Tao Expedition – Day 3

Sunday 8th January 2017

I woke up and helped Daniel, Judith and JC to take the skin off some long aubergines which had just been barbecued.
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Once barbecued, Mike and JC were letting them marinate with eggs battered with red onions, fish sauce, small tomatoes and pepper.
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Then Mike and JC were grilling them on the barbie. We had this with rice, banana ketchup and a fried egg for brekky, it was delicious.
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After brekky, we packed our dried bags and went back to the boat snorkeling. Here is David getting ready.
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Than loading the kayak to bring all this back to the boat.
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The boat departed and we cruised.
Here is the map between point 2 and 3 of our journey that day.

On the google map it looks like this. We snorkelled three times that day, twice near small islands near Ginto Island and then in the afternoon a third time near Calibangbondan Island.

While we cruised in the morning, a few of us were writing our travel diaries, while others were reading.
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We stopped at this island on which we walked and near which we snorkelled.
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Everyone listening to Jhun-Jhun’s briefing before to go in the water or on the island or both.
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There was another boat near us when we arrived, which wasn’t a Tao expedition.
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I had a really long snorkel, the coral was beautiful and my favourite moment was seeing this batfish.
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Each time we finished, to call the last people to come back to the boat, Jeff or Jhun-Jhun would be calling us by blowing in this shell like Jeff is doing here.
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Once everyone was on the boat, we were just sitting around the table and chatting.
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View of the island to the right while we were leaving it.
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We snorkelled again a bit later in a spot where we could reach the beach and go under a rock arch, turn left or right and get out back to the water through another beach. That rock arch was pretty cool.
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Going under, what is on the other side and getting back into the water again.

We had lunch near there and then continued cruising in the afternoon, everyone was having some down-time, sleeping, reading, contemplating, fishing, having some beers, meditating.

At some point we had to go back as this buoy had fallen in the water, so Jhun-Jhun caught it when the boat cruised by.
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We kept going and saw this Tao sailing boat that a lot of us wanted to book originally but which trip was sold out for months already. Saying that, it wasn’t really using its sails that day anyway.
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We cruised and cruised. We stopped for a third snorkel near this beach where another expedition boat had stopped and were pitching tents.
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The underwater on that third snorkel was really nice, the coral was beautiful and there were some really interesting sea urchins.

We also saw some school of razor fish. I love this fish, it is such a weird one swimming upside down.

After our snorkle, we continued towards the Tao Farm. Here was the way in front of us.
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We saw a few times some solitary flying fish flying above the water, sometimes flying for 10-20 meters before to be again in the water. They were very impressive.
Jeff came around and distributed some boat-made crepes which were delicious, Berghain was really interested about them too.

At some point Jhun-Jhun and JC caught a tuna and we had the freshest sashimi ever eaten with some soja sauce, wasabi and lime.

We arrived late afternoon at the Tao Farm in the Darocotan Bay near Dipnay, North East point of the Palawan island. We snorkelled from the boat to the shore of course. Best way to disembark! As in all previous spots, Berghain went to say hi to the dogs. He had dogs friends here, compared to the two previous nights where he had been in fights with at least one of the dogs.

We grabbed our bedding and everyone picked their hut.
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Then we went for a collective shower, passing through the Tao farm which was huge and was applying the permaculture. The collective shower was really fun. Tao makes their own organic soap and shampoo that we used here. When walking back on the path, the sky was lighting up with reds and yellows. Some went for a massage alongside the beach right after the shower, some went after dinner and some the next morning.

After this awesome collective shower, we sat at the bar and chatted enjoying some Jungle Juice, some playing wooden pool with some guests of the Tao Farm.

We could watch the cooking team preparing the meal in fronf of our eyes. Priscilla and Andi jumped in to help. Andi works as a chef in Germany where they live with Judith and Priscilla who is French, after working a few years in Finance decided to quit and become a pastry chef and is moving to Antibes with Lorenzo whose Italian from the Lake Region and works in IT.

When all the food was ready to be served, Ann the masterchef, the woman in the centre on some photos, came to present the dinner food we would have but also talk about the Tao Farm and the Tao Community.

The Tao Community employs about 300 islanders helping them and their families. The young boys learn to cook and then become cooks then leaders of the boat expeditions. All the cooking is learnt here on the Tao farm and 40% of the ingredients used are grown on the farm. They aim to reach 60 then 80% of that.

The meals were delicious and very well presented and the kind of tiramisu was soooo good.

Some photos of the evening

Next day, visit of the farm and off to more paradisiacal islands!

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