What turned out to be an epic adventure to Banaue/Batad started with an overnight 10-hr Autobus ride — a bus which Calvin had first depicted as an unpleasant ride. It turned out to be any old bus trip. Maybe it was the 32-hr crammed bus ride to Mississippi that caused me not to be phased by it, or maybe I’m just used to taking buses.
I met some French travelers on the bus! Henri and co. (another man and a woman) were also traveling to Banaue. Henri and his male friend was from Paris and the woman from Marseilles. Conversation was rushed because everyone was trying to find their seats…
So ten hours later we wake up in Banaue, the jumping off point from which we journey down to Batad.
Step 1: Take private jeepney (or rather, an old green van) up a steep, rocky, muddy, and bumpy road/path to the Saddle.
Note: Our driver must have done this about a million times. He seemed completely comfortable with this drive when I would be rather afraid of the car losing balance on one of the many rocky, rocky sections and just falling off the side of the cliff.
Step 2: Hike down from the Saddle to the Viewpoint with our bags (one 75L bag and another smaller backpack – looking like a turtle with one bag on the bag and one on the front)
Note: I don’t care what you say, going down is so much harder than going up.
Part way down a very steep staircase, I slightly rolled my right ankle. Because this happens to me often, I had an ace bandage and just wrapped it up and continued. Later on, I actually slipped and fell on top of my left ankle. Hurt a bit more, took the ace off of my right ankle and put it on my left. Stretched it out, made sure it was okay, kept going.
Step 3: Drop off stuff at hotel in the Viewpoint (Rita’s) and hike down to the Tappia Waterfalls.
Note: I really wanted to see the waterfalls. However, I did something that I am completely not proud of. I shamefully gave into the pain in my left ankle part way down to the waterfalls when they started shaking a bit too much. I hiked back up to Rita’s and rested there while Corinne and Calvin hiked to the falls.
So I rested at Rita’s and took a couple of videos.
View from Rita’s Porch:
View from Bedroom Window:
A few hours later, Calvin returned, Corinne a few minutes behind, and here’s another video of their take on their journey (wrong journey – they went the long way around) to the Tappia Waterfalls.
How Was It?
Rita’s daughter Germaine, cooked us lunch and an older man asked us if we wanted chicken for dinner. We said, “yeah, sure,” and so he caught, killed, and cooked a chicken right there for us!
Videos of chicken before:
Video of Chicken After:
I don’t care what Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or whathaveyou says about organic food. We had the real thing! And it was really good.
I still find it rather unbelievable that I viewed those terraces and stayed in a place that still seems to only exist in my imagination. We literally just sat on the porch, relaxing, writing, eating, (me massaging my ankle), etc. for the entire day and evening.
There was also another couple who stayed at Rita’s. A very attractive young Filipino woman and an Australian man. Rita said to Charles (the Australian man), “you’re Australian? But you’re short. You’re short like a Filipino man!”
She also made several inferences to the possibility of Calvin being gay — suggesting that he may want a male missus, or have a husband and not a wife.
Skipping to the next morning– woke up early, ate, and relaxed. Calvin got a massage for 300pesos (46pesos-1USD) even though the young Filipino woman who was also staying at the inn told him that it was a very expensive price.
In any case we then packed up our bags, and hiked back up the mountain and the steep stairs to the Saddle. Met some more tourists/backpackers/hikers from Singapore, a couple from Germany, and a father and son from Germany.
Then the drive back to Banaue and the bus to Manila. To give you a taste of the more careful drive downhill to Banaue, I took a few videos.
Drive Back to Banaue:
– At time of posting in Batad, Philippines, it was n/a – Humidity: n/a | Wind Speed: n/a | Cloud Cover: n/a