DAY 4 of 7: Making a Christmas Memory Tour 2022
Updated: Jan 4
Day 4 of Mitch's "Making a Christmas Memory" Bicycle Tour. Kiangan, Ifugao to [12km] from Timoc, Ifugao 33KMS ------------------ GATEWAY BIG TIME
Kiangan, Ifugao is the Gateway to the mountain highway. Everything starts going uphill from this Entrance point the moment you see the sign, "Timoc 45KMS..."
MEETING FOUR OTHERS
I met four other bikers today coming from where I am going. Their reports of 'Timoc' and the "Highest Place" were kinda encouraging, but sobering. They said it's cold and wet. Get ready. Both, I hate. Haha They said stock up on food before getting to Highest Place. There is nothing up there. We'll see. In my mind, it is a current and future Tourist Stop to build up and capitalize on.
NOT FOR BEGINNERS
The highway is the hardest I have experienced. Worse (harder) than any section of the Trans-America Bicycle Route. Why? Because of the continuous switchbacks and intense grade on some of the corners. American highways are not built like this. No new biker should come out here. It's very much an advance route because of difficulty, and weather extremes.
EIGHT TIMES PUSHING
I judge the difficulty of a road by how many times I have to PUSH my bike. In the USA, crossing the entire country, I NEVER had to push one single time. Today, on the other hand, I think I pushed 8 times!!!! Sometimes I would come around a corner and say, "No way! Off the bike. Time to push." There was no debating. Off, and push!
BROKE ONE SPOKE
I snapped one spoke today. It's okay. The other spokes are still holding up, but minus one spoke will make other spokes work harder and I will not be surprised if I snap some more before this trip is finished. Remember, I mentioned this "probability" in my Day 1 report?
MUD, AND LANDSLIDES
I thank God for the engineers and workers that built this highway. I cannot imagine the difficulty and long long hours of shaping this concrete road, but as well as they did do, there is still so much major work to do to manage all the landslides and need for continual scraping if the road everyday following a heavy rain and landslide. It's a constant engineering challenge on these mountain passes.
FEEDING THE PHILIPPINES
The incredible production of vegetables from this region is unmatched. Dozens and dozens of trucks going down the hill fully packed with vegetables. The whole mountain range is developed around vegetable produce TO THE MAX. A great pride fir these farmers, I'm sure. I hope they are prospering. I think they are. I see huge homes, compounds in the middle if nowhere. Where did they get their wealth? Vegetables?
Again, as mentioned above. The gardens and produce and harvesting if vegetables on 45° slopes is unsurpassed. The energy, strength, and power to tread up and down those hills to work the soil in supernatural.
I already said it earlier. I probably put it twice because, it is so obvious. Trucks filled with tons and tons and tons of vegetables. I hope the people in "Manila" are thankful as they push their carts through the grocery store!
The family I am staying with tonight are farmers. They rotate annually between carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes. They say tomatoes are harder to process. They said it us harvest season every 3-4 months. Their husband is with the trucks full if their cabbage going to Nueva Vizcaya. From there, other buyers will come and collect and distribute all over the place. Very interesting.
WHO WANTS TO LIVE HERE?
It's hard working these fields, but it appears to be rewarding. If you can avoid debt, it would be nice to return home every 3-4 months after selling multiple trucks of harvest.
WET, NOT FREEZING, STOP
I decided to stop at 4pm, I approached this house, introduced myself, and asked if I could set up tent. They offered me one of the rooms I had two cups of coffee, and tinola chicken at 6:30pm. I am now in bed. Thank God. I can't imagine a stranger I never met before, arrive at my house, and within a short amount of time, they are borrowing one of my bedrooms for the night? I am thank ful. I hope to leave a LOVE gift in the morning.
WAY BEHIND TECHNICALLY
My distance was ONLY 33KMS today which is terrible, but considering it us all mountain hills. Can you imagine? It took me 10 hours to go 33KMS???!!! In Manila, on flat ground, that would take me 90 minutes, maybe. No choice. Little by little. Maybe tomorrow, I can reach Highest Place. I think, it too, is over 30 grueling KMS away also.
End Go to Day 5 of 7