Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Road Home: Biray Reunion & Afterwards

It's Monday here. The sun is just up and I've sent Michael back to bed again because he was up late yesterday. We had a long day attending a family reunion that was about 3/4 of the way back down to the plain.

The road to Baguio is a toll highway and the road is in reasonably good repair. It follows a gorge, cut by a river that periodically flows strongly, but is now very low, almost a stream in places. There are places here and there however where the river undercut the embankment and the lane closer to the river has crumbled into the river. I imagine this is the work of flooding during the monsoon season.

Coming down from Baguio, you have to come down a long stretch of switch-backs, known locally as the 'zig-zag'. Even with the switch-backs to ease the drop, the road is still very steep. I don't know how the transport trucks ascend it every day, but they do. I've even seen them pass regular jeeps in the hairpin turns.

After you leave the switch-backs it's a long section of road that follows the gorge. The sides of the gorge are quite steep, almost canyons in places, but you can see where people have built houses anyway. I got a picture of a rope bridge still in place where people cross with their heavy bundles going to or from market.

The house of the family that was hosting the reunion this year had papaya trees all around it and a small pool in the garden with goldfish in it. It took some doing to keep all of the small children from trying catch the fish.

Yesterday was the 6th anniversary for Cheryl and me. We have a long way to go to catch all the old folks here, but even so, they were quite proud of us. Especially for having contributed 5 more members to the clan!

We came back to Baguio to drop off our stuff and then were told we were invited to someone's house for supper. When we got there we found out it was a "Welcome Home" / "Bon Voyage" dinner for us and the new husband of a cousin who has to go back to Germany. They were here for a combined honeymoon / reunion visit and Alfred has to go back early, while Joyce will be here for a little longer for the 2nd clan reunion day scheduled later this week.

It was such a long day yesterday that we're just going to take it easy today. It's laundry day too..

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