Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thursday, April 03, 2014
Hanging Coffins of Sagada
Recap: We arrived in Sagada a little after noon time, after a more than 3-hour jeepney ride from Banaue.
I checked in at my accommodation at Alibama Inn when I received a text message from Christian, one of the five guys who were with me on the jeepney ride from Banaue, telling me that their having their lunch at Yoghurt House.  I went.
The presentation of the java chicken rice I ordered was fine, not really crazy about the taste though.  Almost everyone in the group ordered a chicken dish.  Everything is good except for the vegetable curry that seemed to be prepared by mistake.  It’s the fiercest, brutally hot tasting curry I’ve ever tasted in my whole life, and I’ve stayed in India for a month!
After lunch, we rested for an hour and then before 4:00pm, we headed to Echo Valley.  The path is right at the back side of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, after the basketball court.  You won’t miss it, you’ll be passing by the elevated post of a small zipline, they’re going to offer you a ride at P150, that is, if you like.
Pass the zipline post, then head up to the cemetery pass by it, there’s a footpath on the right side and tread the path going down, way down, and the valley is in front of you.

Now, try to shout  the word “echo” really loud, if you experiment with other words, it won’t work (could you picture me grinning right now?).  
If it echoed, then you must be in Echo Valley, otherwise, you’re lost. 
Don’t worry, more often than not, there are people heading the same way or walking out of there.
We continued our walk down where we’re standing until we reached where some people have built a tent and rock climbing, pass by it to the right ....

...and the hanging coffins in different colors in front of us hanging on the rock mountain.  Do not touch those or you’ll turn into zombies, not now, but at the strike of midnight (grinning again).
Staring at the hanging coffins, I suddenly remember the Lycian tombs in Dalyan, the Lycian Tombs of Amyntas in Fethiye, the Pontic Rock Tombs in Amasya, and other places that I’ve seen during my wandering years in Turkey.  Somehow, I’ve drawn this theory that the hanging coffins are similar in concept with the rock-cut tombs in Turkey.  The Lycians carved tombs on sides of cliffs, only that, theirs are more elaborate, extravagant and imperial, after all those were intended for royal burials, some kings and emperors of ancient civilization. The Lycians places theirs high above the ground and so do the Igorots of Sagada.  Just some theories.
Who imitated who, that I don’t know, but obviously theirs are carved hundreds of years BC.

For some minutes, our group stood in front of the hanging coffins contemplating –(definitely not about opening the coffins) if we will proceed our hike further down the mountain or head back up the town.  It’s easier of course to head back, but we did otherwise.
We continued our walk meandering through the narrow footpath from below the hanging coffins down to the mountains until we reached a wide stream leading to the mouth of a cave, vaulted through some boulders to get to the path above and some more walks led us to the mouth of a bigger cave.

Stayed for awhile to cool down, and marched again through the wilderness down and ended up exiting from a narrow lane at the side of a gasoline station along the main highway, hike completed. 
From start to end, the hike took almost an hour and a half, probably less if you’re faster and will not stop.

Coming up next – the cruel hike of the Highlights of Sagada.


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