Wwwooo hhooo we found Wi-Fi in Torrijos. You just never know when and where it will pop up.
Monday 31st May:
Left Eastpoint Hotel this morning and caught the Jeepney south to Buenavista where we then had to transfer to a Trik to get to the Hot springs. Upon arrival in Buenavista we walked to the pier and were sitting under a shade enjoying the cool sea breeze when Guy struck up a conversation with one of the locals.
We were going to eat at one of the local eateries before heading to the Hot springs so were enquiring on where to eat. Well this guy recommended a lovely local spot called Curba Grill, just out of town, and organized a Trik who would take us to the grill, wait while we ate and then take us to the Hot springs all for the sum of P60 ($1.55 AUS).
So Curba Grill it was. Well this is a great little spot where we had a Lomi (thick soup with pork meat and liver, veggies and noodles). A Pork bun was also utilized to soak up the yummy thick soup.
As a few of you know I also like a slice of lemon with my drinks. So out comes our ice tea with a lemon slice (lemon is not big over here). I was in heaven with great food and my “lemon” ice tea. And all this food and drink for a total of P160 ($4.10 AUS). Absolute bargain.
Made it to the Hot springs, which is a very pretty little place with gardens and bamboo nipa huts in the grounds. It has 3 hot pools (2 big and 1 small), which are fed by a hot stream coming out of the mountains. And they are hot. But it is very refreshing when you swim then get out and sit in the breeze. We repeated this process many times. Then time for our afternoon Siesta.
Beautiful evening so we walked back to Curba’s Grill (40 minute walk) and enjoyed a Halo-halo (made up of ice, milk (tinned evaporated), ice cream, purple yam, coconut, gelatin, crunchy rice, sago and other sweet fruits). Very nice treat as you can’t always find them out bush. Curba Grill is this little restaurant on the first floor that catches the breeze and views of the surrounding fields with a loud stereo playing mellow music and very relaxing with very friendly staff.
Trik ride back to the hot springs and a leisurely dip before bed.
Tuesday 1st June:
Bit of a sleep in, breakfast (some yummy coconut small buns locally called hopia) then hit the springs. 1:00pm ish we headed for Curba’s once again for the main meal of our day, lunch.
As it was a very balmy coolish day (low 30sC) we decided to spend the afternoon at Curba’s in the breeze watching the locals. We were entertained by a guy and his buffalo with skid trailer and the local kids carting bricks, cement and building supplies from the road to about 500m up in the dry rice paddies for somebody’s new house.
These little kids would hoist 1 and some times 2 bricks onto their shoulders and off they would go. Each time they arrived back it was a contest to see who could carry 2 bricks.
And we were entertained by this little kid with an old motorcycle tire that he would guide along this narrow twisty cement path in the rice fields with only a stick. He was pretty dam good at it getting round all the corners without stopping.
Ooohhh and we managed to have a couple of Malibu and Pineapple juices Sandy L and Lynne A while we were at it.
I managed a quick nap on the bamboo bench seat (this practice is acceptable here) before we finished off with a Halo-halo. Then a stroll back in the cooler evening air. We purchased tomorrow’s breakfast (some more coconut buns) then back to the hot springs for a dip to cool off in the hot water.
Wednesday 2nd June:
Another hard day at the office. Breakie, hot springs, Curba’s for late lunch, nap, explore Buenavista (on the coast), Curba’s for Halo-halo, hot springs and bedtime.
Today we meet the guy who runs the hot springs and had a great chat to him on the history of the springs and the real-estate market in this area. He also took us up the back of the resort to pick some organic Sineguelas (Small sugar plums). If you eat them slightly red they are slightly sour and crunchy. If you eat them dark red they are sweet (almost like mango). Tried both reds and both very refreshing although I like the sweet ones. We have a bag full to take to Torrijos with us.
The history of the hot springs was that it was a bit of a dive until 2007 when Francis (The administrator come developer, come designer) took over running the resort for the owners. He completely redeveloped it, as it had been the local dump for the neighborhood. So he buried the dump and built two new pools, landscaped the grounds and updated the accommodation. He made the resort self sufficient in one year. They have 9 hectares of land with only 2 being developed at present. He showed us the next stage of development that is another pool with an island bar for private use by the high-end users (well you can have private functions there).
Had a bit of a storm last night with thunder, lightning and very heavy rain along with the usual brownout. The days are now cloudier (stormy clouds) and a bit cooler (at long last) but still pretty muggy. So hopefully the wet is on the way. The locals are all waiting so they can plant their rice crops.
Thursday 3rd June:
We left the hot springs sadly and headed for Torrijos (about 30km away on the east side of the island). From there it was to the far end of White Beach at our home stay home called Marilou’s. Guy did her usual hard negotiation with one of the local Trik boys and we ended up taking the Trik for about a $1.00 more than the Jeepney ride and far more pleasant.
It was a very pleasant ride through the mountains. On the home stretch Trik boy switched off his engine and for 12km we just coasted down the mountain taking in all the sights and sounds. When we hit Torrijos he waited while we got 2 x 20 litre containers of water and some supplies and then transported us to Marliou’s front door. All for the princely sum of P300 ($7.75 AUS).
This is one very cool place as we have our own private beach with a 300m walk over two headlands to get to the resort area of White Beach. Luckily we are far enough away from White Beach that we don’t hear or see them but we can walk to get supplies.
The local fisherman sell their catch at White Beach as well so looks like fresh fish on the Barbie tomorrow night cooked with coconut husks. Ooohhh and we got some coconut vinegar for the fish. I am a vinegar lover from my childhood and this coconut stuff is pretty dam good. It has chilies, garlic and other secret herbs and spices in it.
Our shack is 20m from the waters edge with lots of shady coconut palms and a larger veranda out the front, which houses the kitchen and “lounge”. And it catches the cool afternoon sea breeze.
We also have a private cook if we need her. You negotiate with her what you want (local food only) and she will get the required ingredients and come and cook it right here for us. For her to get the food and come cook it here, you are looking at about P400 ($10.00 AUS) for two days worth of food for us. We will be utilizing her services.
We had an afternoon “wet” storm and due to it being that heavy we were able to shower and wash our hair in it while standing in the “front yard”. Yep we are going feral. After the storm passed we picked some fresh apple mangoes for our dinner. Don’t get much fresher than that.
Balmy evening watching the lightning show off shore and the Fireflies light up as they buzz past us. Then off to bed under the ceiling fan.
We now have a whole new eating regime. Basically we eat a light breakfast (9:00am ish – fresh fruit or some sweet bread buns) and make lunch (1 to 2:00pm ish) our main big meal of the day followed by light snacks for dinner (6:00pm ish). If we snack (which we hardly do) in between it is usually nuts or fruit
No more cheese, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, tea/coffee or any of that other great western food. This is working for us about 90% of the time and we actually feel pretty good.
And we now have a mascot travelling with us. I found a little teddy bear on the beach today so we washed him off and he now “hangs” on the veranda with us and will now accompany us forever. Oohhh he is named “Toddy”. Yep Todd Stafford he is named after you and your teddy that went on every race with you come rain, shine or hail.
Take care all.
Trevor & Guy.