Departure for Sagada (Day 3 Part 1)

  • Leaving Ilocos
We woke up at 4.a.m., ate breakfast and went to Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur to fetch our other companions.   We arrived at 5:30 a.m.  but everyone there was still unprepared so we joined them again for another set of breakfast.  Many dishes were prepared: bulalo, pata tim, malaga with black beans, roasted chicken, salted egg, pinakbet and puto.  We couldn't finish them all so we brought a whole pata tim with us.  (This was unfortunately spoilt during the trip)  At around 7:00 a.m., we left for Sagada on a 4-car convoy.
  • Baguio City
We arrived at Baguio City at 9:00 a.m. to fetch our cousin who attended a summer camp.  We then ate our lunch at Mc Donalds and bought Off! lotions and other various items from convenience stores.  We passed by the gasoline station for a full tank and left baguio city at around 12:00 p.m. 

  • Benguet Mountain Province
We drove across the curvy roads of Benguet mountain province.   Looking outside the window of our van, we were awed by the natural green scenery of the trees, the rivers than ran between the mountains, the foot bridges connecting the mountains and the stair-like structure of the plantation fields.  We used to think there was only one place for stair-like plantations but we encountered so many of them.  
  • The highest point of Atok, Benguet (7,400 feet above sea level)
                    We soon reached the highest point at Atok, Benguet.  Like many others, we stopped for picture taking.  It was also a good opportunity to give our mobile vehicles some rest.  During travels involving curvy roads, the brakes are often used and they need some tire to cool off to prevent them from getting worn out.  After 15 minutes of taking photographs, enjoying the scenery and the cool mountain breeze, we continued our journey.
  • Kafalig Coffee Shop and the Panorama Park View
                    After an hour, we reached Kafalig Coffee Shop.  We again parked our vehicles and went to the rest rooms=)  To our surprise, it was clean.  We then went up the hut to enjoy the view while drinking its delicious freshly brewed mountain coffee (worth 20 php).  I was looking at the map of the mountains posted at the bamboo-like walls of the hut when one of the foreginers also in the hut drinking coffee approached me.  He invited me to join their mountaineers camp below in Mt. Kalawitan.  He said it was a 3-day camp.  He also showed me their guest book full of photographs of people trekking in the mountains.  I politely said that we couldn't since we were already booked our stay in Sagada.  However, it looked interesting and maybe someday we will try that.  After our coffee went down to visit the small shop below selling wines, jams and coffee.  While standing to take a look a mountain dog went near me for a sniff.  Then we got back to our van.