The Rolling Hills of Batanes, joked the guide, are so called because it is very easy to accidentally go rolling down the hills — if not to painful injury (or worse), then certainly to acute embarrassment. Not only are the inclines steep, the winds are very strong, and you have to make your way carefully through every ascent and descent.
The reward? Views such as these:
The Rolling Hills are also, memorably, where I had the misfortune of stepping on some cow poop. (Thank heavens I decided to wear sneakers that fateful day instead of sandals!)
Traveling, especially to gorgeous destinations such as Batanes, often comes across as a dream, an idyllic escape from day-to-day life. But there are lots of non-dreamy stuff that don’t make it to travel write-ups and Facebook albums: how heavy a backpack can be after a few hours (or minutes, depending on the backpack); the moments of hunger, boredom and loneliness; the mud on the streets after a heavy downpour; and, yes, the occasional stepping-on-cow-poop incidents.
Is it worth it, though? Absolutely. Just look at this view and tell me if you wouldn’t mind stepping on cow poop for this: