Saturday, July 28, 2007

San Vicente To Sabang

We went back to the resort gathered our stuffs, took the big boat and sailed for Sabang, where St. Paul's Underground River is located. It's a tough 2 hours, the sea a bit rough. It's scary but it's an interesting trip. It's scenic all the way. We passed by several empty white beaches, with mountains rich with thick forests. In some parts the shores are cladded with sharp almost black lime rocks. It looks pre-historic; they are formed diagonally as if they were awakening from the depths of the ocean. Unlike the ones at Coron and El Nido, the lime rock formations are vertical. The boat trip is such an adventure, it's almost like we were surfing the waves, surrounded by dark almost black waters. It's a humbling experience. At one point, the skies casted rain on our left part, while on the right, half was sunny with fluffy clouds. It reminded me of the "The Mummy" movie, where they were chased by a cloud/body of water. I felt that as if we got to get across before that dark haunting cloud reaches us, but in the end we weren't able to escape it. We still got wet in the end.

Near Sabang, the islands are covered with long spans of golden beaches with beautiful coconut trees. I wonder if it's ok for me to built a hut there and call it home. We reached St. Paul’s Bay, and ran through the path towards the cave. I was caught off guard when Grace pointed me to the monitor lizards roaming around the path. 

The trail is in the middle of the jungle which opens to an emerald green pool of fresh and salt water which reaches out to sea. It smells bad because of the bat droppings. Actually, I was a bit hesitant in going in there. With helmets and life jackets, we entered a world new to us. Our guide was paddling our small boat. The water almost reached the rim of the boat. 

The rock formations inside is totally out of this world. Dark hard marble descends from above, with water dripping everywhere. The river is 9m deep, and our guide consoled us and said it was low tide so it’s only 8m. I said it didn't make any difference, it's still deep. He loved to joke. I love the vegetable section. And I like the main chamber, with a giant stalagmite shaped like a big candle. We also saw a big fresh water eel and a small shrimp with eyes aglow. The outer part of the cave is filled with bats and swiftlets (balinsasayaw). We also went to a canal they call Highway, due to the horizontal flat rock formations. 

Grace was quiet during the trip and confessed she didn’t like cave and she got a bit nauseated inside. At one point, we turned off all the lights, and it was pith black, awesome. Seeing the underground river is totally a great experience.

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