The sun was slowly setting; wind whipping our hair back and sea water spraying up with each rolling in of the waves. Our bike was fully loaded with three people and soft patches of the beach would give us very unsteady wobbles. We zoomed a full lap up and down the beautiful Nacpan beach, laughing away as we sped.

Nacpan beach was a stop that surpassed my expectations. We arrived late in the afternoon having explored a jungle trek out to a waterfall first and found that the little shack that we’d booked – Jack’s Place – turned out to be a fairly luxurious and the beach stunning, especially in the evening and morning when the day trippers had left. We spent a super relaxing evening there unwinding from a busy couple of days and nights in El Nido. I wished we had longer to spend there, I chatted to a guy who was happily into his 13th night and had no plans on moving on anytime soon. The owner was super friendly, which was especially great when we realised that we hadn’t brought quite enough Pesos with us to fully cover our bill – we’d been feasting a bit too much in the restaurant!

Getting a bike and exploring independently is a favourite of mine whilst travelling. The Philippines was the biggest challenge yet to my driving skills. Three on bike, hills so steep I had to weave the bike to keep it moving on up, loose rubble roads, semi constructed roads – the Philippines had it all. I had a blast riding out to hot springs, waterfalls, jungle treks and, of course, beaches.  The amount of people that come off bikes in the Philippines is also pretty high – there were countless people scraped up when a tyre has slid out from under the bike. Thankfully we came out the other side unscathed.

The Philippines may be known for its crystal ocean waters, but inland is also beautiful with green rolling hills and a myriad of waterfalls, which we duly trekked through coconut tree packed forests to reach. The water was always a blast of refreshment after a hot walk. Near a town called Badian there is a whole trail of waterfalls down a hillside that you can jump and slide your way down. A complete tourist trap, but a lot of fun.

This wraps up my blogs on the Philippines. Desk warming season is almost nearly finished with students returning next week to start the new year. Soon I’ll have to actually do something when I come to work rather than spend my days reading and writing. I’m kind of enjoying being paid to do nothing and treating Wednesday nights out like it’s a Friday – teaching may be a bit of a shock next week!

Also in the Philippines series: