Monday 26th July:
Quiet day lounging round the house. Fixed my $1.50 umbrella that had started to come to pieces so kept me occupied for a few hours.
Also it was the address to the nation by Noy Noy Aquino (the new president) today. All the schools were closed in the suburb where the speech took place. They also did this when he was sworn in. The kid’s recon it’s great.
And the Australian stuff up with the debate between Abbott and Gillard and the Master Chef final even made news over here. So you would rather watch Master Chef final over the Abbot & Gillard debate hey. Can’t say I blame you.
We get snippets of Aussie news from time to time especially now with the election.
Tuesday 27th July & Wednesday 28th July:
Not much happening as we are still waiting on Yolanda’s cottage to be ready. To the Mall to escape the midday heat and my first gadget in six months. We have purchased a Nintendo DSi XL. The shop loaded up a heap of games and we bought a Sudoku game for Guy and a Left Brain Right Brain game for me. Something to amuse us when we have no TV or power on Marinduque. As we both have birthdays coming up in September it is an early birthday present.
We have packed up our stuff once again as we head for Marinduque tomorrow. The cottage isn’t ready so we will stay at “Eastpoint” just outside Boac (where we have stayed a couple times before) until the cottage is ready.
First job is to go back and inspect “our piece paradise” as it has now been surveyed and pegged.
Then get our motorbike organized so we have wheels. Once we have wheels we will set out and explore the island lots more and get to know our new home. As it is only 120km right round the island we can do day trips and be home each night.
There are some caves and waterfalls we haven’t explored yet and Geoff (pommy expat) has offered to take me hiking up in the mountains on the trails he knows (not on any tourist map or book). Will also be checking them out as possible mountain bike trails as well.
Looking forward to getting back out bush again….
Thursday 29th July:
Well we are “back home” on Marinduque. It is good to be back and it does feel like home.
After a 10-hour trip that consisted of a Bus, Ro-Ro and Jeepney ride, we are back at the Eastpoint Hotel. The staff here now knows us so they give us the same room each time, which is a great comfortable touch.
Busy day tomorrow with catching up with Yolanda (get an update on the cottage power) then into Boac and get our bike organized and finally see our new land acquisition with the area now pegged.
Friday 30th July:
Wwwwwwoooo hhhooooo. Well I have a new motorcycle. Today we picked up our new mode of transport. It’s a Suzuki Thunder 125cc. After looking at and riding various bikes this one felt right for Guy and I. And it’s Ducati RED……
Also it is the model that two of the expats ride so they highly recommended it as a good “two up (pillion)” bike.
All I have done so far is stiffen up the rear suspension a couple of notches and with Guy on board it rides extremely well.
Now the sad part. It was delivered all nice and shiny. As you know it is the wet season here so rains daily. Any bit of road that isn’t paved or concrete is a mud bath. So with less than 5km on the clock we had to ride through about 2km of “mud” road works. My new shiny bike got very muddy.
Some of you may remember my old Ducati Monster and how it never was ridden in the rain let alone the mud. I am afraid that the Thunder is our everyday transport now come rain, hail, mud and snow. It shall get “looked after” but it is going to get dirty, very dirty.
Now that we have transport it is soooo good to be able to get where and when we want. We have just come back from Gasan where we meet with Yolanda, Laura and Alex (local architect recommended by Yolanda). Went through the remaining process to acquire our land (getting close now) including viewing the approved sub-division plan.
Then discussed with Alex our draft floor plan for our bungalow. He will go away and draw up some preliminary plans and look at some costing. Meeting a couple of other architects / contractors over the next few days and then will select somebody out of these to build the Bungalow.
And wouldn’t you know it. Back at 6:00pm just in time for a brownout. Lasted a couple of hours.
Saturday 23rd July:
Went for a ride this morning down to our land to have a look for the survey markers and check out the creek that runs through the property. But due to the crappy weather we didn’t stay long and will go back once the weather clears.
Unfortunately we were caught in a tropical downpour so we had mud and floods to contend with. But the new Thunder handled it all in its stride. The bike is now very very dirty and it is only two days old. Will have to wait for a few days before any cleaning. After the way my old Ducati was pampered, having a dirty bike is very new to me but something that I now am getting used to.
On the way home we called in to see Manfred (Danish expat living here for the last 15 years) who has been a building contractor on Marinduque in the past. He has retired now, due to ill health, but was able to give us some good advice. Well worth the chat.
And wouldn’t you know it, another brownout when we arrived back at Eastpoint Point. Thinking our Bungalow just might have to have a generator.
Sunday 1st August:
Well after the last two days of crap weather we awoke to a glorious day. I couldn’t resist the urge to clean my new bike. So armed with a bucket and a couple of face washers I managed to get the bike 90% clean. AAhhhhhhh I felt better after that.
Guy has Mahjong from noon in Gasan and I’m catching up with the expat blokes for the Sunday gathering. Was a very pleasant ride today to Gasan that is only 11km from Eastpoint Hotel. All the rice paddies are now full and the rice planting is growing in various stages. Will get some pics for the next blog update. Haven’t got any at the moment due to the weather.
I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and meet up with the guys. Showed them the house plans and picked their brains on building on Marinduque. Got all the good with the bad. No surprises and even some good advice from Eric and Ivan (the Germans).
Tomorrow (Monday) we move to Yolanda’s Cottage on the beach. There is no power at present, but everything else is good to go furniture & cooking). Cooking is by gas so that is fine. And Yolanda is supplying lighting. Water will be in barrels by the front door and will be filled daily by the “boys” from a hand pump on a well 100m away. We will use buckets to carry water indoors to flush the toilet, wash the dishes and to “scoop” shower. Drinking water will be by filtered water delivered from Buenavista so no problems there. The great part is that the cottage is rent-free until the power is connected which should only be a week at the most.
So you all, how would you go living in your house for a week with no power? No TV, fridge, microwave, computer, games, lights, washing machine, etc. And having to cart your water by bucket. Guy and I are actually looking forward to it. Now this is really going back to basics.
Okay how will we charge the Mac, phones, camera and the Nintendo you ask? Well every couple of days we will go “into town” for lunch and charge up at the lunch stop. We already know of a few food spots that will cater to these needs. One of them in Boac even has free Wi-Fi so they may get some additional business.
Having transport is the lifesaver as we can come and go as we now please. And “when” it gets really wet again, we will catch a Jeepney 50m from the front door rather than ride in the wet and mud again.
We also have to do another trip back to Manila in the next week or so to finalize Guy’s citizenship and get mine started. But then straight back to Marinduque and house plans.
Life is good.
Guy & Trevor