Saturday, June 28, 2008

Some random photos...

Minneapolis in Spring '07

Westcliffe, CO - May '07

Westcliffe, CO - May '07

Minneapolis, MN - Mar. '07

Westcliffe, CO - May '07

Minneapolis, MN - 2007

Weismen Museum - Minneapolis, MN - 2006

Minneapolis Skyline - Jan '07

Minneapolis Skyline - Summer '06

Eliott Park - Minnepolis, MN - 2007

Boundry Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN - Fall '06

South Fork, WY - 2006

Waffle House - Lancaster, PA - Sept '07

Great Sand Dunes, CO - Oct '07

Belfry Highway, WY - 2007

South Fork, WY - 2007

Hogye, South Korea - May 2008

Cheongok Dong, South Korea - May 2008

El Nido, Philippines - May 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day 3 - El Nido

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise on day 3.

These guys were up early every morning building a boat. They were taking a little break in the shade here. Their kids were great fun to watch. Chipping in here and there, but more or less, getting in the way.

Beach path into town. I spent a lot of time lounging around here watching the locals and snorkeling in the water.

We did an island hopping tour. Coming in here to a hidden beach for some snorkeling. The coral and fish were amazing. Saw this neon blue plasma doughnut shaped thing-don't know what it was, exactly, but the fish loved diving inside, nibbling on something and darting back out.

Sarah loved the snorkeling, even though we got stung by these tiny translucent jelly fish over and over again. The bite was simalar to a mosquitos. Not bad, really.

We stopped on this tiny beach for lunch. Fresh snapper + tuna, rice, and cabbage salad. A couple San Miguel to wash it all down with. Snorkeling here was great. Saw a bunch of large blue star fish (maybe 14-16 inches in diameter), sea turtles, and numerous corals. Swimming out about 15 meters from the shoreline the ocean completely opened up and dropped off into a deep blue chasm. This was really fantastic. The water was so clear. Looking down the wall that dropped off covered in long seaweeds, massive corals, and swarmed by so many schools of fish...I'll never forget this spot.

The whole of El Nido and the surrounding island were comprised of these really jagged limestone cliffs. Every bit of the surface was rough and not very forgiving. Trees grew out of anything they could and some were just gorgeous.

The boat and a couple of our fellow island hoppers.

Sarah used a jellyfish for the "O".

Helicopter Island. We spent a few hours here loafing around, walking the beach, checking out the shells and corals.

I fell in love with this place and really didn't want to leave.

I met this young teenage kid, who approached while I was head down, looking at all the seashells. He went by the alias "Truth" and explained some of the local history. He'd moved with his family from Manila and was starting to learn the ropes for becoming a guide. He hoped to help educate tourists about the value of coral reefs and some of the others beautiful areas around the island. Neat kid.

The color of the water + sand, contrasted with the limestone cliffs and foliage was really amazing.

We couldn't get over the size of the shells. The giant clams in the ocean were even larger.

Some fossilized shells embedded in the rock.

The island on the right reminded me of Balanced Rock in Arches National Park.

Leaving Helicopter Island and heading back to El Nido. The beach in this photo was on Cadlao Island. Sarah and I would later explore this beach after a jungle trek coming down a slippery jungle trail to the right in this photo. I took a good whipping in the face by a piece of bamboo and earned a couple nice pin pricks on my cheek.

Almost back to reality.

El Nido from the sea.