The Other Side of Paradise
Perfect picture postcard photos. That’s what we almost always see when researching a place to travel and visit. We create an image in our mind that has been conveniently edited of some of it’s reality.
Black Island off Busuanga has been described as the most beautiful island in Palawan. I’m not sure about that but the jagged limestone cliffs towering over the beach are impressive. As our bangka slowly approached the white sand beach I was so overcome with excitement I jumped off without thinking and almost lost my camera to the sea. The water was deep. I just wanted to get in and feel it’s soothing warmth once again.
We hiked to a cave then went back to the beach and frolicked in the water. The day was perfect. To get here though was a bit of work. From Coron we rented motorbikes and met up early morning with local friends to make the 60 kilometres journey.
We were told the road was cemented. Wrong. There was short and long stretches of cement alternating with long swaths of loose gravel and dirt on winding, sloping roads.
Our poor, inexperienced friend “King” wiped out three times. Our hearts stopped when he somersaulted down an embankment on the side of a bridge. I thought for sure he was a goner. From then on the ride went from enjoyable to worrisome.
Are you like us and enjoy nature or adventure shows? Don’t they look beautiful from your couch? Well, that shot in the cave cost me 10 mosquito bites. The white powder beach was home to sand fleas. Our cottage in town nestled in the jungle and surrounded by beautiful birds and butterflies is also home to biting ants, mosquitos, and a plethora of other bugs and insects.
No one told us a very large gecko would crap in our washroom in the same spot everyday. We expected power outages but didn’t realize the crankiness and irritation that would accompany the oppressive heat from the loss of a simple fan.
I don’t know how but the image of the perfect island has the magic to fade away those annoyances. Not totally but just enough.