Solo in Sagada

This isn’t the first time I traveled solo. In fact, I’m used to traveling alone since I was in high school and I couldn’t remember when I made my first real solo travel. Sagada has such a magnet for me and although this is my third trip to this highland shangrila, it is the first time I’m going solo there.

 

This is where the cemented part
of the highway ends and the unpaved
road to Sagada begins.


After three failed attempts in 2011 to persuade friends to accompany me to this to-die-for place in the Mountain Province, I got tired of waiting and finally decided to go alone. Contrary to what I have been doing in the past, this time I did not create an itinerary except for making reservations at the inn because it was peak season. I also decided to do other things I haven’t tried yet and do away with the usual sights. 



So, the day after Christmas of 2011, I was on my way. I used the more familiar route to Sagada via Baguio simply because there were more bus trips and I couldn’t risk getting stranded without a connecting trip just in case something went awry. It was 6 A.M. when we arrived in chilly Baguio and I went straight to the Lizardo bus terminal to catch the jampacked bus to Sagada. 


The road to Sagada is not for the faint-hearted. It is a six-hour bumpy and scary bus ride through the Halsema Highway, passing through the highest point in the Philippine highway system, through endless vegetable terraces, deep ravines and winding rivers with breathtaking views left and right.

Three hours into the trip we had a flat tire in Bauko, Mt. Province
but it didn’t take long for us to be back on the road.


After a quick late lunch at the Yellow House where I was checked-in, and a 30-minute rest, I began the cave connection adventure from Lumiang to Sumaguing Cave. 

 

One of the perks of going solo is the shorter time it took (less than three hours) to explore the cave since I wasn’t bogged down by companions.  The following morning was allotted for exploring Sagada’s newest attraction – Pongas Falls. I will write more on this in another post.


Since this is my third time in Sagada, I was in no hurry and went on a slower pace to explore other parts of the town like the Rock Inn, where one can try orange-picking, and Gaia, where one can relax and simply enjoy the view.

 

Gaia, whose owner Gawani I met through my writer friend Frank, is the newest hip place in town where one can have vegetarian meals and the best coffee ever.

 

 

 

This unfinished structure is a future homestay for adventure-loving souls.


I noticed an assortment of books prominently displayed along the walls of the main room. Being a book lover herself, Gawani wanted to promote love of reading among her customers.

 


 

Staying in Sagada meant a lot of walking through roads like this…


If there’s one big realization I made during this trip, it is that I shouldn’t wait for others to join me and share my passion, otherwise I’ll be missing out on a lot of things.

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