The gate of Capas Municipal Hall, Mc Donalds Capas Junction or depending upon the final decision, is the meet up point from where our day's journey will begin. From here after an initial briefing and check, we will head to the dispatching point, where our permits will be checked and final clearances taken. From the dispatching point we will board 4x4 jeeps to go through the Crow Valley, to arrive at the Lipit Station, from where our actual trek will start. This drive through the ash filled, rocky terrain full of rivers is very scenic. This volcanic valley is unlike any other scenery, devoid of much greenery, but it is truly a different kind of beautiful.
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202 Kms from Capas
Early in the morning of December 4, we rode the jeepney from Tinglayan to Bontoc (Php 20.00). We had breakfast at the hotel and I paid Php 105.00 for my food and coffee. There, we also got the chance to charge our phones and camera batteries and, while at it, encountered the creepy man of Bontoc.
248 Kms from Capas
Vigan, a small town 203.1 km away from Sagada, is a wonder. This is the most charming city of Philippines due to the rustic old architecture influenced by Spanish colonization. The Spanish captured and settled in Vigan in 1572, and it soon became a centre of Spanish political and religious power in the north of Luzon. The Mestizo District offers a peek into the Philippines' colonial past. The ancestral houses were mostly built by blending local, Asian and Spanish architectural styles. The old houses and cobblestone streets are not something you get to see each day. The horse carriages add to the feeling of being transferred to an old era in time. You can learn to mold pots or visit St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, an earthquake baroque styled cathedral. As the name suggests, the design is intended to minimize earthquake damage. You can also see Plaza Salcedo, some city buildings and beautiful fountain in this area.
200 Kms from Capas
This was by far one of the scariest thing that we’ve ever done (besides doing the bungy in New Zealand)! It was scary maybe because there were very limited measures taken to ensure one’s safety. As it was a real cave with lots of bats living inside it, the ground was mostly moist and slippery. Plus we were only wearing flip flops! But besides all that, it was really very exciting! It felt like an underwater theme park! There were times when we had to swing like Tarzan from rock to rock using a rope, wade through chest-deep waters (with no idea what funny creatures that could be living in the water) and cliff jumped. All these were done without any harnesses! One slip and that’s it…..