive that often worked for me.
“And maybe, I will stay longer. Is it possible to rent something here for long term?”
I could see the old ladies business mind click in as her expression remained blank. She looked around and then pointed me back towards the main building.
“You can have this tonight. 300 hundred pesos.”
She open the door to what I can only describe as an outhouse with a bed.
“200, ” I replied. “There’s not mosquito net.”
“300, I get you one.”
I was about to ask if she’d bring me dinner as well, but by then she’d already started to bark orders at her underlings to clean the place up. “Tomorrow we discuss long-term.”
I nodded and then she was off. Any time I agree to long-term accommodation I get a little worried about just what the owner thinks long term is. But, in this case at 400 a night I was sure I could do better even for a week.
My next step was to test if my internet connection worked!
Is El Nido the place to stay a while?
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