In this trip, I handled 2 groups having the same tour. At first, in the planning stage, I was so careful in putting up the itinerary. This group was diverse – from kid to senior citizen. I designed the itinerary somewhat relaxed, so that they can fully enjoy the spots without time pressure. Two days for a Coron Island loop would be really enough – one day for a Coron Island loop would really be not enough.
So come the day April 4… There were some back-outs already. A total of 4 back-outs from the 26 joiners. It was then down to 23 joiners. Even though there were 4 back-outs, 1 last minute joiner was able to join us by buying a chance passenger ticket – brave girl. The 3 back-outs were last minute back-out. I am now thinking, it really pays off to put excess joiner in the group.
Here’s the actual itinerary:
April 5 – Coron town > Twin lagoon > Banol Beach > Skeleton Wreck > CYC Island > Coron Town
April 6 – Coron Town > Mt Tapyas > Siete Pecados > Makinit Hotspring > Kalachuchi Beach > Kayangan Lake (cancelled) > Maynuno Beach > Twin Lagoon > Barracuda Lake > Coron Town
Day 1 was a normal trip for me… No surprises.
Day 2 however was a trip with surprises.
The first surprise was the change of boat. It was alright to change boat. But to position your 2 boats at 2 opposite location was a logistics error. The joiners were used to board the previous boat location, but they have to be redirected because of that. Time consuming.
The second surprise was from someone who was asking me to return our boat at Seadive. It turned out to be a funny surprise because it was a call of nature thing. Good thing our next stop was Makinit Hotspring – they have toilet and fresh water there.
The next surprise was in Kayangan Lake. We were not able to visit Kayangan Lake, just because GMA’s Dyesebel was being shot there. I asked the boat captain where’s the next best thing to do. He said take lunch at CYC Island. But we saw that CYC Island was full of boats, so the boat captaon suggested me something else. And here was a discovery, Maynuno beach. I don’t want to elaborate on this place anymore. Let the place be known to my joiner only.
Because of the delay, I asked the joiner if there is a place they want to return back to – someone suggested Twin Lagoon. Since there was 2 joiners who missed Twin Lagoon (because they arrived by plane), I considered Twin Lagoon as the next visit.
After Twin Lagoon, my joiners negotiated the challenging Barracuda Lake. Being low tide, we had to either snorkel or swim and walk our way to reach the entrance of Barracuda Lake. Me, I snorkeled my way. Here I saw many sea snakes, usual fish in the corals, and jellyfish. Too bad i didn’t brought my camera. I have to skip Twin Peaks snorkeling site because it’s late already and we had 2 snorkeling, make it 3 snorkeling galore for that day.
Realization: If the joiners would have different lodging place, better to let them their own lodging. It makes my computation simple.
This was also supposed to be my last joining trip, but I was talked out to join the May 10-11 group. Anyway, I had a meeting with my trusted guide. I was trying to pass my legacy to him. I was trying to say to him to keep the concept of my travel style – do it yourself style.
Every batch has a unique joiner composition – no better than the other. All are unique. Some are special. But they have their own characteristic. I could not really predict the turn out of the group’s closeness. But there was one thing I was sure before the trip – that after the trip, these strangers to each other will become friends. And this is what i enjoy when joining this trip. I have seen Coron destinations a couple of times. I still do enjoy the place. But the formed friendship and seeing my joiners satisfied with the tour, is the best combination for a truly happy trip.
I call this batch “Coron Batch 3”. And would you believe, after one week after the trip, this group got together for a dinner in Manila. Oh well, I will miss this with my April 19-20 and May 3-4 trips.
Until next batch!