Also on Caboose: Journeys Antarctica, Kerguelen Islands, South America, Turkey, Cameroon
[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary

Into the mountains

Written by kevin

From the airport in Manila I took a (very expensive) taxi straight to the Victory Liner bus terminal and caught the bus to Baguio.

Baguio’s an interesting place, once the American summer capital of the Philippines it has pleasant peaceful areas as well as the jeepney-clogged, grimy, polluted areas. It was only really a stopover on my way further into the mountains though.
A lake with various small boats (some shaped like swans), with a building with a spire in the background. Children cycling on a quiet road in a park.

I then spent a few days in Sagada, one of the tourist centres of the Cordillera. It’s a nice little town, with plenty of hotels, cafés and restaurants and you can get a really good cup of local coffee there. Unfortunately the cost of guides to go and see most of the local sites was beyond my budget, but I did spent a morning sightseeing. Sagada is famous for coffins, both hanging off cliffs and stacked up in caves, as well as the rice terraces found all around that area.
Wooden coffins hanging on a cliff face. Wooden coffins piled up in a cave. Houses built on steep hills, below terraced fields.

Not having had enough of rice terraces yet I made my way up to the village of Batad, via Bontoc. It’s the most famous of the terraced areas, and a little difficult to get to. From Banaue I hired a tricycle, which took me along the terrible road to Batad junction and then struggled up through mud and rain (with me pushing some of the time) to reach the saddle from where I walked down into the village. The weather was terrible while I was there, almost constant rain and low cloud, but I managed to wander around a bit and visit a nearby waterfall. I stayed in the only house in Batad village with electricity, owned by Gilbert who runs it as a homestay. On the evening of the first night we joined his next-door neighbours as they made the local rice wine.
An old bus stopped outside some shacks on a muddy road. Small houses with thatch or metal roofs among rice terraces in the mountains. Stone-faced rice terraces leading up a steep slope. Stones piled on top of each other in front of a waterfall. A man pours pounded rice from a wicker tray into a bucket lined with palm leaves. A woman and young boy in a wooden house.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 at 12:07 and is filed under philippines, rtw, travel.

Powered by WordPress