Up at 6:00 AM to finish our Palawan adventure. Breakfast was served at the La Sirenetta coffee house/canteen: longganisa, fried eggs, danggit, and heaps of rice. After breakfast we set out on our sturdy boat to visit the world famous lake on a mountain: Kayangan Lake.
The trip to the mountain was a silent one. When we got there, we had to walk up some two hundred uneven, slippery steps, stress on uneven. And we stopped midway to take pictures. After the photoshoot, we continued some more uneven, slippery steps to the lake. This time, the route was down the slope. It was scarier. And then, right after a bend, there was Kayangan Lake.
According to our guide, it was a five to seven meter deep affair with a sudden drop of over forty a few feet away from the shoreline. It was also approximately 70% fresh and 30% salt water. The lake was so beautiful. And it WAS fresh. The water was so clean you can see clear to the bottom. I first swam, along with my companions, with my life vest on (as a safety precaution, as the water was too fresh for buoyancy). However, being the mermaid that I really am, I took mine off. It was AMAZING. At the semi center of the lake, where there were no underwater protusions to rest on should one tire from treading, I had the eerie feeling of floating in space. Underwater, the light dissipated into a bluish greenish hue and I can barely hear the other swimmers splashing on the surface. It was a breathtaking scenery from a totally different planet than the one I’m used to. Everything was softer: the light, the movement, the fishies. I could just see myself flying through the water that held no current. For a moment, I also imagined some huge lake monster hiding in the darkness below me, waiting for unsuspecting land walkers. We didn’t stay too long at the lake.
On our way out the lake mountain, we passed by four rock formation that looked like they were floating on air from afar. They were astounding. On we boated.
We reached our second destination: the Coral Gardens. This time, I didn’t even bother putting the jacket on. The saline wonderland would take care of my body.
As I dove in, the first thought I had was that there were too many colors. Hundreds. Thousands. Every imaginable hue was there: from the weird blue corals to the almost black light violet of them anemones. And the red, yellow, silver, blue, iridescent fish. Fishes. The black sea urchins that scared the living daylights out of me. Miles and miles of colors. And the dull gray dead corals at the bottom.
I blame the sea urchins for the destruction of one coral reef.
I was about to stand on a huge slab of coral when, out of the blue, I see this creeping sea urchin by my foot. I panicked and, because I’ve been training my water skills, I proceeded to trash the place with my flailing limbs, like an earthworm swimming through salt.
I’m sorry coral. I’m sorry little fishies. It was the sea urchin’s fault.
And because Nature takes care of Her own, I am now tattoed with a gash the length of the Marianas trench on my left sole, coupled with little punctures on my toes and ankle. I also have several coral colored bruises along my legs and thighs. Damn you sea urchin damn YOU!
And we then went to CYC, which was more coral gardens, more fishies, and more sea urchins. In fact, there was an entire bed of sea urchins, about the size of a football field. I bet they have already talked about how their brother almost had me in the most unhealthy manner. I bet they were leering at me with their sea urchin eyes, whispering about me with their evil ocean telepathy thingie.
After our affairs with the ocean, we headed back to our lodge with the rain drenching our spirits and draining the last vestiges of energy we had. We had a luncheon feast of ginataang crab and fried danggit.
We went back to the souvenir shop, Everly Garden, for our last minute shopping. That was where our service picked us up a few minutes after.
We were two hours early for our flight back to Manila, so I had coffee at Cafe B.O.G. while trying to finally win a battle in Tekken. I lost.
On the plane, I sat by the window watching the gray tarmac fall away as we gained altitude, listening to my music. When we’ve reached cloud level, I thought I knew then how the Goddess must feel when She looks down on us: like She can squish us. The clouds were amazing. Cloud watching never really gets old for me. It’s something I never tire of doing. Especially when I’m up there with them, either by plane or otherwise, I feel so powerful. So fulfilled.
And then, after an hour of being airborne, we were hauled by a service coaster to Terminal 3 of the airport. And that concludes our little Palawan adventure.
Pictures are available on my Instagram.