|Treasure trove of mushrooms - a gift of the earth born of thunderstorms|
We arrived in Bontoc proper starving (we didn't eat at Ricken Star because we were still full from our Sab-Atan chicken and fried rice early, early breakfast) and found out that there was a full-day power shortage. So no Goldfish Cafe coffee, the gleaming espresso maker rendered silent and useless by the blackout. Then off we went to the Bontoc Turismo office to meet up with Eli, the province's friendly tourism officer, to arrange for the next day visit to Humuyyo Falls in Talubin. The power shortage followed us all the way to Maligcong along with the rain. We were happy to catch the 2:30pm jeepney even though it was full, opting as usual to ride topload. A fourth of the way, the driver handed us toploaders a large tarpaulin as the heavens opened a celestial faucet (or was it a dam?). I was nearly soaked to the bone as I have to look straight ahead in the opening of the tarp for low-lying overhead water pipes.
|Puppy Love: Maku, the new pup on the block, napping on my lap after a bath|
Kibitzing on the veranda, Suzette showed us a bounty of mushrooms picked just the day before with her kids on Mt. Kupapey. I was here almost the same date as last year and I was pleasantly gifted with fresh and tasty mushrooms served with every meal. With the coming of the rains and thunderstorms, the earth yields its treasures of the tasty fungus - yellow, brown, small and large, button-shaped and umbrella figures. It might seem a hassle to be caught in the downpour that continued until the evening hours but I'd like to think the thirsty earth and rice fields welcome the life-giving liquid. Ditto the fungus that thrive in the undergrowth.
|The beautiful light and fog hiding the school house on the ridge|