I am not really sure what actually happened this morning but at some point I must have agreed to Liz’s suggestion of us going for a guided ‘walk’ up to the top of the ‘Rock’, at some later point we must have booked it and here we were being greeted by our guide. Apologies if I seem a bit hazy about the events leading up to the ‘walk’ but I was somewhat incapacitated from the shock of the whole thing. Though the tour termed this as being a walk up to the top of the rock, for my money there was no way this rock could be walked up unless we were human flies which we are not. However my guiding light Liz seemed to think there was a way this rock could be scaled without climbing and she really seemed up for it so who was I to back out? (Gulp!)
Our guide was a young fellow called Romaro – he was wearing flip flops, I mean what kind of climb would require you to wear flip flops! He started off in town by leading us through a couple of alleys and what seems like someone’s backyard and from here up the way got rougher and climbier! I was sweating like mad simply getting to the bottom the rock and now the work began. Early on it was a bit easier almost like an easy climb but both myself and Liz were not really prepared for this, all I can remember Liz saying (quite often) was that this was not the walk she expected. It was possibly at this point that things started to get a bit more vertical on us! It was the same limestone karst rock that we had seen from the comfort of our boat yesterday and here we were scaling one of the bloody things.
Romaro was a really good guide and although I am not great with these kind of heights he basically did everything except move our feet onto the next step for us so as long as we followed his instructions we would be fine. My confidence in him though did take a bit of a knock when our guide slipped off a rock and got his foot caught breaking the skin – he would have a bad bruise tomorrow I’ll be bound – but surely this could not happen to me wearing my much more appropriate footwear, could it?
All the while going up we were sweating buckets and at one or two points this was definitely a climb rather than a walk and we were getting higher and higher – not usually my favourite direction to go in but here we were. I felt like Sir Ranulph Fiennes minus the black appendiges of course but we did have a couple of blackened bananas – so make of that what you will! Onwards and upwards we went until after a couple of hairier moments we actually broke skywards so we could look down. Not that I did too much looking downwards as that broke me out into further heavy sweating and by this time I was rapidly evaporating here folks. I had it in my mind’s eye that all would be left of me would be my sweat sodden clothes, which in a funny way cheered me up no end.
All that remained after taking some somewhat strained photos at the summit was the trip down. Funnily enough this was as bad as the trip up and for some reason I thought it would be far easier – fool eh! However as with all good things and bad things and near death experiences such as this – it came to an end. I felt relief and a large amount of exhilaration at completing the climb and was possibly six stone of sweat lighter but we and more particularly, because of my fear of heights, I had done it and no one could take it away from me – Never again though eh … lol. Back down on the ground we actually realised that our aching bodies were shattered especially our legs – we needed some rest and recuperation and quick.
This was not the end to the day though as Romaro arranged a trip for us to go to Las Cabanas a beach a short way from El Nido which was amazing. After the excitement of the morning though it was all I could do to get in the water for a bit of a snorkel – I actually saw a turtle too – but the visibility was poor so saw little else. We stayed there until the weather actually turned and it chucked it down with rain so we had to run for the tuk tuk to get us back to the guesthouse.
For the night as we had been very busy bodies we treat ourselves at the Art Cafe to Pizza, Greek Salad and Chips which was really nice.