To the Batcave (aka Puerto Princesa Underground River)!!!
“Local transport boats ferry people from Sabang’s port to the cove which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; Si mamang bangkero nahihiya pang magpa-picture! lol”
Continuing on from my previous post….
So after a couple hours of lounging about Sabang Beach, we were ready to head to the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR for short) through Sabang Port. Sabang port was literally 5 minutes away from Sabang Beach (and I did not know this). We boarded our tour bus from Sabang Beach and I was all ready to have a nap on our tour bus when about 5 minutes later our tour guide asked us to get off the bus and wait for her at the terminal. There went my after lunch nap plans! Darn! We then boarded a boat that took us to the area where the entrance of the cave was. It was my first time to travel by small boat (if you exclude those rides at amusement parks…) and the ride was very enjoyable.
“The Sabang Community Stage at Sabang Port; The stage had been taken over by tourists!”
” A view of the Saint Paul Mountain Range which houses the Puerto Princesa Underground River; The profile of the mountain is shaped like a man lying down on his back (Thats one big stomach!).”
After that very relaxing boat ride, we got to the area where the cave was and we were given some time to just wander about. We were then ushered to this small dock area where people waited to get onto even smaller boats which travelled inside the subterranean river/cave.
“There were a LOT of monitor lizards roaming freely around the area. I’m used to seeing little lizards on my ceiling at home in the Philippines but not lizards these big!”
“People going into the mouth of the cave”
“People coming out of the mouth of the cave”
“People, wearing yellow hardhats littered the dock, waiting to get onto a boat to get into the cave. The hardhats they had were somewhat small for my big head so I had to wear mine slightly lop-sided.”
“These people got special treatment and didn’t have to line up for a boat; they must have been VIPs.”
“My view of the cave entrance from the boat”
When we started boarding the boat, we were asked who wanted to sit in the front of the boat. I would have volunteered to sit in front of the boat but that would mean I would have to hold the torchlight and not be able to take pictures (not that I was able to get a lot of decent pictures anyways because the camera I had brought with me has focusing issues in low light, I wouldn’t really blame it, it was pitch black inside). I settled for a seat on the 3rd row.
So as we travelled into the mouth of the cave, I got this cool windy sensation (which was nice) coupled with a somewhat funky aroma (which was not as nice) and also a refreshing misty sensation (not unlike a spray bottle spraying cool water on a hot summer day) coming from the roof of the cave. Our boatman quickly pointed out that the mist we were feeling was most likely bat urine and that smell was also from bat urine; I kept my face straight on, being wary of looking up, and my mouth closed for the whole boat ride…..
“Graffiti in the Cave”
“Hey look! Its a bird!”
“The roof of the cave; bats and birds were flying about. I made sure not to open my mouth when I took this shot.”
“Formations inside the cave”
“Getting out of the cave”
These pictures really do no justice to the interiors of the cave. The camera flash ruins the eery atmosphere of the cave and also fills in the shadows of the rocks and crevices which would normally make you see strange things out of the rock formations in the cave (i.e. there was a formation shaped like the Holy Family, a squash, a melting candle, etc.). I believe that to fully appreciate the cave formations, you really have to go there and see it for yourself.
After getting out of the cave, we headed back to the area where our boat would bring us back to Sabang Port. The ride this time around was very different from the ride over. The weather changed drastically and it was really overcast and windy, which made for a very choppy ride back. It even started to rain heavily as we neared the port.
“A boat waiting to transport people back to the port”
“The ride back to Sabang was VERY choppy because of the sudden weather change. You can probably guess what happened to me right after I took this picture… yes, I got wet.”
“Back at Sabang’s Port”
I don’t really remember much about what happened when we got back on our tour bus after the boat ride. I quickly fell asleep when I got on the bus due to our very early start that day and also the afternoon of being under the hot sun. I just remembered that we had a really good dinner at KaLui’s Restaurant that evening but that will have to wait until another post!