>The Rice Terraces of Batad

>I can’t edit out all my photos of Batad, I just can’t. You will have to bear with a million photos for now.

Batad has the famous amphitheater-style terraces, and is only accessible to trekkers because there is a steep path into the village.

We started out with breakfast on the terrace of our new favourite restaurant, People’s Inn.

Here you can see the native rice that is grown on the terraces.

They even have regular food like oatmeal, which actually isn’t hard to find around here.

It was a beautiful morning, and rice was drying in the sun. Sherwin envied the fat grains of rice, and took a stalk to plant in his rice field.

Here is our Tricycle driver, who we met on our first day in town and is fond of text messaging us every morning at 6am to ask if we would like to go on tour that day. Filipinos are not shy to text message you at the crack of dawn. It seems to me they are all happily up at 5:30am. The tricycle, if I haven’t mentioned already, is a cheap and noisy way to get around on a converted motorbike.

We took the tricycle up the mountain to the foot of the path. This was a long, very bumpy ride which left me with a giant bruise on my hip. We passed an old lady walking the same hill!

There were some amazing viewpoints looking down

Look at this cliff hanging souvenir shop!

Woven souvenirs are popular, especially the woven skirts worn by the Ifugao.

Once we got there I was surprised to find out we then had to take a jeepney to the absolute top, “The Saddle” I think it’s called. This was an expensive, long and bumpy ride which will save us an hour of hiking in the heat. When I say expensive, I think the total for that might have been just over 10 dollars, more than twice of what we paid the tricycle.

Once we got there we logged in and gave a donation and our names. I guess if a tourist falls off the hill they will know who it is.

There was a list of problems plaguing the farmers of the area, #1 being Giant Earth Worms. Whaaat!

The sad thing about the rice terraces is that the young people don’t want to work them anymore. It’s more lucrative to drive a tricycle, work in tourism or in the big city then it is to work the rice terraces. For this reason they are more affected by things like floods and giant earth worms. Yes it was also our fault, for traveling there and adding to the tourism. So let’s enjoy the pictures. In them you will notice that some of the terraces are overgrown and crumbling.

The view at the top

We start our walk down into the village, about an hour. 15 minutes into it we see a procession coming up the hill. 2 guys holding a woman in a bamboo stretcher were carrying her out of the village for medical attention. There was one other guy following, to switch out with the 2 guys carrying to give them rest. Sherwin wouldn’t let me take a picture. It looked really difficult to carry that woman out of there. It turns out she probably had something like appendacitis or a painful uti.

Nearing the town, we start to pass some houses and huts.

A lime tree

After quie awhile we arrive at another checkpoint, and have to register our names again. “Did you donate at the top?” they asked. Yes, Yes, we did!

Arriving at another viewpoint, I see some more rice drying.

Sherwin asks the natives the directions. There are many little stores selling overpriced gatorate in glass bottles.

We come across this lady, drying her rice, and stop for a chat.

Her kitty cat attacks my camera strap while her and Sherwin speak the local dialect.

She points out the way to the waterfall for us. “You could go down there” she indicates.

I guess this seems like a resonable path..

The town down below

Finally we arrive on the terraces themselves. There is a path across the terraces that will lead to a waterfall.

I notice some activity ahead, some women working the terrace.

“May I take your picture?” I asked of the most interesting looking lady, clearly the grandma of the bunch.

“Money,” she said. I showed her 100 pisos. That will do nicely.

I noticed later that although the upper terraces were in dissaray, the terrace by the path was nicely kept. I wonder if they stay there all day waiting for tourists to pass. There weren’t many today, though I did notice on the registry there were some girls from BC just like me.

We jump across the irrigation..

Further down the terraces we encountered this old guy, hanging out in his woven cloth and g string. He turned around and well, I was too polite to take a photo.

Again, money was produced for some photos, although this time we had only 20 pisos. This seemed to be enough. I hoped he did’t compare notes on the price with his wife on the rice terrace later.

This entry was posted in Asia, Banaue, Philippines. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s