Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sagada Rock Farm Inn in Macro Mono

The original plan was to just stay put and rest in Maligcong and Sagada though that changed quickly.  Rock Farm Inn though was a natural choice in this respect.  Considering that it was a low season where a lot of other accommodations in Sagada were offering drastically reduced rates (we visited one offering something like half the peak season rate), Rock Farm Inn has not budged one bit and their rates were the same as usual. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kamanbaneng Sagada: Finding Marlboro Hill, the Sun, Grazing Cows and Wild Horses in the Mist

Sagada Kamanbeng Marlboro Hills Grazing Cows at Sunrise
Cows in the mist on Komanbaneng Peak
Another day, another town, another early start. 4am on a Monday found us sloshing through wet grass and muddy trails headed up Kamanbaneng, one of the highest peaks in Alab. Hamlin, the strappy dog of Rock Farm Inn where we were staying kept us company for a while but decided to return to the inn through a gate in the woods. We've seen the spectacular sunrise in Kofafey in Maligcong days earlier. Would we be twice lucky to witness the same on a different peak given the moody weather lately? 

Funny but the original plan was to head to the Kiltepan view deck anew for a no-frills, just chilling-out sunrise experience though we knew the "privatization" and fencing of the road leading to Tekeng peak could become a complication.  A trip to the SaGGaS (Sagada Genuine Guides Association) headquarters on our first afternoon back in Sagada and talking to loquacious guide, Yakie, convinced us to try an off-the-beaten track, 18 kilometer circuit not yet popular with visitors.   The circuit commences with a hike up Komanbaneng Peak, moving southwards to Kaman-utek (Blue Soil hill), then southwest to Balangagan Cave in Suyo, before heading back to the town on the road passing through Sumaging

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