Thursday, May 15, 2014

On the Road to Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our adventure started with a ten-hour bus ride from Manila to Banaue. Except for the extreme cold, the ride was pretty uneventful. My siblings and I fell asleep the moment the engine started and woke up to the voice of the conductor crying, “wake up! Wake up!” and the patter of the rain against the window panes. We were five minutes to the town proper of Banaue then.

The bus dropped us off at the tourist center where the officer was peddling day tours to Batad. All we wanted was a ride to the Batad Junction, the trailhead to the village, so we banded with a Filipino couple and several French travelers and rented a jeep that took us to the Junction. The narrow, gravel mountain road to Batad reminded me of Prithvi Highway, the one that we took from Pokhara to Kathmandu, with its landslides, blind curves, sheer drops, hairpin turns, and lack of guard rails.

From the Junction, we descended on foot for another hour and a half until we reached the village. The overcast skies gradually gave way to a blazing sun and we were greeted with this majestic sight:

Right then I realized why people go through so much trouble just to experience the Batad Rice Terraces up close in all its majestic detail.


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