Friday, December 7, 2012

My Seventh Solo Backpacking Trip

Travel Period: December 7 - 10, 2012
Destination: Banaue, Ifugao; Bontoc and Sagada, Mountain Province  

Amazing Race
It was 5pm last December 7, 2012, Friday when I punched out from work and went home. Immediately, I pack my things for the trip and proceeded to airport for a 7pm flight. Everything is on a rush from contracting a motorcycle to bypass bottleneck traffic in Panacan area until hailing a cab bound to airport. Due to 15 minutes flight delay, my time allowance to reach Ohayami bus terminal bound to Banaue was reduced, I hailed a cab but unfortunately I wasn't able to catch up with the scheduled trip. I opted to take the Florida bus bound to Cagayan where I supposed to drop at Solano, I was lost on transit and decided to drop at Santiago City, Isabela. Well, I just checked out Isabela from my province-to-visit list. :D

Santiago City, Isabela
Along highway between Santiago City and Bagabag
En Route To Banaue
I had my breakfast first at the city and searched for an Internet cafe to do some research for possible routes to Banaue and glad that I found some alternatives. I took a bus back to south and dropped at Bagabag intersection where I met three people who also want to visit Banaue for a day. We took a jeepney bound to Lagawe and another jeepney from Lagawe to Banaue. This is the first time I had my top loading experience which was a great experience and has a vantage point for scenic views. Around three hours of road travel from Bagabag, we finally reached Banaue and a check out for the province of Ifugao!

Top loading experience bound to Banaue!

Archway of Banaue

At Banaue town

Stairway To Heaven
We then agreed to take a trike bound to NFA-Aguian View Deck and Banaue View Point. Upon reaching the Aguian View Deck, we were awed with the excellent view of the rice terraces which a dream came true for me since I want to visit the place long before. It's interesting to note that the view deck is the actual place where the famous rice terraces is sketch which can be seen on 1000-peso bill. We then proceeded to Banaue View Point for better view of the rice terraces, had photo ops and after spending some time, I decided to separate from the group since I will be going to Bontoc then Sagada.

The actual spot of the rice terraces found on the old 1000-peso bill

En Route To Sagada
From Banaue View Point, I took a bus bound to Bontoc, it was a wonderful 2-hour bus ride with scenic views. Arriving at Bontoc, I took a trike for a small ride to jeepney terminal bound to Sagada. Its another top loading experience this time. I immediately climbed to the top load to have a better view of the town and the mountain ranges during travel. After an hour of road trip, we have reached the peaceful town of Sagada.

Bontoc, Mountain Province

Sagada Town Tour
It was past 3pm when I arrived at Sagada. I look for St. Joseph Resthause for my accommodation and checked-in. Then proceeded to town tour, I checked first the church, then the cemetery and Echo Valley which was just walking distance from the town center. There were also local and foreign visitors on the place. I trekked down to the Echo Valley to have a closer look of the hanging coffins where Sagada is famous of. It was getting dark when I came back to the town proper and I look for a place to have my dinner. I found a resto and tried their Pinikpikan specialty which was good and worth the price. The funny thing was I just wearing a t-shirt, short and slipper during the town tour despite of the cold environment while the rest of the visitors and locals are wearing their jackets and warmers. Hehe. By 8pm, I already settled at my room and had my sleep after 22 hours of traveling from Davao.  

St. Joseph Resthouse

Hanging coffins

Pinikpikan specialty

En Route To Baguio
December 9, 2012, Sunday around 6am when I woke up, the hardest thing to do was to take a bath with its ice-cold water, brrrr, luckily, I've managed the cold and had to do it somehow. I went to bus terminal and reserve a seat, thank God I was able to take the front 2 seats just for me, it feels like I'm on a business class though I haven't tried it. Hehe. My 6-hour ride to Baguio was great and I took photos anytime I want. There still few minutes left before we depart and I decided to buy some foods at road stall like suman and arozcaldo for my breakfast. I managed to take the photos below en route to Baguio.

Baguio To Manila To Davao
It was raining when I reached Baguio around 2pm, I had my lunch and walk down to Victory Liner bus terminal. I had an easy time navigating the streets since we also had our walk tour when we visited Baguio last October 2010. Arrived at the bus terminal I purchased a ticket and just like what happen to Manny Pacquiao for losing the fight, I was also unfortunate to have an aisle set at the bus, couldn't take photos. I just settled on taking naps and reading a magazine (the Smile magazine of Cebu Pacific that I always collect during my travel as a souvenir where on this issue Journeying James had a couple pages of his 100 days travel). Arrived at Pasay around 10pm, I went to airport for an early flight back to Davao by 4am.

When something happened that is not on the plan, never surrender, thus, look for another possible solutions. I just did when I look for an alternatives to reach Banaue and glad I was able to. Finally, I visited the famous Banaue rice terraces and just checked-out this on my bucket list including five provinces on this trip: Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Ifugao and Mountain Province. This maybe my last travel and stop temporarily to replenish my funds, or continue on cycle touring, a new hubby or maybe just a beginning for a big travel plan ahead and only God knows what are His plans for me. :D

Beautiful sunrise en route to Davao: Life Is Here!

God bless us all!

1 comment:

  1. I so love the Rice Terraces! I just wish the Philippine government would act more on conserving and preserving this World Heritage site.


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