Batad was the area in which we trekked for two days. It has spectacular rice fields and villages where other tourists don't venture very often. It was an hour from Banaue in a very bumpy tricycle.
John was the driver, and Juffer was our guide for the two days. They were very sweet men who took care of us.
The tricycle ride was about 1 hour each way, on the worst road in the world.
Along the way on the 4 hour trek from Kinakin to Cambulo village we met excited little children who ran up to us, asking "What is Your Name?", it was the only line they knew. They would get an answer and run away giggling. These little boys carried chopped down trees and were fascinated by Jason's Binoculars.
This is a traditional house that the local villagers live in. Some are sporting solar panels and choosing corugated iron instead of thatched roofs. Plans are to introduce electricity sometime in the next few years.
For now they keep lots of dogs and chickens that make a shed load of noise.
The water buffalos help with the rice fields.... relaxing and getting fat in their spare time.
We saw the villagers doing their back breaking job of planting the rice fields by taking their 2 months old seedlings and replanting them 6 inches apart. A single plant can feed one person for a day once mature.
We stayed the night in Batad which is nestled in an amphi-theatre of rice terraces. It was a 7 hour walk here although our guide did like to stop everytime we spoke to him (we think he was struggling).
The picture doesn't do justice to the amazing sculpturing of the mountain side that has taken place to make it rice-friendly.
The next morning we had a noisy awakening. The hut we were sleeping in had an attractive dog nearby so all the male dogs in the area came to chat her up at 4am....
Here are the seedlings are planting out into the rice fields. They grow for a further 3 months before they are dried and threshed ready to eat.
Here Juffer explains how they move the water from one field to another. Apparently some of the farmers can get rather fiesty with the others if their water is stolen. The water needs to flow from one field to the next to keep the rice growing.
The local Ifugago people were still head-hunting and eating each other less than 100 years ago so there must of been some good arguments over who drained whose paddy field.
This is a waterfall, Jason likes them alot cause he can swim in them. He will not admit that they are always freezing cold and he never actually spends more than one minute in the water.
The jeepenys between the villages are always packed. One jeepeny has to be full ( eg: rammed) before it will leave the village. The locally made Jeepneys then pick up more people along the way until..... people can't hang on anymore!