Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trip to Banaue

So we made it to Manila and Leo picked us up. The traffic in Manila is like nothing I have ever seen before. It took us a hour and fifteen minutes to go less than 9 miles. We went to his parents' house to shower with thirty minutes to spare before we had to leave for the bus. Talk about a quick shower.

Got on a packed bus with Jun, Janet's guide while in Banaue. I will be splitting up with her after our hike in the morning, so I will be hanging with Jody. I love all the J names. Even Dax's real name was Jeffery.

The bus ride was interesting! Not quiet as many stops, but freezing and loud techno music. I luckily can sleep almost anywhere! I put on my headphones and out I went!

Arrived in Banaue and had breakfast before taking luggage to hotel. Met up with Jody, my tour guide, and hopped on his tricycle with Janet and Jun.

Took a crazy road up to the trailhead to start hike to Batad. Along the way we stopped at a place called the "hanging house" and met Mary, a four year old little girl with Down syndrome. She was precious! While here I also used a very rustic "comfort room" where I think I mooned a truck going by because of the very short walls and open air feel it had.

Started the hike to rice terraces, and it started to pour! Nothing like a little rain to make the hike more interesting. Jody and I had to leave Janet and Jun because we had to do all the hiking in one day. Janet is staying in Batad, and I am hiking back out to Banaue to stay the night.

The views here are so amazing! Reminds me a lot of Peru! We had a pretty strenuous hike up and then down into Batad with 412 steps down, you can guess what has to happen on way out!

We arrived at the guest house and restaurant where I ordered my lunch. While the food was being prepared, we hiked to a waterfall. This hike is no joke! We went through the rice terraces, and then through the village to get out to the waterfall. It was pouring, so we only went to a lookout. If I could have gotten in the waterfall, I would have went all the way.

I have to admit I like going up on this hike better than down, which you do both each way! Down is scary with the slippery rocks, but up I felt more in control. Except when I almost fell in a rice terrace. Lucky for me Jody was quick and I had a hiking stick.

We stopped for lunch on the way back out
and then finished the hike back to the tricycle. All together it was around 6 hours of butt kicking hiking, complete with mud, rain, great views, and a lot of great information about the people and culture!

Jody let me choose the way out, and of course I picked the 412 steps up instead of the easy trail out. I tried to get him to circle back and do them again but he wouldn't.

After hiking out, we stopped to see Mary again and I bought my Grams a nativity scene. I would have bought about anything just to help her mom.

The ride back in the tricycle was scary. Jody is a great driver, but the road was muddy, there was construction and blasting, and a really large drop if we decided to get too close to the edge.

Back at the hotel I wanted to simply get warm and clean. Had a Luke warm shower, which is way better than freezing showers I have had this week. My room here is great, and the temperature here is way more conducive for my liking!

I will be leaving at 7:30 in am for caving, shopping, and hiking to hanging coffins. So, I am going to try to get a little sleep tonight! I am so exhausted, so that should not be a problem. However, after all the traveling yesterday and what I have coming up, today was great!

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