Trekking is really not my cup of tea.
On our last day in Banaue, we decided to see the famous Batad rice terraces but the only way to get closer to the rice terraces is to do a little trekking. I was both excited and terrified as it was going to be my first trekking experience and I didnt know what to expect. We hired a van to take us to the Saddle, the drop off point. It was more than an hour drive to the mountain on a very rough and narrow roads, this didn’t feel strange at all after traveling to and from Sagada the previous day. From the Saddle, we would trek down to Batad then back to the Saddle again, then drive back to Banaue to catch our bus going back to Manila that night.
We didn’t plan on hiring a guide but they sort of insisted on getting one, other tourists who just returned from Batad suggested that it was a good idea and told us that the trek could be a little tricky as it was raining that day. So we hired our guide and rented trekking poles, well I myself found it very useful. Normally, the trek down takes about 45 minutes but it took us more than an hour. we had a few stops to take some photos and to have a little break. Fortunately the rain stopped when we were almost halfway but it started raining again just a few minutes after we arrived in Batad. There was a tourist information/registration booth and everyone was required to register as they enter the town.
Unfortunately we were not able to capture its beauty due to quite heavy rain and we didn’t have the luxury of time to wait for it to stop. There is a small town at the bottom of the rice terraces but decided not to go down there as road was really muddy and slippery. We stayed for about 30 minutes, took some photos then headed back to the Saddle where our ride was waiting for us.
Trekking up to the Saddle was really a big struggle for me. I was like “I need to catch my breath” every 10 minutes. I was having really sore leg muscles that day due to caving in Sagada the previous day. And again, we needed to hurry back to Banaue as we didn’t want to miss our bus going back to Manila. Missing that trip would mean staying for another night in Banaue, which we were not looking forward to. Our guide was really kind and even told me not to rush and to take just small steps but we were racing against time. It took us nearly 2 hours going back whereas it normally takes just an hour or even less [for other people]. There were instances that I would pretend to be taking photographs just to have an excuse to take yet another few-minute break.