I have fallen in love. Not with a person (yet), or a thing, or an idea, but a place. It’s happened before, yes, but never quite like this. Port Barton. On the western coast of Palawan and about 3 hours south of El Nido, I stumbled into this idyllic little town with no idea what to expect, except that everyone I have met along the way said I had to go. I was unceremoniously dumped at the bus station with one night booked in a home stay somewhere and 20kgs of crap to carry with me to find it. And 20kgs of crap is not easy to carry at the best of times, let alone when walking on soft sand, but the legs got a good workout so every cloud! I arrived at my hostel, choosing at this time to ignore how horrific it was, stuck my bikini on and headed back to the beach!
I swam, I read my book, I lazed around, I had a few drinks, I met some people – it was just what I needed. It’s what I thought this travelling lark was all about but it is in fact a rarity! I loved the peace and quiet it offered after a really crazy few weeks! We watched the sunset then went for dinner at a local place just one street back from the beach and I’d love to tell you what it was called but I never did find out! All I know is that everyone referred to it as the place with all the flags! 🤷🏽♀️ They had the most amazing and ridiculously cheap food. The lomi noodle soup was something else! We made a plan to walk to White Beach the following day and agreed to meet at mid day then headed back to our shoebox hostel for a night of so called sleep in what can only be described as the worlds smallest sauna for 8 people. 🤦🏽♀️ There was also no power after midnight so not even a fan to circulate the air. Based on that, I can’t think for the life of me why I agreed to stay there for another 2 nights but I did. Even at £4 a night it seemed extortionatly expensive for what we were actually getting – which was mostly being eaten alive by mosquitos, sweating your tits off all night and very little actual sleep. But I digress – I still maintain this place was paradise.
The following day we headed back into town for breakfast at Besaga Beach Cottages – £2.50 for pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and fresh fruit. Just the way to start off a hard day at the beach! 😌 After meeting the others, we set off for what was meant to be a 40 minute walk through them palm tree forest to White Beach. But of course that would be too easy! We went the wrong way and ended up walking along the road instead of the short cut. It was mid day, meltingly hot and waaaaayy further to walk this way. Thankfully my Irish knight in shining armour drove past on his bike so I hopped on the back with Debbie ’cause I couldn’t be bothered to walk anymore. Arriving at White Beach was like nothing I could have ever imagined. I know for a lot of people a beach is just a beach, and I have seen a lot of beautiful beaches over the last few weeks. But the beach always has and always will be my happy place. Generally any beach anywhere but this beach stole my heart. Quiet. Empty (save for a handful of people). The most crystal clear, flat calm, turquoise water you have ever seen. Pristine white sand lined perfectly with palm trees and woven hammocks. It doesn’t get better than this…..and then Irish turns up with coconuts and, like a caveman, rips them open so we can have fresh coconut water and a snack. 😍 We lazed away the afternoon with a few beers and watched the sunset! Patrick, our new friend, had agreed to come back after sunset in his boat to pick us up and take us back to Port Barton! The boat dropped us off and we decided in meeting for dinner at Gorgonzola, an amazing pizza place in town! We ate more pizza than was probably necessary and generally had a great night with great company! The next day I was due to do another island hopping tour but I already knew I didn’t want to – I needed to get back to that beach.
I headed back to Gorgonzola for breakfast (eggs and avocado on toast – never been so happy!!) with a few girls from my hostel and decided to try again on the shortcut walk to White Beach. Success. 40 minutes through the palm tree forest with a little dog to guide us the entire way.He led us all through the forest, along Coconut Beach on the way, over the rocks and when we got to White Beach he curled up in the shade under my hammock and spent the whole day with us. Another day in paradise doing not a great deal! This is definitely what I signed up for! 🙋🏽 Sadly though, tonight would be my last night as I had to travel down to Puerto Princesa tomorrow to get my flight to Cebu. That said – what a last night it was. We went for dinner again at the flag place and then went and met the boys back at their hostel for a few drinks on their balcony. It turned into a massive showdown between man and giant beetle. Despite the boys best attempts – the beetles won, flying at your face and generally scaring the shit out of everyone! After a few drinks we headed down to the beach as we had heard rumours of phosphorescence. We were not disappointed. We spent the best part of 2 hours paddling around in the sea in the middle of the night, all being utterly amazed by the glowing plankton. I’ve never seen it before and despite my best efforts to video it, all I got was a pitch black video of me splashing around going “woooooowwwww!” 😂 We were also treated to some pretty incredible night skies and more shooting stars than I have ever seen in my life. It’s kind of hard to put into words just how amazing this night was but everyone I was with felt exactly the same. It’s one of those nights that I will never ever forget and I feel so lucky to have been in that exact place at that exact time. It’s moment like this that are exactly why I wanted to take this trip. It makes me so grateful for every person and every thing I have in my life – I just wish all my favourites could have been there with me to see it! 💕