Manila and Banue

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
1
10
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Philippines  ,
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our stay in the Philippines started with a little bit of luxury. For our first night we were booked into the Mandarin Oriental hotel. After lounging around in our bathrobes for a bit we checked out a couple of the local malls. Malls are big business in the Philippines and they contain everything you'd ever need for shopping and entertainment. That night we watched Casino Royale which was brilliant, an excellent Bond movie!
The next evening we booked ourselves on an overnight bus to Banue, in the north, which is home of the famous rice terraces. The journey was fine, the bus left at 10pm and got in at 6am. Well, it was fine until we got 2km outside of Banue and found there had been a landslide, so was all had to get off the bus walk around the landslide and transfer onto Jeepneys to get to town. We found ourselves a nice guesthouse called Greenview Lodge, which had great views of the rice terraces from the restaurant and spent the afternoon chilling out so we'd be ready to climb the terraces the next day.
We started out in the morning with a local guide Benito and the tour began with a 2 hour walk up the road to the terraces and the views were amazing on the way. We also got to see a fighting cock, that is a cockrell that would be fighting another cockrell on Christmas Day, a very big 'sport' in the Philippines. Then we began our climb across the terraces. Now, I know I should have learned by now, but I assumed there would be a nice path running through the terraces which might be hard going in places but all in all an enjoyable walk/trek. No. Walking through the terraces means exactly that. 'Strolling' along a 12 inch wide edge of a terraces with a sheer drop of 10 feet on one side and a muddy rice field on the other. It was amazing though, especially when we'd stop, look around and realise we were right in the middle of the terraces. Very knackering as well as it was lots of climbing up and down.
We didn't have time to stay another day so we had a early night ready to catch a bus to Sagada in the morning.
Carla and Elliot
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