Quick update as we maybe out of contact for a few weeks. Going bush.
Well we made it in Boac and explored the Tourist info centre and the Museum, which gave a great insight into some of the history of Marinduque. The island has a strong Spanish past and this is certainly reflected in the Cathedral / fort that still stands on the highest part of town. Had a look and it is indeed very impressive and dates back to the 18th century (was thinking of you Ian B as I took a few snaps…).
Ooohhh and they have a mountain bike club on the island. Saw some pics of the riding and it looks pretty good. Just dam hot. So big tick for Marinduque from me (no 29ers though Ivan and Kim).
Caught up with Philip (Guy’s best fiends hubby) and as it turns out tomorrow (Saturday) he is lending us his car while he is at his school reunion. So with his son (Guy’s god son) and nephew we are going to do a road trip round the island (only 120km in total) and scout out some places to explore over the next few weeks.
And the bonus is that Aura (Philips wife) sent some chocolate brownies and French pastries down for us. They are dam good, as we haven’t had any of this stuff since leaving Manila.
Had our first rain today as well. 4:00pm it fell down and at 5:00pm it stopped. So hopefully the wet is on the way. Was great as it settled the dust and cooled things down a bit although was a tab muggy.
Another two brown outs today / tonight. Thank goodness for Mac laptop batteries…..
Today we had Angelo (Guy’s godson) and Jerry (a nephew) take us on a road trip round the island. We did the whole circumnavigation including the southern peninsula, which involved 25km of rough, dusty dirt road (we were in a 4×4). Got a good feel for the island and its layout.
Right at the tip down south is a place call Elephant Island. Now this is an island that has a six star resort for the rich and famous. As the Lonely Planet says:
Try the newly-opened 6-star Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa located at Elephant Island (formerly Isla Perro) in Buenavista town. Guests are treated in this resort in a very Mediterranean way that resembles the vibe of the Greek island of Santorini. Amenities include seaside pools and Jacuzzis, a 9-hole golf course, a function/dining hall and bar. From the Marinduque airport, guests are transported to the island via a private yacht or helicopter. Rooms and terraces cost from $350-$1,100 USD (food not included).
See the pics. It is very impressive but just a little over our budget.
Also managed to check out the hot springs outside of Buenavista on the mountain road to Torrijos. We are heading there on Monday for a few days. The springs hold medicinal powers so we shall be swimming in them purely for medicinal purposes.
The next stop after that is about 5 km outside Torrijos (east side of the island) at the far end of White Beach at a home stay called Marilous home stay. Now home stay here is different to B&B in Aus. Here home stay means that you take over the home and stay in it.
Anyway Marilous has a stretch of land that goes from the main road down to the ocean (about 500m long). On it she has her cottage up by the road and a “shack” down by the waters edge. To get to the shack you have to go through three gates and dodge the cattle having their siesta under the shady trees.
Now this is a real Robinson Crusoe shack. It consists of two bedrooms with bathrooms (no flush toilet and only cold water) side by side with a huge veranda out front that has a gas cooker, a fridge that works whenever the power decides to work and some pots and pans. Twenty steps off the veranda and you have your own private white beach with coconut palms for shade.
You have to supply all your own food and drinking water from town (5km away). You can also apparently walk over the small headland to the far end of White Beach for basic supplies but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Oohhh and there is an Indian Mango tree loaded with fresh mangoes that are free for the taking. We brought a few back with us and are eating them right now. They are eaten green and taste like a sweet apple. Very yummy and we will indeed relieve the tree of a few more.
Other than that you’re on your own. So we are going to spend a week there after the hot springs and go Robinson Crusoe for a while. Marilou also informs us that we can get fresh fish from the fishermen who peddle their catch of the day by the beach over the headland. She has enough dried coconut husks to barbeque a ton of fish (coconut husks are burnt as fuel for the barbie).
Also there is a hammock but needs a bit of work so might have to be my task for the week to fix it.
A leisurely midday swim and off to Gason (where we arrived) to visit the German restaurant for a late lunch and a bit of good old German food. And very nice it was.
And as luck has it there were 4 other expatriates (Finish, Danish, Aussie (actually Danish Aussie from Melbourne) & Pom) there who all now live in the area. Seems that the Gason area is a popular “retirement” area for foreigners.
The Pom was full of knowledge on who lives where and what is for sale and rent. Very good info actually. So we swapped numbers and on our return in a few weeks we are going to look at some possible leads. His wife is about to complete a long-term rental, fully furnished cottage on the beach (black sandy beach) just down the road from Gason which will have a look at.
Then a quick trip to Boac to get a cheap goggles & snorkel for our Robinson Crusoe beach later this week and time to pack ready to leave in the morning.
Marinduque is known as the second most peaceful province in the Philippines. Crime is almost non-existent and the people are all very friendly and helpful. The island has a really good “vibe” about it that you can actually feel. If you’re looking for nightlife forget Marinduque. If you want the quiet life this is a good place to explore. We still have some waterfalls and caves to explore yet.
Now as we are heading to the mountains for the hot springs and then over to the east coast we maybe out of touch for a few weeks. At this stage we haven’t found any Wi-Fi on the east coast so will be back in contact on our return to the west coast and it’s free Wi-Fi.
Ooohhh mobile phone coverage is fine is these areas so if you have any exciting news from home text me……
Take care you all and see you in a few weeks (hopefully sooner if I can find a connection).
Trev & Guy