My lunch was packed, my sunscreen was on, my backpack was prepared, and my chariot tricycle pulled up outside my hotel. When the trike pulled up, it appeared to be already full making me slightly confused. Nora greeted me and introduced Joy, my porter. Nora explained that she hired Joy to be the porter and asked me if it was ok that my porter was a female. I’m all for girl power, so I had no issues with Joy being the porter; in fact, I was actually quite impressed and proud to be trekking with an all girl team! However the all-girl team didn’t end there, a young girl also got off the trike and Nora introduced her as Karina, Joy’s 12 year old niece. She said that Karina didn’t have school this week and wanted to know if it was ok to tag along with us. Hell, when I arrived here I was a bit worried about being a solo traveler – but now I had an instant entourage – I welcomed the company!
The 5 of us, including our driver Yazzer, squeezed into the tricycle meant for 2 and took off. Our first early morning stop was the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces. There are terraces all over this area of the Philippines, however the Banaue and the Batad terraces seem to be the highlights of the area. We climbed up a bumpy dirt road and had to try to counterbalance our weight and sit forward so that the whole bike wouldn’t tip over backwards…which actually happened once already! The trike front wheel went airborne and Karina and Joy fell off the back! The two didn’t seem too phased by it. They got up, dusted themselves off, and hopped back on; they passed my test on toughness. In fact it was then that I realized that I was probably the wimpiest chick in this group!
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