On June 21st, I took the Atienza cargo ferry from El Nido to Coron Town. I took this ferry the last time I left El Nido, and while it was full of random cargo and lots of people, it wasn't a disaster. This time, however, it was far less pleasant.

Cast of Characters:

1) The Captains. I wish I were kidding, but I am not.

2) The paradise I left behind.

3) The dried fish that made the boat smell oh-so-delicious as they were dumped into the cargo hold.

4) The tanks of live fish in what used to be the first floor sleepers - because of how much cargo was aboard, we were all crammed onto the top deck instead.

5) The passengers, stacked atop each other like....

6) Water buffalo. There were 41 of them aboard this ship, in addition to the other cargo (fish, dried fish, many many cabinets and mirrors) and the roosters.

7) More water buffalo outside, being hosed down perpetually. They came from Liminacong and were bound for Manila. They weren't aloud to smoke, either.

8) And finally, the REALLY unlucky water buffalo that were housed in the sub-cargo hold, squished in with the dried fish.

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  • Jodi Ettenberg

    Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…

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