Another short seven-hour gut-wrenching bus ride up the mountains brought me to Sagada, a tranquil village in fantastic scenery that just so happened to be in the middle of a festival with competitions, music, and other events. They have UNESCO-protected rice terraces nearby, waterfalls, and caves. I spent much of the day hiking, although frankly, Longshen in China and Sapa in Vietnam – both described elsewhere in this blog – are more impressive.
There is more in neighboring villages like Banaue, where the rice terraces date back two millennia. Unfortunately, the mountain region is already quite chilly and the weather forecast is soaked with heavy rain for the rest of the week.
So, I got up early today and used a series of jeepneys, vans, and buses to pass through Bontoc, Cervantes, and Tagung to Vigan on the coast. The connections were untypically perfect, and I am now back in a subtropical sunny climate. The roads were unbelievably scenic, through craggy mountains, deep valleys, and lush forests; unfortunately there is a law of nature that photos taken from a moving bus are never any good.