Zentraveler pumpboats to Sabang, Palawan!

Pumpboat from Port Barton to Sabang

Sometimes when you travel you begin to wonder if your choices are any good or you are just tired out from banging around in airports, tricycles, vans, boats, etc, When Perla and I decided to leave at 4:45 am in the morning, which is still pitch dark, we were beginning to check our sanity as to whether this was the right move. The French couple living next to us in our beach cottage came in drenched the day before and they said it took nearly six hours coming from Sabang to Port Barton and were rather weary from the tip. I mentioned to Perla you know we are not that many hours from Sabang by bus… we could simply retrace to Roxas by jeepney and catch a direct bus to Sabang or hire a local van!

At any rate not only is it eery to jump in the pumboat with two strange men in total darkness, but who knows what lies ahead. I began to wonder if they have any life rafts and I whispered to Perla they don’t even have a flashlight. But isn’t that the mystery of travel— the thrill and to get the adrenaline moving. We felt like we were stow-aways and hugged each other before departing.

As we worked our way out of the Port Barton harbor we effortlessly stole into the night moving along so silent it was if we were gliding over the water. We looked up at the stars and said a secret prayer that this was going to work out ok. In the distance we could see the outlines of a few fishing boats and soon the morning sunrise began to appear in brilliant reddish colors… exploding over the sea as if a painter hand designed this just for our trip.

Baitfish were jumping out of the water and a pod of dolphins raced toward our boat and began jumping and frolicking alongside as if to guide us through the next set of turns and to show off their acrobatic skills. The silloutes of the mountains loomed large as our boat Captain expertly navigated toward our destination of Sabang,the home of the world famous underground river and cave system, which is one of the largest in the world.

We arrived in only two and one half hours and bought the crew a fish breakfast and thanked them for a great trip. They indicated they were heading back to Port Barton before the waves began to build and the afternoon wind would come up. Our pump-boat crew waved good-bye as they navigated out of the busy port of Sabang.

Sabang Harbor

So there you have it a great scenic boat trip and it is highly recommended you bring either a waterproof sea bag or wrap everything in double plastic so nothing gets wet on the trip. You can also ask the boat captain to stop for breakfast or lunch at Coconut Garden Island Resort, located at Cacnipa Island. San Vincente…approximately15 km 45 minute boat ride from Port Barton and enjoy some of the nature the island has to offer. The owner is Swiss and is very hospitable with a lovely resort for lodging or make a daytrip or stopover to experience some great home cooked meals and many walking trails with some wildlife, flowers and stunning seascapes.

Sailboat Anchored near Port Barton

QUOTE: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”-St Augustine

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:The fur of the binturong, also known as the “Asian Bear Cat,” smells like popcorn. The scent is believed to come from a gland located near the tail

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Asian Bear Cats! The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is neither a bear nor a cat, and the real meaning of the original name is lost, as the local language that gave it is extinct. Its natural habitat is in trees of forest canopy in rainforest of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Palawan Island.It is nocturnal and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat eggs, shoots, leaves and small animals, such as rodents or birds. Deforestation has greatly reduced its numbers. When cornered, the Binturong can be vicious. The Binturong can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed. The Binturong can live over 20 years in captivity; one is recorded to have lived almost 26 years.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: It’s all in zee travel—so get hopping grasshopper!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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