Sagada Travel Stories: Marlboro Hills: Sea of Clouds and Blue Soil

Sagada Day 3: Grave Choices and Cute Consequences

Sagada was almost like heaven and in those moments, I didn't mind staying there forever.

Marlboro Hills: 360 view of the Sea of Clouds

I had a pretty hard time waking up at 3:30 am the same morning. My stomach was still processing the stuff I ingested the night before. I did manage to change my clothes and grab my stuff before going inside the pick-up truck we booked. It would bring us up to the top of Marlboro hills.

We chose to just hire a pick-up truck for 400 pesos because we're lazy and didn't wanna do a 30-minute trek that early in the morning. I was completely out of it, but I was subconsciously amazed on how the car was going up the steep and muddy roads to take us higher and higher, closer to the top. When we got down, we still had to do some walking. It was just a short distance about 5 minutes before we reached the tops of the hills.

It was just about sunrise when we got there, but there were already a lot of people. Marlboro is kind of a series of hill tops. Nothing is obstructing your view.

So when you're witnessing the magic of sunrise and the formation of the sea of clouds, you're right in the middle of it like you're on an island. You're be able to see a 360 view of the scenery, and it feels so tempting to just run and go cannonball into the clouds below. I was completely mystified by the view.

I think we were also very lucky to visit on a day with clear weather because some of my friends who visited here didn't get to see a view like this at all. They said there was so much fog, and it didn't settle even when the sun rose up to the sky.

The Trek from Heaven to Hell

After an intense night, have you ever been awake long enough to experience the onset of the physical manifestation of "regret"? I wasn't gonna get the intermission of a good sleep, and dealing with the issue the next day. I had to fight through the nausea that was settling and push myself to still move along to keep up with the others. My head was pounding and my body was growing weaker and weaker by every step. I can't exactly just go back to our rooms by myself because the van will only be picking us up after we got back from our next destination.

From Marlboro Hills, we trekked quite a distance trough the woods to get to Blue Soil. I picked up a fallen branch and used it as a hiking cane. I marveled on how helpful it is on steadying my footing, especially when I was already feeling frustrated and woozy.

Blue Soil

Thankfully I managed to survive until we actually reached the destination. It was a truly an oddity in nature. From a distance, you might think you're seeing a skateboarding rink. When you get up close, you can see the tiny grains of soil, bright blue. My friends were hopping from one hill to the other. Why do they seem to have boundless energy?

I started feeling weaker and weaker. When I realized the last of my water was finished, I started feeling so hopeless like I couldn't possibly survive the long trek back. We carried on our trek back. The further we went, the weaker I got. The nearer we got to the end, the harder it was for me to even put a foot forward. My body was giving up on me and I didn't have any water or food as fuel to burn.

Save me! I'm a Damsel in Distress.

I was slowing down and going down the mountain, we had to climb down rocks. I was already leaning into one of my friends as I tried to keep on walking. After a while, there were already two people at each of my side, easing me to continue moving forward. We were clearly lagging behind and even with as much rest we took, my body just couldn't take going down the hills and walking another step. I had absolutely zero energy. My body just wanted to stop and I wanted to give in to that feeling so much. Like at one point, I really just wanted them to leave me there. The ground just felt so comfortable.

I was long gone and at the borderline of passing out from fatigue, hunger and dehydration. That's when the tour guides took turns carrying me on their backs while they climbed halfway down the mountain. Even then though, I could feel myself slipping. I couldn't hold my hands tight around their necks.

My body wanted to give up and let go. I even had to tell them to put me down to rest for a while even when I was literally being carried already. The others were already waiting in the van when they saw that I was being carried back. With a bite of food and a few sips of water, my energy returned and I was able to sit straight again so ready to just eat lunch.

What I did was absolutely stupid and if the tour guides weren't there, my friends would have probably left me and I would live as a spirit that haunted the woods forever. But it does make for quite a story right? Who else would even say that they were carried all the way down the mountain like a princess? Can you believe it like even until Sagada, I had to cause such an unnecessary spectacle? Annoying right?

Going Back Home to Manila

We passed by Sagada Weaving before we started our drive back to Manila. They sell a bunch of cool bags made from very durable hand-weaved cloth of different patterns. I bought a very cute fanny pack for 400 that I at the time, would be super convenient when you're travelling around. I also bought 2 bottles of Sagada's specialty rice wine, one for my parents and one just for me.

We were trying to leave Sagada in a hurry because we didn't want the fog to catch us. If it does, we won't be able to see when we we're driving up along the mountains. We had a pit stop at the Highest Point. It was super cold and a couple of people where selling a bunch of fresh vegetables at very cheap prices. Aside from that, there's nothing much about it,

It was another long drive home and it was early morning the next day when we finally got back to Manila. There were no more goodbyes because everybody was already tired and wanted to go home. The driver dropped us off and not even 5 minutes later, everybody was already gone. They left with their big bags of dirty laundry, their phones out of memory from all of the amazing pictures and their bodies exhausted from quite the adventure we just had.

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