When I arrive at Las Vegas Lodge, there are several people staying there but night came and I felt like I was the only one, everyone left? The second night, a couple came, then again, they stayed inside their room most of the time, and on my third night, I was the only person at the accommodation, my room was one floor below the ground level, the place is like a wooden mansion with museum-like big pieces of Ifugao (or Igorots) woodcarvings and big wooden masks on the walls that resembles (to me at least) some kind of beasts. It was quiet and the wind is blowing the curtains draped on the big wooden windows. It’s eerie. Some scene from a horror movie, ain’t it?
The main gate was locked, so at 8:00pm I went down to my room and slept.
On my fourth day, the family that owned the place were preparing to travel to Manila except for Manang Paz (the wife) who will likewise be busy tending their other accommodation (Nature’s Mist) near the town and the popular Las Vegas Restaurant at the town center. I was thinking of transferring accommodation and eventually Manang Paz told me that she found a room for me at her friend's lodge right at the town center (Poblacion). What a coincidence!
So we took a tricycle and found my room with its own bathroom at Wonder Lodge which is owned by the very kind Manang Mildred (“manang” means “sister” in the local dialect). The place stands right in the middle of Poblacion, so it’s a bit noisy in the morning when all the tour guides and their vans congregate right down the building. But at least I need not go far - restaurants, stores, shops, other lodging, all are there, and I’m not alone in the building.
After twice doing the hike to the Banaue Rice Terraces “Main” viewpoint, not much things left to do, but to, well, do the Batad hike (which I’ve mentioned for the _nth time in my previous post). I can’t go though because I don’t want to go alone and bear the cost of the whole transport, a tricycle that will take me to the saddle point where the hike starts, costs P1,200. That’s too much!
Since I did not go, so instead, I wandered around the town below Poblacion.
I’ve been seeing tourists traversing the winding road down there, as I’ve seen several times while standing on the third floor back side of the Banaue Market building, so today I decided to walk down there - at Baranggay Bocos.
Mostly local people’s houses. It’s a community with a Christian church. The long steel bridge that connects that part to the Banaue Market. Some more accommodation at the far end of the street like the Ilob and Nature’s Mist (owned by the same owner of Las Vegas Lodge).
Not much to delight my senses matter of fact, after seeing the rice terraces. It may have dwarfed everything else in terms of excitement. But it's a nice itinerary to fill in the days, if you still want to stay longer in Banaue. I do. Plus it's good to observe the local life and culture, immerse in it somehow. What am I saying?
When I came back to the lodge, Mildred (the owner) asked me if I want to go to Batad. Her lodge’s accredited tour guide is going tomorrow with a group of foreign tourists, which means he could tag me along at fraction of the cost.
Had to sleep early tonight to recharge for that much needed energy, tasks might be demanding tomorrow.
Next destination - Batad Rice Terraces it is!