Although we are home now, I still have several sketches to post from our holiday in El Nido. This one was done at a beach called 7 commandos which is supposedly named after seven soldiers who were stranded there during WWII. The beach is is actually connected to the mainland, so although we were still on our island hopping trip we had technically finished hopping at this point. Anyway, after our lunch we stopped here for a swim and a nice cold (overpriced) beer at the Vellago resort. Because the bar is so close to the sea they have piled up sandbags to protect them from the rough seas.
On the fourth full day of our holiday in El Nido we arranged to go on “Island hopping tour A”. After visiting the fantastic big lagoon at Miniloc Island we stopped at Shimizu island for lunch. A full spread had been set out on tables further along the beach, for a large tour group and the staff kindly lent us a few chairs as our Bangka (a type of boat, usually with outriggers, like in the sketch) had only brought a table. What a wonderful view we had while we ate our lunch.
This was the third sketch I did on Sunday. After having lunch in town we came back to where we are staying and then went for a walk on Corong-Corong beach. This beach is a bit less touristy than the others we have been to – there are a lot more boats and there is a lot more trash washed up at the high tide mark. The boat in the foreground is called Nanay (which means mother). When I had finished this and the tide had gone out, we wandered among the pools and sea grass looking at starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs, while waiting for the sunset.
After we discovered we couldn’t swim at Nacpan beach we came back into town to have lunch and went to a little Vietnamese restaurant called “Garlic and Mint” to have delicious Banh Mi (a small crispy baguette sandwich). This is the view from the balcony we sat on – the surf board is a sign for the nearby Art Café. There are many places to eat listed in Google maps but many have closed down because of the pandemic…such a shame and a real hardship for people depending on tourism for an income.
Our third full day in El Nido took us to Nacpan beach which is supposed to be one of the best beaches in the world. It is truly beautiful but unfortunately (according to some guys from the tourism office) the coastguard had issued an order to not allow people to swim because of the rough weather. I did manage to go in for a little dip before this and could feel a really strong rip tide, so that was probably good advice. We finally had some patches of blue sky that day!
Day three of our little holiday took us to Lio Beach, which apparently is ‘owned’ by the Ayala Corporation. Although technically the beach is supposed to be public, at one point a guard would not let us walk up the beach because there were guests at the fancy hotel (called Seda Lio)…however when the tide had gone a long way out (the guard being at the high tide line under the trees) we walked up to the point through the surf anyway.
After walking all the way along the beach to the point, we found a quiet little resort to have a light lunch at. This is the view from our table. The wind was still blowing hard (I tried to capture this in the leaves of the palm tree), but look at that fantastic scenery.
On our first full day in El Nido we took a little trip up the coast to Las Cabanas beach. It was extremely windy and a little bit rainy but we made the most of it. As I sat and sketched this (while my daughter and wife were swimming) I was getting free exfoliation from the sand being blown at me and my palette almost blew away several times!
Here is my first sketch from our little holiday in El Nido. I drew this sitting by the swimming pool – but as I draw pools so often I didn’t bother to include it. Next sketches will hopefully be down on the beach if the weather clears up (pretty rainy at the moment).