Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's More Fun in the Philippines Day 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On day 4 we continued our trekking around Sagada. By this day my legs were water, my back was beat, and my neck was burned. But I'm in the Philippines! Seriously the Philippines is just so beautiful, and the people I was with were just so wonderful that those annoyances were minor and irrelevant. I was ready for anything. On this day we set out early in the morning for a 4 hour round trip hike down to the Bomod-Ok (Big) Falls. This trek definitely wasn't as tough as the one at the Batad Rice Terraces and the weather was quite fair. You start at the top of a hill and hike down through some local neighborhoods. It felt a bit intrusive actually, as you're literally walking through people's backyards with their bathing children, barking dogs, and chickens. But it's also fascinating being able to see some locals and meet their friendly kids. They are obviously used to these strangers walking through and some have set up shop to sell us some much needed beverages.
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This is about halfway down. Almost there! Or at least, that's what they kept saying.

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As usual...  beautiful rice terraces.

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Bomod-Ok (Big) Falls


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And it's definitely worth it! It's absolutely beautiful here at the waterfalls. Several groups of people were swimming and so we also had to jump in, with cameras too! We're all bloggers after all.

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It's like a worldwide mandate that men much splash women. And this is the point where I ran away, camera protected under shirt.

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After that we hiked back up the hill, but half of our group actually got lost. But we found them eventually.

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Julia modeling for me again, unknowingly. :) Thanks Julia.

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Our tour guide, and a super nice lady.

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After this we went back to the Rock Inn Hotel, the beautiful hotel I mentioned in my last post. Here was a typical lunch. Lots of vibrant vegetables and overly salted proteins. Haha.

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This dog kept giving me the eye during the lunch....

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Sumaguing Cave


After lunch we embarked on another journey to the Sumaguing Cave. This was... INTENSE and AMAZING. Definitely a highlight of this trip. We had around 10 people in our group and 3 tour guides between us to help us get down. Getting to the bottom takes around one hour and each little step needs to be guided with lanterns so each of the guides stayed in front, middle, and behind. To be honest it was a bit scary. The rocks are wet and slippery, the slope is steep, and most of the paths have precarious falls on either side. Also some points require very specific directions for how to get through. For example at one point you have to sit on a ledge, grab the guides arm, rotate your body around, use your feet to guide yourself down the wall, and then make a small hop into the arms of the second guide. This isn't to be discouraging, anyone with a moderate level of fitness can do it, but the slight danger made it all the more interesting.

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And inside the cave you'll find some amazing sights. These pictures are taken near the bottom of the cave where flowing water and pools have created beautiful designs.

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I hope you enjoyed this edition of my trip in the Philippines. Days 5-8 are still on the way, stay tuned.