|We have spent the last two days in Batad where another set of rice terraces is found. The good side of the story is that we stayed in a homestay in a traditional hut with thatched rood and wooden floors overlooking the rice terraces. The food was great and we were serenaded during dinner by Irene, our guide, on the guitar. The bad news is that getting to and leaving from Batad was no easy feat. Our ride dropped us off at the top of a saddle and we hiked down, down, and down to get to Batad. The clay was slippery and the rock steps periodically veered from stoppable to several feet in height. After we arrived, rather sweaty and fatigued, Irene, our guide suggested that we go for... a hike. Needless to say, we slept well that night. However, the next day we realized that the only way out was back up. (Barb and I seriously considered hiring a helicopter, but no one seemed to think that was a good idea.) So off we laboriously climbed. (At least the Precious was happy) Irene was capering around without breaking a sweat. (I think I hate her...) Now we are back in Banaue and awaiting a bus back towards the south.
Batade Ramons Homestead. We have hiked from the saddle downhill 3K into a valley overlooking the rice terraces. At some point we will need to climb out. There is no other way. Although, schemer that i am, it occured to me as we hiked through the rice terraces this afternoon, would they be able to get a chopper in if i broke an ankle or otherwise injured myself? just a thought. This is such a lush paradise. I've seen impatients in many colors, hebe in bloom, salvia, begonia, aubergine, tomatoes and lots of other vegetables. Tomorrow we get locally grown coffee and if we wished Moma, betal nut wrapped in a mint leaf with a dose of lime. We see signs everywhere, "no spitting, especially Moma". They are trying to clean up the streets for the tourist as the Moma spit is bright red.
We slept last night in a traditional hut (see pic) just us and the roosters who started crowing at 3 am. It was a symphony across the valley with each outdoing the other.
At breakfast our guide asked if the barking dogs bothered us.
Didn't notice. Our climb out of the valley was straight up in the rain.
We made it and climbed the last 400 stone steps to the top. Ouch.
We have bus tickets for Manila(the only means of escape) and then hopefully on to Puerto Galera and sunny,sandy beaches. Barb