It was a great year-ender, which also served as my 2nd year anniversary hike (Batang Lakwatsero has been hiking for 2 years already, yey!).
Day 1 - December 27, 2013: En route to Tawangan Village
Hours of jeepney ride via the long and winding Bokod-Kabayan-Buguias Road from Baguio City brought us to Lake Tabeo in Kabayan, Benguet. It was around 10 in the morning, and pretty much a fine day to start the our adventure.
|Behind Lake Tabeo is Mt. Tabayoc, the 2nd highest in Luzon after Mt. Pulag. As much as I wanted to hike it right then (because I haven't hiked the mountain yet), I can't. I guess it'll have to stay in the bucket list a bit longer.|
|Start of trek - 11 AM. Actually, our jeepney could've still gone through this stretch of road and continue all the way to Tawangan Village. But a road construction ahead of us prevents any vehicle to pass through.|
|Carrots making their way to the market. Benguet is after all the "Salad Bowl of the Philippines".|
|new road to connect Tawangan Village to the outside world.|
|At some portions though, eroded side of the mountain buried the newly paved road.|
|Fog crept through everywhere as we go further towards the village. Consequently, everything has become less visible.|
|one bumpy ride to Tawangan Village|
|what else to do here?|
Day 2 - December 28, 2013: Tawangan Village to Hungduan, Ifugao
We woke up at 5 in the morning, ate breakfast and prepared for our long march from Tawangan Village in Benguet to the adjacent Ifugao Province. I was so excited to start the day, as real action was just about to begin. Sadly though, we had to do it while dealing with the drizzly weather and wet ground.
|trekking through villages and farmlands makes this hike quite exciting.|
|native Ifugao huts were spotted in the last village before we cross the border to Ifugao Province.|
|welcome to Ifugao Province.|
|The first Ifugao Village. I forgot the name.|
As a courtesy call, we went first to Tinoc's police headquarters and told them our purpose. But for some reasons, the vibe was quite unwelcoming. I think they see us as treasure hunters. We asked them if there could be existing foot trails between Tinoc and Hungduan which we could use, but we were told that all these have already been converted into roads. Our priority still lies on walking over foot trails, not roads, so we asked again. But all they say was, "no foot trails, just roads." So that time, Tinoc seemed to be a dead end for the continuous Grand Cordillera Trail.
|Municipal Hall of Tinoc Town|
|it's another bumpy ride! Honestly, natuwa ako nung sinabing sasakay ng lang ng van going to Hungduan instead of a miles walk.|
|you know you're in Ifugao when scenic view of rice terraces appear on the roadside.|
We arrived in Hungduan on a very gloomy afternoon, headed straight to Hungduan Police Headquarters for a courtesy call (and hide from the drizzling and foggy and cold weather) then opted to stay in Hungduan Heritage Village.
|The Hungduan Heritage Village. One of the nicest experiences I had in this trip was sleeping inside one of those native Ifugao huts.|