14-Dec-2005 -- Story starts from 16N 121E.
That morning we started hiking along the road from Banaue. The town Banaue is only 11km beeline distance from the confluence point, but the area consists of steep mountain terrain and the road is making serpentines all the way through. It was a rainy and misty day – not a good day to view the Ifugao rice terraces which are categorised as a world heritage. Partially on our way we hitchhiked on the back of a dirty dumper truck.
Just as well as Jeffrey, who did the first attempt on this confluence, we reached the village Bay-yo. Unfortunately it was raining and in contrast to Jeffrey who had been surrounded by crowds, the village looked deserted to us. 2 km where still to go – but with the back-pack it seemed to get a very strenuous trip. Elionora suggested that I should go alone, while she would wait with the backpack in the village until I was back. The idea to wait in a café turned out to be an illusion, because the village is too small to accommodate such facilities. But a friendly woman in the village offered her home as a waiting lounge. Now I started the hike, over the bridge and on the other side, I did not directly climb the steep grade towards the confluence, I rather followed the valley. It was still raining and the surface extremely slippery; progress was slow. Since following the valley didn’t make any progress in distance reduction, I finally had to make my way up the hill. After I passed the last rice terraces, the footpath was rough. Sometimes I had to walk in a stream, along ridges and steep grades.
Suddenly, at a remaining distance of 970m, the path suddenly ended. I tried to make it beyond that point, but any further advancement was very slow, difficult and dangerous due to the steep grade, poisonous plants and the density of vegetation.
Considering that Elionora was waiting for me and I was insecure about how she would get along with the local people. Consequently, I took a picture towards the confluence and turned around. Anyway, this attempt hadn’t been very serious and hadn’t been planned properly. Coming back to Bay-yo, Elionora was chatting very pleasantly with her hosts and wondering why I was back so early. The women who hosted Elionora was called Hermine and was very nice to us. However, it was late in the day and we had to make our way to the next town with accommodation. We had to walk a long time along the road, until finally a bus came and took us to the town Bontoc, where we stayed the night.
CP visit details:
- Time at truning point: 14:30 p.m.
- Duration: 3 hours (until we were back to the main road)
- Distance to the next village: 2 km
- Description: In the highlands of Northern Luzon. Deep forests and steep grades.
- Given Name: The Bay-yo Confluence