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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Philippines Day 32-33: Puerto Princesa - Roxas - Araceli

We've made our preparation for the trip to my old hometown, reserved our seats for the shuttle van the day before that will take us from Puerto Princesa to Roxas. The driver fetched us from our place very early in the morning. Unfortunately, my sister and her youngest son couldn't make it, so only my nephews and niece came along. It was still dark, when we left. We arrived shortly after 7 a.m. in Roxas town and took a tricycle to Roxas Pier. It was really just a short walk away, but we had a lot of luggage. It was still early enough for us to have breakfast there, as our ferry to the town of Araceli would leave at around 9 a.m.. Back in the day, going to the islands would take forever. Around 12 hours by boat from Puerto Princesa to Araceli. Now, the road was paved on this northern part of mainland Palawan, so it is quite comfortable to travel with a car. But still we have to take the boat to get to the island, and that would be around 4-6 hours boat ride.

Roxas is usually always a short stop, when you travel from Puerto Princesa to the tourist paradise El Nido in northern Palawan. If you want to travel from Puerto Princesa to Roxas or El Nido, you can either take a daily, cheap, but rather uncomfortable, jeepney or a van shuttle, like the one Lexus provides.

My nephews and niece have never been to the birthplace of their parents so they were quite excited to see the place of their roots. I am excited to see the old hometown and of course my fourth sister who still lives and has her family there.

We soon got into the boat and were lucky enough to have a very calm weather on this journey. Actually I have been doing this boat ride many times before, especially when I still studied in Puerto Princesa. And some times the sea would be rough especially during the typhoon season from June to December, which can make the boat trip let's say less enjoyable. Anyway, we arrived at Araceli Pier around 1.30 p.m. and needed less than five hours this time.

We first brought our luggage to my sisters place and rested a bit, then we walked around the town.

The next day we decided to go to the most wonderful beach, Tinintinan, which is about 10 minutes from the town center with a tricycle. Araceli really has a dream beach and if you go there, you're basically alone. Adventurous tourists should take note, there's actually also some kind of basic pension in Araceli. Unfortunately, electricity is still a problem and just available in the evening. But if you enjoy the secluded feel, beach only for you, then Tinintinan Beach is for you as it still is untouched by mass tourism. 

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