So recently I went away up north, it was a pretty cool trip, though a lot more “rustic” than I expected.
Our first stop was Kabayan, home of the Timbac Mummies. I love mummies, I think they are fascinating and the process around mummification is fascinating as well. The Timbac mummies are different from other mummies in that the internal organs were not removed and they were smoke dried with tobacco smoke to preserve them.
It’s a bloody good thing I like mummies because the only way to reach Kabayan is 2 1/2 hours over a single lane unpaved road carved into the side of a cliff. At least the bumpy road keeps the traffic going slowly, which means the trucks coming the other way are less likely to kill you.
The town of Kabayan is very small and located along one strip of road. Mobile phone reception is patchy at best, there is no hot water and the town literally goes to bed around 7pm every night.
The mummy caves are at the top of a massive mountain. The guide book says that the hike takes between 4 and 6 hours to reach the top. This is the mountain I thought I would tackle in my first attempt to become a hiker.
What was I thinking! I took one look at that big boy and said “no way!” So we took the cheat’s way up in our 4WD and I started to reconsider my life as a hiker.
Our guide was Ramon and he was absolutely hilarious. He accompanied us up the mountain and was a wealth of knowledge, talking about the area and the mummification process.
It was also his job to unearth the mummies, opening coffins and unwrapping them for us to view. We later found out that he was supposed to offer a prayer of thanks to the mummies to keep their spirits happy. In true Filipino style, our guide, in his lispy voice, sang to the mummies.
Here’s me…braving the suspension bridge.
If you want to see more photos you can check out my facebook album