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Thursday 9th November:
After 19 hours of planes and Manila traffic we have arrived safe and sound with our entire luggage. Bedtime after a nice HOT shower.
Friday 10th November
Both feeling a bit shabby this morning after yesterday’s travel with the flu. But had a good sleep in as Manila is 2.5 hours behind Adelaide.
First stop was the beauty parlour for a pedicure / foot spa and manicure / hand spa. 2.3 hours each and our hands and feet feel like new. Pity the poor lady that did my old crusty feet but she was amazing. New feet.
Then after lunch I had a haircut / head & back massage. Haven’t had it cut for 5 months so it was a bit messy. Loved the massages with the cut.
Feeling very pampered and like new again.
Saturday 11th November
Both feeling much better this morning.
Guy off for a facial and hair cut this morning while I wonder round the Greenbelt shopping complex in Makati.
Midday we meet up with Guy’s old batch mates (school friends) for lunch just round the corner from the hotel.
Sunday 12th November:
Guy off to the beauty salon in the am to get pampered with having her makeup done for her mum’s 85th birthday party at midday.
We caught a cab from the city heading across town and the traffic wasn’t too bad.
Had a great party with lots of relatives there along with some awesome good old Pilipino food. After the party, a vanload of us went to the cemetery and visited Guy’s dad.
Back at Guy’s mum’s place and we caught a cab to get back to Makati. Now the cab driver warned us that certain parts of the city are restricted traffic due to the Donald Trump visit and all the government meetings hence causing gridlock.
So on his advice, he dropped us of at the LRT station that dropped us off two blocks from our hotel. Home within an hour.
Time to pack once again as we head to Marinduque tomorrow.
Monday 13th November:
After 11 hours of taxi, RORO (Rollon roll off Ferry) & Jeepney (local “bus”) rides we arrived in Marinduque, our adopted home (here till Friday).
First person we saw was my good friend Gil (owns the hotel we are in) who very kindly loaned us a car for our stay.
Then we saw the local beggar we “sponsored” each Tuesday at the town market. We offered him the usual 5 pesos but he now wants 20. Begging has gone up over the last few years. He’s a very polite nice guy.
Next stop was Guy’s mahjong house to see the gang and Guy let them know she is “available” for a game. Final stop was the local restaurant for some yummy local food. Jeremy the waiter was still there and excited to see us. Time for shower and bed.
Guy and I have succumbed to a bit of local Delhi Belly. Nothing too serious (yet) just need to watch what we eat and when we eat it.
We are eating the local food and drink the local water so not surprising. But all good.
Tuesday 14th November:
Bit of a sleep in then off to the Gasan market as it is market day today. The normal market swells 3 fold as vendors from all over the island come along with their wares.
We caught up with our old fruit lady who used to supply us with great fresh fruit when we lived here for 3 years. Hopefully she will still be here when we get back in a year or so.
Next stop was our block of land. It has become very overgrown (which is good as it keeps the squatters out) so going to be a bit of work required before our house goes up. A daunting project in itself.
There is a new house going up on our northern boundary so checked they were on “their” land which they are, so all good.
After the block we called in to see Gerald (expat Pom) my old hiking partner. He has slowed down a bit just like us all but still very active breeding Labrador puppies and pigs. Keeps him busy. Great to see him again.
Late lunch and rest up in the heat of the day. Guy played mah-jong last night till midnight and is playing again tonight.
Guy managed to track down our masseuse Ailyn so we are both booked in for a massage on Thursday, our last day in town.
Caught up with Gil later in the afternoon for a 2-hour chat to discus life, love, the universe, religion, politics and world peace and we are still great mates.
Wednesday 15th November:
Off to see Ron (the Yank) today who is 82 years young. When we arrived here in Marinduque (7 years ago) Ron and Vicky (his wife) were great in helping us get a start. And from those of you who visited us you know what a mischievous great guy he is.
He is doing well. He can’t drive any more but he hasn’t lost his spark. It was great to see them both and catch up on island news (Gossip).
Thursday 16th November:
Last day on our “home” island today (going to miss this place). After dropping of Gil’s car and catching up with him for a chat it was back to the room for Guy’s massage and both our manicures and pedicures.
After the pampering, it was off to see John the Pom. It was his wife’s (deceased) beach house we rented for the three years we were here. John had a very nasty fall four weeks ago so good to see him up and about.
Found another old friend today. This guy lives about 2.5 km out of town and gets round in an old beat up wheelchair. When we lived here I used to walk past him on the way into town and he always had a beaming smile and a hello for me. I would give him 20 Pesos and he always had a thank you by way of a nod and smile.
Friday 17th November:
Gil has very kindly lent us his driver and vehicle to take us to the Balanacan Port to catch the RoRo. So with a 6:00am pickup and then an hour’s drive, we made the port to catch the 8:00am RoRo to the mainland (3 hour crossing).
Saturday 18th November:
Up at 6:15am and off to Manila airport for our trip to Hong Kong. Nice smooth flight and arrived at 2:00pm. Our driver was ready for us and delivered us to the Harbour Grand Hotel in Kowloon.
We have lashed out on this leg and are staying on the 20th floor with a stunning view of Hong Kong harbour. This gives us access to the Harbour Club Lounge (19th floor) with free breakfast, afternoon tea and evening refreshments (Guy had a wine and I had a Coke with lemon). The food is awesome so this became our “free” meal for the evening.
Feeling a bit bushed so a stroll along the promenade finished off the day nicely.
Sunday 19th November:
Off exploring on our own today. Braving the underground railway system of Hong Kong (aka MTR) we made our way to Lantau and took the scenic cable car to see the big Buddha. Everybody and their dogs have the same idea though as it took us 45 minutes to get on the cable car. It was very foggy and eerie as there were times when we cannot see anything as we’re enveloped by mist. What a triumphant day.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy