Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

With my El Nido hangover, we booked a flight immediately to Coron, maybe not immediately, we let 4 days past and a little rest at home in Puerto Princesa, then we flew in to Coron on October 2, 2013 via the small Embraer plane of Philippine Airlines.  For some reason, I get headache with this type of plane, maybe because of the air packet? I don’t really get headaches with bigger planes.

I booked our accommodation at Mommita’s Place couple of nights before, heard good reviews of this place.  We arrive at Coron airport in the afternoon and found the guy at the airport holding a sign with my misspelled name on it.  We jumped into the shared van, unfortunately, we got herd into a group of noisy vacationers who kept on blabbering inside the van of probably some regional jokes that I can’t really get.  Well, that’s fine,  I put on my headphone and enjoy the lovely sceneries along the way – so many cows just few meters from the airport and the rest are beautiful green mountains ranging from light to yellow to dark greens.  Energizing!

We reached Mommita’s Place at the very center of the town after about half an hour, I thought it’s farther than that.  Airport pick-up was arranged by Mommita herself, so payment is to her.

Mommita’s Place is a simple guesthouse, the family who own the place also live there.  It’s a two-storey house with a mezzanine right up the balcony.  Several orchids hanging on the balcony, the view is the streets below and the noisy tricycles passing by.  The problem with staying at the town center is you have to endure the noise of these public transports, anywhere you stay is just the same, out of the center probably not much of those noise, yet again, it’s far from everything – the port where the boats for the island hopping tours are moored, restaurants, stores, etc.

Mommita herself welcomed us and immediately asked us if we want to take a climb at Mount Tapyas and a dip at Maquinit Hot Spring after.  I don’t know why I nodded in affirmation, I suddenly forgot that we’ve just arrived and a bit tired.  Going to Mount Tapyas meant climbing those 700+ stairs leading to the top of the mountain with the giant cross and the spectacular view of the whole town and the bay.  So there we were steered through the streets of Coron to the start of the climb by the in-house tricycle driver.  This maybe the first tour everyone has been offered upon arrival in Coron.  The tricycle ride costs PHP200 which includes 2 destinations, Mount Tapyas and Maquinit Hot Spring.  The driver waited for us below while we take the climb to the many steps of the mountain.  They constructed those steps leading to the top which makes going up a little convenient although we were gasping for air as we reached the mid, stopping, taking a minute of rest each plight of stairs constantly asking people coming down if we’re near the top.  We’ve reached the top, then the rain started to pour, alas!  Didn’t I’ve previously mentioned that these typhoons are trailing me?  From El Nido to Coron.  It’s crazy I know.

So we were there on top trying to find a shelter, but no one thought of constructing a shade on the huge viewdeck, save for the trees that really cannot shelter us from getting wet and my non-waterproof camera is with me which I put inside its bag and covered it with my shirt and shortpants which I’m suppose to use when we get to the hot spring.  We of course just took advantage of the tree shading us a bit saving my camera bag getting thoroughly wet.  Few minutes the rain stopped and we descended down a couple of plights where there’s a big green shed, some foreign tourists and locals with us waiting for the sun to shine, oh wait, it’s already late in the afternoon, so no sun.  
We descended down again and the rain poured hard, we’ve waited on the next shade for maybe 15 minutes until the rain receded a bit, we found our tricycle waiting for us down the start of the climb and we traverse the dark street to the hot spring.  It got bumpy as we’re nearing the place and pitch black, a bit creepy intensified by the cold rain.

Entry to the Maquinit Hot Spring costs PHP150 per head, pools of warm waters cascading to a larger pool below, nice.  We took a dip, so half of our body was in warm water while the upper portion gets the cold of the rain.  Great!

We left the place after about an hour with only one group of foreign tourists still enjoying the relaxing hot waters of the spring, and we took the bumpy ride again back to our accommodation.  Tiring and at the same time relaxing, if that makes sense at all.

TIPIf your camera isn’t water-proof, bring a plastic case or bag with you before going up to Mt. Tapyas, it might rain, no shades on the very top.  Also, bring food to Maquinit Hot Spring, no restaurants there, only store that sells biscuits.

Tricycle rental
Maquinit Hot Spring Entry Fee
How to get there:
Get any tricycle along the road to take you to both Mt. Tapyas, wait down there until you get down, then take you to Maquinit Hot Spring and back to town.  You may also ask your accommodation there, they normally have contact tricycle driver, rental fare should not be over P200 for the whole tricycle.
Address: Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Google Map Location: Coron, Palawan


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