As expected, we arrived in Sagada at 2:30 in the afternoon. We could have chosen to stay on the bus until Besao – the next town and the venue for our family reunion – but our itchy feet decided to walk.
Can you tell we love to walk?
“How much time did it take?” a cousin asked when we finally reached Besao’s St. James High School. It took an hour and 40 minutes. It was an easy 7.1 km route along the well-paved Sagada-Besao road.
Here’s the itinerary.
15:20 – After lunch at Alapo’s, we put on our UV-protection jacket and started walking. A few meters from the cafe is Sagada Homestay. There’s a vantage point where you can see a part of Sagada.
15:34 – We passed by Sagada Pottery.
15:40 – It had been six years since we last visited Sagada. There were many changes, but it was refreshing to chance upon these traditional houses. The last time we saw one was in high school.
15:44 – When a van stopped in the middle of the road, we felt nervous. But as we walked past it, we noticed that the driver was fixated at this cottage. We can’t blame him. It’s a pretty sight.
15:50 – At the top of the first waiting shed along the Sagada-Besao road, we found these cute children having a fun time.
15:59 – We passed by the entrance of Lake Danum, where two tourist vans were parked.
16:04 – We had to pick up a stick and a stone because two dogs were ready to attack. Earlier, we encountered another angry dog, which made us think that dogs here aren’t friendly to tourists. We had a similar experience when we went cycling around Nyaung Shwe in Myanmar.
In the image below, one of the dogs was following behind.
16:11 – At this point, everything you see is pine trees.
16:21 – We arrived at an arch that says “Welcome to Barangay Kin-Iway.” We were no longer in Sagada.
16:35 – We arrived at a vantage point of the Besao Rice Terraces. It’s not as beautiful as Maligcong, or as grand as Sapa’s terraced rice fields, but it’s a testament to the “ingenuity” and “agricultural astuteness” of the Igorots.
16:40 – Houses started to emerge.
16:44 – We reached a junction where another waiting shed can be seen.
16:47 – There was a wedding celebration taking place.
16:50 – We passed by the Barangay Hall of Kin-Iway in Besao.
16:53 – We arrived at St. Benedict’s Parish. From what we were told, our great grandfather helped build this church when he was a mayor of Besao.
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17:00 – We were greeted by the family who were at the playground near St. James High School