Mar 9-14, 2010
Sea Kayaking, Beach Camping and Skin Diving with Outback Greg on his Tribal Adventures Tour
So...What's your Flight Number?
It was an unexpected surprise when Outback Greg, an Australian friend who runs Tribal Adventures Tours in Busuanga, Palawan, texted me saying he'll pick us up at the Coron airport. Prior to that, Char and I just planned on winging what we could do in Busuanga...no set itinerary, but well-equipped for any kind of outdoor adventure that might be in store - stove, tent, fins, binocs, etc. But that text message changed everything. It would be the start of a most excellent and exhilarating Tribal Adventure program for me and Char.
The Maranaw Hill-House
Always punctual, Outback Greg was already at the airport even though our flight arrived 30 minutes early. His spanking new toy, a Toyota crewbcab with payload to bear, was reving for our backpacks. After going through Busuanga's dirt roads, we came upon his Maranaw-styled digs-by-the-hill. Completely surrounded by nature with a view of Coron Bay, it was the closest thing to a jungle treehouse. With hammocks by the ceiling beams, we could chill-out as we spent the breezy afternoon over tea and coffee.
Packing It All In
At the crack of dawn, gears were packed for an overnight stay at his newly acquired beach property in off-the-beaten-path Cheey, about 2-hours drive from Coron Town. The Confluence Sea Kayak was loaded up the rack, coolers filled with ice, water topped-off, and get this - he got a pair of 2-kilo Halsey Harbour Crabs from the market! They were the biggest crabs I've ever seen. With that, we fastened our seat belts and were on our way. WooHoo!
The Rough and Tumble Road to Cheey
The road to Cheey wasn't for the country-club pretty-boy type. It was dusty, isolated and rough going. Glimpses of meandering mangrove rivers, lush estuaries and coral reef-lined shores cascaded as we coasted up and down the winding dirt road. It was indeed a promising destination. It was in this general location where the last 2 rare sightings of Dugongs were reported.
It didn't take long 'til we entered Tribal Adventures' 6-hectare beachfront location which included a coastal hill, cashew orchard, fine-sand beach, coral reef, and coconut trees. With all that, it was difficult deciding what to do first - skin dive, trek up the hill for a 3600 view from the northeast of Busuanga, bird watching, swimming, hammocking, etc. We had the place all to ourselves.
A Unique and Excellent Adventure
What followed was a unique experience very few tourists ever get - paddling out on our kayaks to a circular patch of fine white sand completely surrounded by water. Of course, the patch got smaller and smaller as the tide came in! That was followed by paddling up the deep end and challenging ourselves with the swells as we used the wave to surf us back to the mainland. From camp, we donned our fins and snorkels and took the plunge to the drop-off. Marine life was diversified and abundant. Because of the natural jetties, there was no current on the snorkeling grounds. I could calmly stay afloat without fear of being swept away. Dinner that night was steamed crabs and the coldest beer on the coastline. Winding down was lazing down the hammocks, shooting the breeze and star gazing. In a place with no city lights, the stars never looked more dazzling!
"New York! New York!". New York is so fascinating, you have to say it twice. "Coron! Coron! Coron!" Coron is breath-taking, you can't just say it twice. Thank you for that very memorable experience, Outback Greg...you give Crocodile Dundee a run for his money!
For those looking for a unique Tribal Adventures program, Outback Greg has many more aces up his sleeve to amaze you. You can contact him at TribalAdventures.com.
- Upon arrival at Manila airport, don't get out of the terminal to get a cab - cabs lined up on the street demand "extra" money on top of the regular fare. Instead, get a cab on the Departure Area.
(Mar 22, 2010) ...your enthusiasm, zest for life, is quite infectious. Thought I'd update you on what the weekend after your visit turned up when we returned again to Cheey.
After waking up to banana pancakes, it was a paddle in the opposite direction, around the next headland going north, and a dart into a green lagoon and up a river from the village of Minit. Viola! A verdant paradise of nipa palms, mangroves and tall trees full of birds. With some ducking of overhanging branches and nimble maneuvering around rocks stumps and logs, the river can be paddled for some 3 kms until a concrete irrigation dam wall appears. This time my 6-year-old twins Joshua and Jenet joined me in the front of the double North Star, the same Wilderness Systems kayak you and Char paddled to the island of sand the weekend earlier.
Beyond that dam wall is mountain bikers' nirvana—a 25 km long single track winding up to Busuanga Airport. The track, once a mining road, encompasses dozens of river and creek crossings, a breeze in the dry season from December to May, but a major challenge in the wet times. The first 5 kms is an unadulterated mud bath from June to November, the track hugging the muddy banks of the upper reaches of the river above the concrete weir. What you must do with me when you can get here with a mountain bike is explore a side track that I reckon links the track near the upper section of the river with our camp site. Of course you've got to also do the distance to the airport too!
Back at camp after the kayak trip it was cashew harvest time from the camp's cashew grove. It's not widely appreciated that the cashew is attached to a luscious fruit about the shape and size of a capsicum, and coloured yellow or red when ripe. We took a sack of the fruit and a sack of the nuts - back to Coron. We're determined to launch a Tribal brand of cashews. Follows on from coffee, picked up on our Tribal Adventure trips around the Philippines.
Wish us luck, and thanks to you, for your inspiration. Kind of catchy that Outback Greg label you gave me. Pity Busuanga's fresh out of Crocodiles. Have to be content with Dugong-paddling and snorkeling with them.
(Mar 22, 2010) I saw your Palawan pics...ganda!
"no he didn't charge us because he's a friend :)"
(Mar 23, 2010) Hehe. Lucky!
"Did he charge you at all for the tours he helped you with? I wonder how much mga package tours niya."
(Mar 22, 2010) ...no he didn't charge us because he's a friend :) he doesn't believe in packages 'ata because people are different and he wants to tailor the activities to each group.
(Mar 21, 2010) Char, super ganda ng pics!!! It's different from the typical places people visit in Coron, which are the lakes (but those are super nice rin). I love the underwater pics... and you saw a turtle! So cool! Seeing those pics gave me a sudden urge to watch Finding Nemo again. Haha! Swerte niyo naman kay Outback Greg! Did he charge you at all for the tours he helped you with? I wonder how much mga package tours niya.
I miss the beach! Waah!!! Still working on my final project, then summer here I come!
(Mar 18, 2010) Beautiful photos of a wonderful adventure.. just the kind of things I love to do ";D~ Looks like you had an amazing time. !! Thank you for sharing it
(Mar 17, 2010) visit flyseair.com....they have discounted rates to batanes!
»» next story: Skin Diving and Beach Camping at Calumbuyan Island
»» next Kayaking Story Lake Balinsasayao, Revisited on a Kayak
»» back to Kayaking
»» back to Homepage
WANT YOUR SITE
TO RANK HIGHER ON
#1 out of 425,000
as of July 9, 2010
traveling, skin diving
Web Design Service