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mountain biking

SagadaMay 2, 2005 Monday

The Cordillera on a Mountain Bike - Day 4: Sagada

About Bontoc
Banaue has so much more to offer, but after 3 days, it was time to move on. I initially thought of stopping by Bontoc, which was en route to Sagada anyway, but feeling unsure if the scenic spots were bike-able made me decide to proceed to Sagada.

If I didn't have my bike with me, I would have spent time in Bontoc. Except for a museum, there's not much to see in Bontoc, but it serves as gateway to the more remote villages of the Kalinga. The Kalingas are often in dispute with other tribes and it's not a good idea to venture into their tribal land when that is happening - a guide is always recommended. While head-hunting has long been outlawed, I heard it is still occassionally done in the remotest sections of the region.

When I first went to Bontoc (mid 80s), there was talk among the tourists and locals that a German group ventured into the Kalinga notwithstanding they were warned not to, because of on-going tribal disputes. They never came back.

Sagada
After seeing the progress (i.e. - tricycles, jeeps, traffic and pollution) in Banaue and Bontoc, I was very relieved to see Sagada still intact about its enchanting serenity. True, the roads are paved and there are more houses, but it's not congested, and definitely not polluted. I checked in at my usual lodging place, St. Josephs, chilled and interacted with my fellow travellers. I walked around at night, but there wasn't much. Curfew is 10pm, but the commercial establishments close at 9.

--- TheLoneRider

    Travel Info:
  • Transportation:
    Banaue to Bontoc - The last trip from Banaue is around 11am. Beware of jeep operators who tell unsuspecting tourists that they've missed the last trip. They offer a special ride and charge P500/head instead of the regular P100.
    Bontoc to Sagada - Fare from is P30. The trip from Banaue to Bontoc takes 2.5 hours. Taking another jeep from Bontoc to Sagada is 1 hour. There is no direct ride from Banaue to Sagada.
  • Lodging:
    St. Josephs - cheapest is P150 for a very small room with single bed. They also offer cottages for bigger groups. This lodging is very handy being right smack in town.
  • Eats:
    Log Cabin - every Saturday night, the town's resident French chef, Aklay, prepares a dinner buffet. Regular is P250/head and vegetarian is P150/head. Book a day in advance.
    Sudimay - the best Sinigang (P60)
    Yogurt House - decent home-made yogurt. Breakfast is good here. You can skip the Rosti.
  • Guide: - For Sumaging Cave, it's P400/group of 4. Caving takes 2 hours. A guide is a must.
    Must Do:
  • Eat Aklay's cooking
  • Don't just go inside Sumaging Cave...swim in the natural pool
  • Drink Sagada mountain tea and coffee

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Baguio | MTB Race




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