Are We There Yet? (Sagada, Part 1)

*Originally posted in Multiply on 19 May 2007*

The road to Bontoc, a town before Sagada, was really rough. There were a number of quarries, therefore a lot of loose, sharp stones. There were trails that were good for one vehicle only. In fact, there was one where we had to reverse back out as the other vehicle was already halfway. We got to Bontoc by noontime. And we had a mishap.

Upon entering the town proper, we had a flat tire. It seems one of the sharp stones punctured it. Luckily, we stopped almost in front of a vulcanizing shop. The jack we had did not work well with the van so had to borrow a crocodile jack from one of the parked vans.Some more mishaps: the screw holding the spare tire housing broke. We were just by the waiting shed, feeling a bit miserable. I was constantly badgering the drivers and felt they just wanted me out of their faces.

When things were okay, we looked for a place to eat. After having our fill, we gave the van its fill: with diesel.After that, we were off to Sagada. It was already mid-afternoon.

The road was still rough but not as rough as the earlier one. Neri was really slow and careful. I guess it was halfway on the road when it started to rain. Bummer! Rains on a summer day? But, wait- the raindrops were really noisy, more like stones falling. It turned out that there were pieces of ice falling with the rain! A hail storm? How cool is that??? Everybody was really amazed! This has been a trip of wonder and frustration. So, what amazing thing will happen next?

When we finally saw the marker welcoming visitors to Sagada, we were really happy. There were no other mishaps except for the rain/hail episode. My cell phone battery had drained during the drive up so I had no way to contact our lodgings. I hope they didn’t give it away as it was almost 4pm when we got there.

George Guesthouse looked like a 4-storey house. The owner, Dora, was quite happy to see us. She had been sending me text messages, asking when we were getting there, but with my phone dead, I was not able to reply. We had the topmost floor, and also had a veranda. The drivers were billeted somewhere else as there was no more room.

What did we do first? I think we stayed in the room for awhile. Then we went down and looked into souvenir shops and the like. We even bought mayonnaise to make egg spread. Mom made a lot of hardboiled eggs for us to eat during the trip. We had dinner by 8pm at Yoghurt House. It was full when we got there and had to wait outside. Good thing it wasn’t that cold or we’d be freezing our butts off.

Food was good- I had pasta. The serving was quite big, American portions. Ly Anne tried their home-made yoghurt- good but kind of sour for my taste. I prefer the Nestle version with the fruit pieces. The mountain tea was really good and Rodel wanted to get some to bring home. We were really satisfied with the meals and we walked back with our flashlights on, no street lamps. We had a big day tomorrow as we will be going on a nature trip/trek. We all slept soundly.

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