I had been in The Philippines for about four days at this point, and I hadn’t seen a white face since I got there except for a burly looking German girl who was clearly with her Filipino boyfriend. So naturally on the way to Sagada it didn’t surprise me that I was the only non-Filipino on the bus.
Then just as the bus was about to leave a white person got on. I looked at him as if to say “Friend…” like the beast from the film ‘The Labyrinth’ but he wasn’t having any of it, rushing straight to the back of the bus. “Not a problem,” I thought, some people just don’t want to mingle, so I carried on reading Richard Branson’s autobiography.
Then when I got to Sagada we found ourselves walking into the same hotel asking about rooms. He introduced himself as Canadian in a thick accent that made me panic, then look at him and nod, hoping he hadn’t said anything horrific like his dad had died in a fire or something… Anyway, we got chatting and decided to stick together and explore Sagada’s incredible treks.
Blah, blah blah… Get to the caves. Stop going off on a tangent. Time is money you know!!!
Sorry about that. So we went to explore the caves with a guide. When we got there I saw this amazing looking cave. I looked down naively thinking that we would have to go around it but no, we were climbing through the caves for a total time of four hours.
I soon realised that this wasn’t going to be a casual walk around, taking photos and being one of those dicks who acts like they are better than you for seeing a natural wonder without actually getting their hands dirty. We were climbing up and down ropes and around dodgy looking rocks – some very slippery – with a drop that at a best case scenario would end with at least one broken bone…
Our guide was swinging through like a champion whilst only wearing flip-flops. I on the other hand was struggling to grip onto the rocks, and more often than not as I was shuffling down into the darkness I sat on my arse and used both hands and feet to stop me slipping into the abyss.
Nah, it was OK, you just had to have your wits about you and be sensible. At one point whilst climbing a difficult rope I cannoned into one of the guides and was certain that I was going to knock him over the edge. He must have been a tank however and didn’t even flinch. About halfway through we had to wade through waist height water. I had put my phone into the Canadian guy’s bag and he nearly slipped into the water. At the time my laptop was near death and I assumed that after less than a week into my travels I had lost my laptop AND my phone. Luckily the phone was OK. I turned it off for the rest of the day just in case.
So… You didn’t die?
Nah, I’m a geezer!!! I was struggling at points though, and the Canadian guy helped me through it by encouraging me. The next day we went hiking again and found a couple of natural waterfalls. A couple of times I said to him that it looked too dangerous and I was going to go back but he looked at me as if I was an idiot and persuaded me to go. At point he said that if I didn’t feel comfortable then he wasn’t going to make me, before swiftly going through the rocks and shrugging in my direction when he got to the other side. To be honest this made me feel a little bit stupid. So I got in and waded through myself. Seeing some gorgeous sights I would have missed if I didn’t do so.
I repeat… Pussy!
Yeah, but credit to the Canadian for pushing me to the limit and instilling some belief and self confidence in me. Anyone who knows me knows that I need those two things in abundance. So yeah; thanks…
Was that it? I’ve got to stalk some girl on Facebook who keeps putting me in the friendzone…
Pretty much. Sagada is a great place and I feel it would be perfect for me to stay up there for six months and write a book. I’ve found writing whilst travelling is far harder than I anticipated. I can do the blog posts easily enough, but I’m struggling to get in the right mindset to write a good book. Then again, I say that every time I start a book. “This one’s shit. My last one was so much better. Etc etc…” So we’ll see how it goes. POSITIVE THINKING AND STUFF!!!!!!!!