Friday, August 15, 2014

under the sea, under the sea

Sing the title of this post. OK so we went scuba diving today - my first time! It was awesome! What wasn't awesome was getting to the scuba diving place and realizing that whilst I had brought my waterproof camera there wasn't a battery inside it. Where was it? Being charged back at the hostel. Sad thing was that I had two extra batteries...Where were they? Yup you guessed it, not being useful at all, back in the hostel. The town was small enough that I could have ran back and gotten it if it wasn't for the fact that we were already late. We had woken up at the crack of dawn, sweating - another city that only has electricity at certain times, to make it to the scuba diving center. However we needed to get the paper that proved we paid the environmental fee mentioned in my previous post. The guy working at the hostel said a guy was bringing it over in the morning and of course running on island time the guy is late. Then when he comes he brings the WRONG freaking slips, they had the wrong names on them. It's like REALLY?! How hard is it to get the names correct?!? So then again we had to wait for him to come back so we were super super late by the time we left. Being late makes me super anxious. Fking hate it. Thankfully the dive instructor wasn't super angry but there was no way I could be like "Please wait longer while I run back and grab my camera." So that day I didn't have any freaking pictures of my experience down in the water.

I was freaking out a bit just because I don't have the best swimming abilities so I was afraid I would drown or fail the test and not be able to scuba dive. Entering the water with all the gear I felt calmer and it was such a marvelous experience. You forget you're underwater. So surreal. I had to remind myself many times to actively breathe and as for swimming that wasn't a problem at all. One of the first things we had to do to enter the water was to wear all the gear and then flip backwards into the water - that freaked me out but it was actually very fun. What's not fun is having to pull the goggles away from your face to clear it because man trying to get rid of the water in the mask is a pain. If not done properly water leaked in and you basically was snorting in water. That and retrieving your regulator were part of the mini test to see if we could even scuba dive. Is it weird to say I was a little anxious I wouldn't pass the "test?" I' haven't had to take any tests or exams in so long that the pressure to pass one was getting to me!

I highly recommend going scuba diving even if you can't swim that well. It's such an amazing experience. There are no words that can describe it accurately. YOU JUST HAVE TO TRY IT! What about getting certified before you can scuba dive? No worries a lot of dive centers off Discovery Scuba for people who aren't certified but want to experience it! We saw so many fish down in the water that you can't possibly see while just skimming the surface snorkeling. I wanted to freaking punch myself in the face for not being able to use my camera especially when we saw these giant Bumphead Fish.

Unfortunately that's not me but a picture I got off Google but yah these fish were huge! Their teeth were particularly creepy since it looked like it belong to a human. They have these huge bumps on their head, hence their name, which they use to bash coral to eat. We saw them doing that and I just thought they were angry but turns out these fish that eat coral, they actually poop out sand. So sand is fish poop. Awesome to know.

We walked all the streets of El Nido to find the perfect dive center. A lot of the places offered discounts for two people so that was excellent. Unfortunately time was against us as a lot of dives were longer than the amount of time we had before catching a bus down to Puerto Princesa. We wanted to be able to do at least two dives since one dive wasn't worth the price. The guy we finally went with was Yoshi who turned out to be a Japanese guy whose been living in El Nido for years! Haha I guess it was serendipitous that he was our dive instructor. Now I need to get scuba certified!

Now back to us trying to catch a bus back to Puerto Princesa. As usual we were running late and we made it to the bus stop just at the scheduled time a bus was to depart. Unfortunately we didn't see any bus and when we made inquires if a bus was leaving anytime soon we got a no. Ugh the unreliability of transportation here drives me bonkers. We couldn't wait to take the bus at a later time because we were already arriving in the city at 10pm and we hadn't booked a hostel yet. So then I noticed that a Lexus Van was leaving soon and we managed to get the last two stops on the van. The Lexus Van was super crowded but it had the luxury of not stopping along the route which meant it was faster. It also dropped us off  directly in front a hostel we wanted to stay at which thankfully was still open!

Actually managed to find an ATM and grab some food at a really local local place. This restaurant had a bunch of different food in pans and you point to what you wanted and they scooped it into a bowl for you. We had a difficult time trying to order since we didn't know what kind of ingredients were in the dishes and they couldn't describe it to us. So it was a surprise in what we got. One of my dishes was just liver. Bleugh. Alanna did not like her meal at all. I was ok with mine a lot of it tasted very Chinesey.

The Details
El - Dive
Instructor: Yoshi Ohstuka
Discovery Dive - 2500 php for 2 dives (do some haggling for that good price :D)

El Nido to Puerto Princesa - Lexus Van
Cost: 500 php but the driver quoted me 600 php until I mentioned that another passenger had said she was paying 500! Ugh always the scheming and trying to make more money off of us. So annoying.
Travel time: 5 hours

Tree House Inn
400 php per person (haggled with them and got this price because we stayed 2 nights)
close to markets and an ATM
Apparently Puerto Princesa has electricity 24 hours! Finally got a decent shower!

1 comment:

  1. if you look at the pictures without reading, it's like you caught a giant fish and ate it for dinner that night.