Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tao company & foundation

To get from El Nido to Coron in style we booked a trip with Tao. They offer different tours from day trips, private tours and the expedition style we did.
All together we where 23 on the fully booked and just recently renovated (overhauled?) ship. Sounds like much but you have to keep in mind that we didn't sleep on the ship itself but on so called base camps on some lonely islands. These camps, scattered all around the route, consist of some huts, an outdoor shower and toilet, a little kitchen and a communal area.

The day before departure we got briefed and had the chance to buy some beers, rum and pineapple juice for the general drinks pool, so we wouldn’t die of thirst on the remote islands ;) This way nobody had to count beers or hide a stash of rum somewhere. 
Also there they warned us beforehand that we all would gain weight, so true! The food the guys cooked in the little kitchen either on the boat or on the islands was just extraordinary! The best food we tasted in our whole trip (yes, shame on you Hong Kong)!

Also worth mentioning is that most of the food came either from their own farm or got supplied by locals from the islands. Tao company has a foundation which it supports to develop, help and support the local islanders by giving them opportunities to earn a buck and help preserve their tiny islands for the next generation. 
We stayed one night on their farm and had a chance to look around. They explained the different plants they grow, the newly build pig pen (the little piggies get distributed around the islands and then bought back once they are fully grown), the duck and the fish pond.
The foundation tries to spread ideas and techniques like using rice wash for doing the laundry or leaving dead plants over the soil and roots instead of burning it, so it would retain moisture. Because one of the main problems for the islanders is the few fresh water they get, so everything which helps to save and reduce is welcome!

This fusion of old and new ideas is best seen in the huts and buildings they are now building. With new plans is mind (to resist the yearly typhoons) these constructions get built by using local resources (mostly bamboo) and local techniques employed by the fisherman since generations to build their boats.

All in all a good cause! So lets go and have a holiday! :D

Mango Tree - Fish Pond - Papay Tree - Duck Pond