Philippines Travel: Rice Terraces!

Short and sweet post today.

Decided last night to spend another day rather than hustle off to Sagada.  Got up pretty early (about 7am) and after breakfast, connected with a guide who was gathering folks for a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage rice terraces in Batad, for P600. He wasn’t a very good tout….every time he’d get 3-4 people, half of them would drift off, some others would join up, and some would float off. As I waited, I saw a jeepney about 2/3 full drive off, then he showed up and said that everyone else had gone with the other jeepney and it was just me, and would I pay P2000 for the day? I laughed him off, then went up to the hostel and got three more people right away, explained the situation, and we got him to agree to take us four for P600 each.

In a nutshell….fantastic trip!

The drive up was terrifying…in a sort of good way. They are extending the road to the village, building it by hand, and in several places it was just a mud track, about half again wider than the jeepney, and with a vertical fall off for about 1000 feet…like one of those “world’s most dangerous roads” websites. And since it’s been raining, the road was mud and we could not help but wonder what was keeping the entire section from just sliding off. We tried not to wonder too hard, though.

It took about an hour to get to the trailhead, then a 45 minute downhill walk to the village. The terraces surround the village like an amphitheater…thousands of feet high, hundreds and hundreds of terraces, all about 2000 years old. We hiked across and around the terraces, then had a late lunch and hiked back up to the jeepney. Thought my legs were going to fall off….nothing I hiked in Nepal was as steep as this trail, but it was well worth it.

Back in Banawe now, and off to Sagada in the morning. Here’s a big photo dump for you.

 

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