On Good Friday, myself and 4 others decided to hire motorbikes and explore a few of the beaches outside of El Nido. I’d seen plenty of Filipinos and tourists riding motorbikes around town, how hard could it be?
It cost 500PHP to hire a motorbike for the day, so around 9 we headed to the shop and hired 3 motorbikes between the 5 of us. I was a little shaky on the bike at first but once I was used to how it worked I was fine.
Good Friday at the Beach
The first stop of the day was Duly Beach, around an hour drive away from El Nido. The highway was quiet, which made for good driving conditions. After the highway came the dirt roads. I’m not sure why I felt dirt roads would be a good idea on a motorbike. I definitely wouldn’t ride a motorbike on a dirt road back in the UK.
Anyway, I was fine riding the bike on the dirt roads. The first problem came when riding on the track down to Duly Beach. I somehow managed to fall into a barbed wire fence, which left me with a nice cut on my forearm. Being mere metres from the beach, I parked up the bike and enjoyed a few hours at Duly Beach. Duly is a lovely beach and is really quiet. The surf is a little rough so it’s popular with surfers.
We headed to Nacpan later in the day. I was a little nervous about getting back on the bike but once I had passed the fence I was ok. I made it down the dirt track to Nacpan without a hitch but the road to Nacpan is dodgy. There’s huge holes in the road at random points and sometimes you can’t see them until they’re right in front of you. I met a guy who said he went over one because he didn’t see it until the last minute, fortunately, he wasn’t hurt but he did get a flat tire.
Once in Nacpan, I had a couple of fruit shakes and relaxed for a couple of hours. One of my friends was meeting another friend there so we all chatted for a while and enjoyed the afternoon sun.
Around half 4 we decided to head back towards El Nido. I would have loved to see the sunset at Nacpan but I really didn’t fancy driving back to El Nido in the dark. On the road between Nacpan and the main highway is a wooden bridge. As I was going over the bridge I fell off the bike and into the water below. All I remember is hearing a thud and landing in the water.
A lovely Filipino family were in a pickup truck behind me at the time and one of the guys helped me out of the water, whilst another took the motorbike off the bridge. One of the ladies gave me some tissue because blood was pouring from my leg (I hadn’t noticed). If it hadn’t been for these kind people I’m not sure how I would’ve got back to El Nido. They let me sit in the back of the pickup truck and one of the men drove the bike back to El Nido.
Once I arrived in El Nido, I had to pay for damages to the bike and then shower. The water I fell into smelled awful so I was desperate to have a shower and actually feel clean. My clothes were ripped so they went in the bin. Even at this point I think I was still in shock at what had happened. I tried to go to a pharmacy to buy some antiseptic and plasters but they were closed due to it being Good Friday. Luckily a lovely girl in the hostel had some iodine which she kindly let me use.
The following day my bruises had really begun to show up and I ached really badly. The cut on my leg turned out to be a lot more painful than I expected because most of the skin had come off. Somehow I’d failed to notice this the previous day.
Looking back, I’m so grateful for the kindness that the Filipino family who helped showed me. I’m also very lucky to have escaped a serious injury, although I’ve no doubt that my leg will be scarred for quite some time. To be honest, I think hiring a motorbike was a stupid idea. I wouldn’t ride one back home, so I don’t know why I thought hiring one in the Philippines would be a good idea. This accident has really made me think about some of the activities I’m doing whilst travelling.
Got any thoughts? Or similar experiences you’d like to share? Comment in the space below…