Monday, April 21, 2014

Solo Backpacking in Banaue: Tricylce Ride to Batad Saddle Point

After eating my breakfast at People’s Lodge and Restaurant, Raffy, my contact in Banaue told me to rest for a while as he is still in negotiation with his other guests. I took the time to sort out the stuff inside my backpack and separate the things I needed for a half-day of hiking in Batad. I placed the things that I will be using only after the hike and when I travel back to Manila in a plastic bag and gave it to Raffy. He then gave it to the lodge’s cashier for safekeeping.  With a lighter backpack, I am now up and ready to hike in Batad.

I paid Raffy a total of 2,200 pesos for the guide fee and motorcycle ride to Batad Saddle Point and back to Banaue. The downside of traveling solo is that you don’t have someone to share the expenses with. If I have someone with me in this trip, the cost would have been divided by two.

Since Raffy have to accompany other guests, he assigned his uncle Vicente Lug-ao as my guide. Vicente is already 61 years old, but as a resident of Batad and a long-time guide, he knew the trails of Batad,  its neighboring villages and the surrounding mountains like the back of his hands.  A tricycle driven by Cesar Doble was also hired for our transportation from Banaue to Batad Saddle Point and back.

We’re on our way to Saddle Point a little before 9 AM. The fairly wide road started out as paved but after passing the town proper, it became mostly rough and dusty. The rolling terrain offers beautiful view of small terraces and mountain ranges on the right and somewhat scary road cuts on the left. There is an on-going major road repair and when completed, it will provide a safer and better passage for tourists and local commuters alike.

We reached Batad Junction after 11 kilometers.  The eastbound road leads to other villages such as Bangaan and  Mayoyao while the road going north leads to Batad Saddle Point. It was uphill all the way to Saddle Point with the road stretching for about 5 kilometers.

We reached the Batad Saddle Point after 45 minutes of tricycle ride from Banaue town proper. As the jump-off point to Batad Rice Terraces, there are a few stores selling snack items, refreshments and souvenirs. Vicente and I disembarked from the tricycle then Cesar parked on a spot where he would wait for us to return from our hike.

After taking a few photos of the place and renting a walking stick for 10 pesos, my exciting Batad Adventure begins.

This is the second part of my Solo Backpacking in Banaue series. Click the links below to read the other parts of this series.
Part 2: Tricycle Ride to Batad Saddle Point 
Part 3: The Hike to Batad
Part 4Reasons Why You Should Visit Batad Rice Terraces TODAY
Part 5: The Hidden Beauty of Tappiya Falls
Part 6: Finally, Banaue Rice Terraces

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  1. awesome adventure Earl! medyo mahal lang.. hehehe! :)

    1. Medyo mahal nga Mervz. Wasn't able to scout for cheaper deals due to time constraint. Day trip lang 'to, uwian agad sa gabi. Hehehe. Anyway, sulit naman sa ganda ng place. :)


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