I muttered under my breath, “Just a few more of these muddy sections, Manong told me there are only five more left.”
Assuring myself that I would be fine, despite the deriding laughter of the Manong driver I met on the way as he recounted that somebody flipped into those muddy tracks, I plowed on to an imminent mishap.
Early on the trip, I was happily cruising on winding pavement, undeterred by the stormy rains pelting against me. I was wearing a jacket, but I still felt the sting of the incessant rain.
The convenience of the paved road was short-lived; I reached its end and came to a rough road dotted with potholes and muddy parts. I negotiated my way easily, but the difficulty of the terrain worsened. Worse, to worst. Potholes, to bogs and quagmires.
There were many times that my motorbike got stuck. The worst times were when over half of its wheels get buried in the mud. The unluckiest part was, I wasn’t supposed to experience the most difficult and deepest muddy tracks in my life – it was not the road to Nacpan beach anymore. I was at New Ibajay, several kilometers into inland Northern Palawan. I went past the crossing where I should have taken a turn.
I turned around after somebody told me I’m way off course. I spotted the right turn on the way back which was labeled DETOUR. No wonder I missed it, it wasn’t labeled Nacpan after all.
I got around the muddy tracks with a relative ease this time as I learned that as long as I have control of the motorbike and have sufficient speed but not too much, I won’t get stuck in the mud and I won’t slide and tumble.
Which I still learned later on that that technique won’t work in unknown depths of potholes+muddy tracks. Which cost me P265.00 more, as a replacement of the broken mirror after I did crash.
I crashed my bike, pure and simple. I went down a slippery incline, and saw one of the many rice-paddy like portions of the road. This was after a few minutes I met the habal-habal driver, and after what he told me, I was pretty sure I would have the same fate as the other guy who went before me. I decided to go head-on – go down the slope, go through the muddy track, and come what may.
May didn’t come, but crash did.
I wanted to take a picture of me swimming in the mud pool, but that wouldn’t be Diva-ish.
I continued onwards, and realized that the habal-habal driver was lying. Perhaps not intentionally. There were more than five rice-paddy like portions ten times in length than my crash site! I lost count after eight, so it must have been around seven.
I reached the beach past one in the afternoon. It was over three hours of biking rough roads, rain battering, hunger, and thirst. But the place was just indescribable. The stress was wiped out the second I saw Nacpan beach.
I almost cried after seeing it, after all the tribulations I’ve undergone, I felt I was rewarded more than I bargained for.
I only stayed there a little over an hour as I know it might take me another three hours to get back to the town proper of El Nido. I wish I could have stayed longer and played with the waves, but seeing its beauty made me contented and happy already.
Oh well. I did get back to the place I rented, soaked and all. When I took off my jacket, I remembered I was wearing a very apt shirt.