Monday, April 28, 2014

Sagada Diary 1. Getting There

Sagada. For a long time, it seemed like a far-off, unreachable destination. It used to be a 12-hour dusty ride on a rickety bus over the spines of mountains, solid rock on your left and a sheer 80-foot drop to your left. But not anymore these days; travel to sagada just got a whole lot easier. There are two options - to go from Manila, or from Baguio. We chose the Baguio route. You may check other websites to find out ways of getting there. As for us, we rented a van from Baguio, and the trip took a little over six hours, including rest and meal stops. 

We left Baguio at 6:00 am, had a quick breakfast at a fastfood in La Trinidad, and were soon on our way. Sleepyheads, be warned...if you so much as blink, you'll miss a lot of amazing scenery. Very soon, we were surrounded by vegetable gardens. No, not your ordinary vegetable gardens - they looked like this

Sometimes the fog rolled in and covered the mountains

We saw calla lilies growing by the roadside, along the edges of the farms, and just about everywhere - some planted in farms that supply Manila's florists, some just growing wild. Of course we were not able to resist them.


The vegetable farmers use chicken dung as fertilizer, so we could smell it everywhere.  Some sights along the way:

Farmers loading cabbage onto a truck

"Etag" (salt pork) drying in the sun

Vegetable vendors jostle for commercial space

Oh, those glorious mountains!

Pit stops for cofee, rest ...

..snacks, and restrooms

At one small town, we had to knock on the door of the tiny police station to ask if we could use their restroom. The two cops on duty graciously let us in.

How would it feel to live in one of the houses nestled among the vegetable terraces?

A quick picture at the highest point of the Philippine Highway System (7,400 feet above sea level)

A few waterfalls here and there

A river below us

Disturbing a "resting" potato plot

A few more turns and we were there! We're not sure which was more refreshing - the fact that we had arrived, or the promise of San Miguel. Well, both actually! 

"Oh the places we'll go..." - Dr. Seuss

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