Despite the power outage, cold showers, and a cockroach in our room, we had a restful night in Batad. We rose early to see the sun rise over the mountains while seeping a hot cup of coffee.
The locals still boil water and cook rice over a wood fire. They claim the rice taste better using the traditional method.
Carmen got to wear the traditional Ifugao costumes. :)
A chat with another visitor Barry Taylor convinced us to hire a guide and do a 2-day trek through the mountains.
We started the descent to the lower village. It is interesting to note that the houses are built very closely together, rather than spread out to each family’s fields.
Trekking through the village and the up the steep climb on the upper left side.
My legs still shake when I think about these big steps.
Round the other side of the mountain we catch a glimpse of Cambulo. Lunch awaits!
A traditional Ifugao house.
A farmer inspecting his rice field for issues before harvest.
At noon we stopped for a quick lunch in Cambulo, which is 1hr from the nearest car road. On the way out we passed by a school and 2 students skipping class. Pure awesomeness!
Down to the valley we had to cross a suspension bridge. It was a bit shaky but felt pretty safe.
To go up or down a level in the rice terrace, you step on the rocks jutting out on the side and lean in.
Amazing view of the surrounding rice terraces. The farmers were just starting to preparing the fields for the next planting season.
Just as we thought we were doing pretty well, a man carrying 2 timber pieces (~80lbs) passed us. Apparently the trees are chopped on the higher elevation, it is then dried, cut to size and then carry by foot into the villages for buildings.
Around 4:30pm, we arrived in Pula, a small village in the midst of a few mountains. The fog was rolling in as we hit our destination for the day.
School just let out for the year. The children had a lot of fun taking photos and showing us their Christmas presents.
Our host, Carmen, boils water over a wood fire for us to enjoy a hot shower.
Up close of an Ifugao house. The living quarters are elevated above ground to avoid floods & provide more air circulation. There are blocks along the pillars to prevent rats from climbing up.
Our dinner for the night. Red rice and tuna (canned) with locally grown melons. That counts as seafood right?