The landscape and flora and fauna in the Northern region of the Philippines is sure something. Some say the rice terraces are the 8th wonder of the world, well they are spectacular that is for sure. The thousands of years of work and planning that went into building these mountain side terraces dose not go unnoticed. I gazed in awe and wonder for hours after arriving, a photo could never do this beautiful land justice.
I spent a few days hanging out in Manila after arriving back from Donsol, did a little partying and got to spend some time with my girl Peaches. We even got matching tattoos!! Well they were henna so they only last a couple weeks, he he. The same night we went out dancing and partying, witnessed a bottle throwing fight and made some new friends. Good Times, thanx Peaches. The next day it was the bus to Banaue, once again an air-conditioned night buses. I’m really not a big fan of these buses and don’t get how people can sleep (I sure can’t), with the windy roads and constant speeding up, slowing down and horns honking it’s more like a roller coaster ride. I’ve
Peaches and I
survived of coarse and also met a couple guys to travel with (Paul and Ajit) to the rice terraces. Paul had already been and was returning after missing his plane in Manila (woops), and he had a plan so we joined him and ended having a great time trekking through the mountains finding the paths less traveled and exploring the unknown. We had a few hours to kill and decided we’d go check out the “bones”, the villagers collect the bones of there loved ones after 1 year and all there are completely decomposed. It was really creepy when this old lady brought out her grandfather, the sound was just like what you’d think boned rattling sounds like, and opened up the hand woven blanket they were stored in to display for us. We were all a little shocked by it but it was still pretty cool to see the bones, she evened posed the skull for pictures. Hum.
The first town we stayed in Batad was accessible from the road only but a walking trail that took just over n hour. All of the supplies in the town have to be carried so the menu was the same in
all the resturants. The selection of food consisted of canned meats (conned beef, tuna and luncheon meat), veggies, rice and pasta. It was not to bad for a couple days and it really didn’t matter because the scenic beauty made up for it and I would have ate just plain rice if I had to. Just down the valley from this village was Tappia Waterfall, stunning, with lush green plants growing up the walls around it and a refreshing pool to swim in at the bottom, it was a nice reward after the sweaty hike. A cool night sleep the morning came and we headed off on a hike to the village of Cambulo. Paul had been before and new a less traveled route along the rice terraces that was much more scenic and enjoyable so we followed stopping many times to just look out and admire the beauty. I’m still not over it. Cambulo was a really small little village but I really liked it because it has the river (waterfall) flowing down along the valley right through the village. We had planned to visit the waterfall again before going back to our rooms but got a little off
the trail when we though this other trail might bring us to the waterfall also. We all agreed to check it out and after abo15 minutes we ended up at the river and followed it down until we reached the top of the falls (woops). Disappointed we were not it was a nice little detour and we got to have a swim and walking along the river was really enjoyable. We had to back track or jump, we decided back was better, the fall was I’d say 80 feet or so and we never even really considered it. When we returned we rewarded ourselves with beers and again an early night for in the morning we had to hike back out of the village and catch a jeepney back.
Sadly Paul had to leave us in Banaue back to Manila, but Ajit and I continued on to Sagada to check out the caves and coffins. Sagada was really cool; the kids were super friendly and the sights really close to the town. We arrived in the late afternoon and pretty exhausted we decided to just check out a burial cave 15 minutes from out hotel. They still to
while hiking along the rice terraces
this day put there dead into small carved out coffins and place them into caves as there final resting lace. They have special caves for special cases of death like mother dying while giving birth or murder victims. I guess these coffins filled caves surround the town but most are closed to tourists. Our time schedule was tight so we missed out on seeing the hanging coffins and decided we’d do the cave venture and are so glad we did. There were places while exploring that were a little difficult to squeeze through and areas we had to use rope to help us up and down. It was very enjoyable and totally worth the 200P it cost us each. I got to take a little dip in a pool and was pretty much soaked from head to toe by the time we were done. After we were kind of in a rush to get back to Banaue to make sure we didn’t miss our bus back to Manila, which would in turn cause us both to miss already booked flights. So we went back to our pension house changed and jumped on a jeepney heading out. But… when I changed
while hiking along the rice terraces
my clothes I forgot my camera and realized about 5 minutes out of town. So we had to stop the jeepney and walk back to town to get it, luckily it didn’t cause us to miss the bus, we were still early arriving back to Banaue. It turns out the jeepney we had been on ran out of gas anyway, he he. So then back to Manila again (3am) where I found out my flight was delayed, thankfully, until 11:50am instead of 8:00am so I got some z’s before flying to Palawan. That will be another entry
Some of you may be aware of the typhoo that has hit the Phillipines, it’s not extreamly bad though it has flooded out some villages,put out power, and delayed travel. I have only personaly experienced rain and wind and can’t wait till it’s over but its given me some time to catch up with some things.and make some new plans as I will be leaving to Phillipines at the end of June.
Tot: 2.291s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 15; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0495s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb