Friday, January 18, 2013

Cordillera Trip, Day 5-6: Baguio & Back Home

Cordillera Trip, Day 1: Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue
Cordillera Trip, Day 2: Batad, Banaue to Sagada
Cordillera Trip, Day 3: Lumiang Burial Cave + Sumaguing Cave, Sagada
Cordillera Trip, Day 3: Yoghurt House, Echo Valley & The Log Cabin Buffet Dinner
Cordillera Trip, Day 4: Kiltepan Peak Sunrise + Sunday Stroll in Sagada


Jini and Mel woke up and went biking very early that day, while Ane and I were still snoozing. Jini took these photos:

Biking in Sagada photo BikinginSagada_zps746846a6.jpg
Sagada photo Sagadabeauty_zps6f55382c.jpg

The morning of our last day in Sagada was breezy and beautiful, however I was feeling the contrary. I was having flu and feeling crap. The thing about getting sick on the road is that I couldn't whine about it and be my usual lazy self, so that was hard, haha.

But, really, when you are greeted by this view when you wake up, how could you complain?

Sagada photo Sagadabeauty2_zps59d766cc.jpg
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We had breakfast at Bana's Cafe and had their delicious breakfast pancakes again. I also had yogurt w/ banana and honey and mountain tea.

Bana's Cafe breakfast photo BanasCafebreakfast_zps328e1faa.jpg

At 9:00am we walked to the waiting area for buses bound for Baguio. But there were many people lining up waiting for the next schedule so we opted to hop on a jeep going to Bontoc where we could catch a bus to Baguio instead.

Bontoc photo Bontoc1_zps3b9916db.jpg
Bontoc photo Bontoc1_zps134613a5.jpg

While waiting at a bus terminal in Bontoc, we found out that we had to wait at least a couple of hours for the next bus to Baguio. Luckily, Jini and Ane found a van bound for Baguio (I think it was a tourist van). There were only six of us in the van excluding the driver and his wife and kid, so the ride was pretty comfortable. It almost felt like we had a private van service.

We stopped for lunch at this town (I couldn't recall what the name is) that had eateries/restaurants that only serve beef dishes. This is what greeted us:

Beef photo Poorcow_zpsec74e54d.jpg

Since I refused to eat beef and cup noodles, I thought I'd just go lunch-less for the rest of the trip. Good thing Mel also wouldn't eat beef so we walked a few meters and found a store that sells siopao and siomai while Jini and Ane took their lunch.

It was sunny that part of town and started to get foggy as we went on. We actually almost had a fatal accident when we almost got hit by an overtaking vehicle coming towards us. We were driving in the fog, on the side of a mountain, on a blind turn. If our driver wasn't that alert and swerved a wee bit more, we could have rolled down the mountainside! It didn't immediately sink in to me what happened nor I took it seriously because I was half-asleep and groggy from meds. But now that I think of it... Holyshit.

We arrived in Baguio late afternoon, around sunset, so there wasn't much time to roam around anymore. Upon checking in at a transient house (we didn't have a reservation, this dude from tourist information suggested and took us there), we went to SM Baguio to shop for pasalubong.

SM Baguio photo SMBaguio_zps0af6a580.jpg

Then we had dinner at 50's Diner, an vintage American-style restaurant at Gen. Luna Rd. I just had soup and fruits because I was still a bit hung over by the cow carcass I saw earlier that day. Haha no really, I was just being sick and pretentious and drugged.

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50's Diner photo 50sDiner2_zpsb7f157e9.jpg
50's Diner photo 50sDiner3_zpsd033261c.jpg
50's Diner photo 50sDiner4_zpsd394aa80.jpg
50's Diner photo 50sDiner6_zps06555f59.jpg
50's Diner photo 50sDiner5_zps098a07c1.jpg
50's Diner photo 50sDiner7_zpsd92b99a3.jpg

Mel didn't spend the night anymore because she needed to ride back to Manila to catch her early morning flight back to Davao the following day.

Jini, Ane, and I had an 8:30am schedule the next day on our bus tickets so there was never enough time to enjoy Baguio. We pretty much just sniffed Baguio in. We had our breakfast at Victory Liner bus station and then come 8:30am, we were on our way to Manila.

By the way, our stop in Tarlac had this cute toilet signs that try to boost our self-esteem and vanity:

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Tarlac photo Tarlac2_zps4adc5f55.jpg

The rest of the day went pretty much uneventfully, unless we consider the taxi driver from GenSan who kept on complaining how driving in Manila streets royally bores him and went on telling Jini and I how he itches to go back to driving in Dubai something memorable.

I arrived Cebu safely, still sick (went on for a week) but very enthusiastic to tell stories to the boyfriend about our trip. I showed him by scraped knee and burned elbows with pride and happiness. He got worried about my injuries and flu but I was all like "Batad and Sagada were awesome! All worth the body pains! Super! As in! I'd do it again! Well... except Batad, I guess..."

Writing this series of posts and thinking about the whole trip make me nostalgic and itch to go back to Sagada. I hope I could do it this year and very soon. There's still a lot of adventures to be had!


x Roanjean




Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cordillera Trip, Day 4: Kiltepan Peak Sunrise + Sunday Stroll in Sagada

Cordillera Trip, Day 1: Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue
Cordillera Trip, Day 2: Batad, Banaue to Sagada
Cordillera Trip, Day 3: Lumiang Burial Cave + Sumaguing Cave, Sagada
Cordillera Trip, Day 3: Yoghurt House, Echo Valley & The Log Cabin Buffet Dinner


Ane, Jini and I woke up extra early (3:00AMasdjhfdkjhgfk!!!) on our 3rd day in Sagada to watch the sunrise from the Kiltepan Peak viewpoint. Sophie didn't go with us because she wants to rest up. Mel couldn't make it too because she was having a fever.

We were picked up by a van contacted by IC, the Palawan travel guide we met at Banaue. IC and his girlfriend were our "guides" at the viewpoint.

There were still a few people when we arrived at the view deck and it was still dark. We got a good spot for the viewing. Since we were already there pretty early, we got to witness the transition of dawn breaking.

Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise

There were campers at the view point, too. Pretty convenient to catch the sunrise.

Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise
Kiltepan sunrise

We started to head back when the sun's already up and decided to have breakfast at Bana's Cafe. We met Sophie, Arnold (who was leaving for Pagudpud that morning) and Mel there. Bana's Cafe's pancakes are love!

We spent the rest of the morning in our room dawdling, dozing off, and plain lazying around. I attempted to get some work done to no success. Around mid-morning, Sophie told us she'd be walking around the valley and look for some falls and we told her maybe we'd go there too in the afternoon.

Come noon, we had lunch at Kimchi Restaurant, which perhaps had one of the awkwardest juxtapositions of musician posters in the planet - Avril Lavigne and Bob Marley side by side.

After lunch we then started our lazy Sunday strolling in Sagada. Sigh, it's so pretty there. If on that morning we made for Lumiang Cave I started to feel entranced by the place, that afternoon I fell in love (haha charot!). That was when I seriously considered spending more than just a few days in Sagada - maybe a month...or six. :D

Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
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Sagada stroll
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Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll

We met Sophie on the way and she was already going back to the hotel from her solo stroll. We asked her for directions to the falls she visited that morning but unfortunately we didn't find it.

At this time, I was already starting to get sniffles and feeling flu-ey.

Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll

We broke our stroll with freshly-baked cinnamon bread and Coke at Navales Bakeshop. There were two puppies playing when we arrived and sat down near us when we were eating. Mel and I fed them cinnamon bread. :D

Navales Bakeshop
Sagada stroll
Sagada stroll

We still had a few hours to kill before dinner so Jini and Mel continued exploring solo, Ane took a nap, while I sat on the pavement outside our hotel raving about Sagada over the phone with the boyfriend.

Dinner was at Salt and Pepper Restaurant. There were no other customers when we arrived and even thought their food must not be very good because nobody's there. But, like all we've gone to eat, their food was good and had hefty portions. I was already feeling very sick that time but I still managed to finish a quarter chicken (leg/thigh part) and 10+ baby potatoes. It's that good! That, or I'm just a monster.

Baguio-bound, next!


x Roanjean