We decided to spend sunset on our last full day in Batanes at the Vayang Rolling Hills. It was the only tourist spot that we hadn’t been to on Batan Island; we’d kept putting it off because, for one, as R., one of my travel companions said, “All of these hill views are starting to blur together in my mind. That’s the trouble with rushing through the sites the way we have. We should take a step back.”
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For another, we were hesitant to spend full price even for the DIY version of the North Batan tour, since we’d already hiked to the Naidi lighthouse from town on our first day. We figured we might as well hang on to our meager budgets for the time being and leave Vayang as an option towards the end of the trip.
Severe weather from Typhoon Ester (international name: Mitag) as we were flying in to Batanes plus horror stories from some of our fellow guests at our homestay — some of whom had already been stranded in Basco for three days — forced us to rethink our plans of going to Itbayat towards the end of our trip. We didn’t want to run the risk of having flights and boats from Itbayat to Basco cancelled on us at the last minute, so we decided to split up for a few hours each day towards the end of the trip to go exploring on our own. We also decided to regroup before dusk on each of our free days so we could decide where to view the sunset as a group for that day.
Which is how the trip to Vayang finally came about. A couple of phone calls to our suking trike driver and a few hours later we were on our way up the steep slopes of the Rolling Hills.
We didn’t want to rent two tricycles to get there, which meant that we had to walk part of the way up the hill because the trike simply couldn’t carry the weight of three persons — four, including the driver — up the slope. It was a bit of a challenge for my injured knee, but after huffing and puffing and a bit of good-natured grousing (on my end, obviously), I finally caught up with my friends at the viewing area.
I’ve got to say, it was well worth the effort of getting up there just to see the view. As my friend A. put it, “I’ve run out of superlatives to describe Batanes. At this point, all I can really say is ‘wow.'”
And wow is a great way to describe it.
We wanted to hang out and wait for the stars to come out, but it still wasn’t fully dark at 7:30pm, and R. was eager to get back to our homestay to grill the fish we bought at the market that afternoon; the rest of us — and our grumbling bellies! — reluctantly agreed. We stayed a little while longer and waited for Venus to wink hello at the world before we finally said goodbye to Vayang and headed home.