Toploading from Banaue to Bontoc was an adventure itself as we headed our way to Sagada, Mountain Province.
Imagine the wind brushing the sides of your face. You see a spectacular view of the mountain and rice fields. You inhale the scent of tall pine trees and see a couple of waterfalls every now and then. You and your companions talk and laugh to let the time pass while you enjoy the sight of nature in its pure form. You feel that everything is in place and you think that you have the best seat as you travel to your destination for a few hours.
Now, insert reality.
The weather was freezing cold and it didn’t help that it had been raining since morning. I was getting slapped by rainwater as the vehicle maneuvered itself on the slippery road. I sat on my slipper which was improvised as a cushion because the metal rails were too uncomfortable to use as a seat. One hand grasped on the same railings as support to keep me from falling whenever a cliff appeared. The other one clutched on to my balls because my body was seeking warmth from the cold climate. Instead of having meaningful conversations, everyone was silent and wondering when we’ll reach our next stop.
Toploading on a jeepney from Banaue to Bontoc wasn’t really what I expected. We were on our way to Sagada, Mountain Province and we decided to sit on top of the vehicle in order to experience how it felt to ride like the locals. We’ve seen a number of bloggers talking about their stories but we had to try it first-hand.
Tofi, that’s a cliff in front of you.
How convenient that the rain began when the jeepney started to depart! We couldn’t back out as it was already full inside. To think that we had the first choice to stay inside the vehicle because we arrived at the jump-off point early. But then we gave our seats up for other passengers because we thought top loading was an extraordinary passage to undertake. We weren’t wrong though.
mountain falls on the side | holding on for life – I used my slippers as cushion for our buttocks.
I hardly saw anything during the initial part of the trip. I did my best to smile at the scene that I put myself in. No wonder the locals gave us that ‘Are-you-sure?’ look when we mentioned our zest to ride on the roof.
Carla and James – one hand holding on for life.
A few small waterfalls on the side, a number of cliffs on blind curves; a whole foggy sight in front. Toploading is NOT for everyone. This is just an alternative if you want to know how to blend in which is also risky. All the time, I questioned myself “What the heck am I doing here?” and “Whose idea was this in the first place?” I shut my thoughts out when it hit me that I was the one who came up with the ‘cool’ suggestion.
couldn’t see anything
I’m happy that my companions did not complain despite the situation. We just enjoyed the remaining time left. When the weather cleared up, we were able to have fun and joke about the whole scenario.
some roads needing repair
Top loading wasn’t what I thought and the weather had everything to do with it. I later realize that it’s not as cool and comfortable as it looked on photos. I guess you can’t get the best of both worlds.
A lesson learned is not to assume that everything will go according to plan. But you ride on with the waves and cherish the moment to make it worthwhile.
view of Bay-Yo Rice Terraces, Barangay Bay-Yo, Mountain Province
Our patience was rewarded when we saw glimpses of rice fields and tall trees. We started to dry up as the sun appeared in other areas of the transport.
There are many instances when our travels are not what we expect them to be. But it would be unwise to think that we’re going to experience the same feeling as that of the one who told us about their adventure. Or even the account we’ve read of a writer’s journey.
Although it’s still good to prepare, sometimes we just have to take whatever is given and enjoy the ride. Once you survive the expedition, it will even be an undertaking that’s worthier to talk about.
Keep cool and enjoy the ride – don’t forget to hold on tight!
Time of Departure – 8:30am
Jeepney Fare From Banaue to Bontoc – 150 Php
Travel Time – 2 Hours
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival themed Travel is the Destination which is hosted by Kara Santos of TravelUp. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts and topics.
Check out my other blog articles about my Sagada adventure trip here:
- Sagada Trip and The Movies
- Sagada Trip: Side Trip to Banaue NO Rice Terraces
- Sagada Trip: Crazy Toploading from Banaue to Bontoc
- Sagada Trip: Never Too Old for a Cave Connection Adventure
- Sagada Trip: Kiltepan Peak Sunrise
- Sagada Trip: Trekking Aguid Rice Terraces
- Sagada Trip: Slipped and Hit My Head on a Rock in Bomod-ok Falls
- Sagada Trip: Weekend Saturday Market
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines and the rest of Asia. He just started his backpacking trip across Southeast Asia in order to live as a digital nomad. Read more about the beginning of his delusions of grandeur here.
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