Monday 27th September
Breakfast at Guy’s Mum’s before heading to the Mall for a few supplies and get cashed up.
Guy and I need new glasses as we are both far sighted and it has been a few years since our last check up. We both need to replace our existing glasses as reading is starting to get a bit of a challenge, again. So checked out a few Optometrists and found this very friendly lady who carried out all the tests and helped us with frames. The cost of the glasses is basically the same at all the places. It is the frames that are negotiable.
So selected some new frames, got a discount after some “negotiations” on Guy’s behalf. Both our glasses are bi-focal, multicoated (blocks out all the nasty rays) and transitional (go dark in the sunlight). All up the total cost for both glasses with new frames is P26,000 ($650 AUS). From memory we paid about the same for a single pair back in AUS.
Had a Chai Latte at Starbucks and some free Wi-Fi. The Chai is actually not too bad from Starbucks especially after not having one for 6 weeks.
Then back to Beth’s (Guy’s sisters) and off to the airport to pick up Jordan (Guy’s 15 year old son) for a two week visit from AUS.
Guy organized her Police Chief friend to meet Jordan as he arrived and escort him through immigration and customs and deliver him to us at a restaurant in the international departures area. This saved us mixing with the masses at arrivals while waiting. He also arranged for Beth to park her van in the 2-minute drop off zone for over an hour just outside the restaurant. Very handy indeed.
Jordan arrived safe and sound and Guy was very happy indeed to see him. We headed back to the hotel via Guy’s Mum’s for some fresh Adobo.
Tuesday 28th September:
Bit of a sleep-in for us all after the big arrival yesterday. Then off to the Mall as Jordan had a few things he really wanted. Breakfast at Jollibee’s and off we set. We wandered back and forth over the three Malls looking for some specific stuff. After a day of walking a thousand kms, or so it seemed, he had pretty much all he was after (for today) so a great day all round.
Tomorrow we head for Puerto Galera (Mindoro Island) and the Tamaraw Resort, all 14 of us. Going to be a bit of a military operation to get us all there with a 3 hour bus trip and a one hour Bangka ride.
Wednesday 29th September:
Early start this morning (up at 7:00pm). Everybody made it to the bus station by 7:30am so all 14 of us loaded up (luggage & food) and headed for Batangas (3 hour bus ride). There was a Bangka ready to go when we arrived at Batangas so quick transfer and off to Puerto Galera and the Tamaraw Resort.
One hour later we arrived, just on midday, so perfect timing. We have two apartments, side by side, with 7 people in each. There are two bedrooms up stairs with two double beds in each and a kitchen / living area down stairs. Great setup.
Quick lunch, up packed and hit the beach for the afternoon to relax and a swim in the crystal clear warm waters.
We also brought Guy’s Mum along for a treat and one of her sisters graciously cooked up dinner for us (Spaghetti), which was very nice indeed.
As it is the low season here now the resort is pretty much deserted. Probably only 20 other guests here so nice and quiet. Much different when we were here in May in the high season.
Must say that organizing 5 adults and 9 kids wasn’t too bad at all (they are all used to travelling this way which helps heaps).
Oohhh Tamaraw Resort is just up the beach from Mengies where we stayed on the start of our journey here back in May. So we have come full circle.
Thursday 30th September:
Bit of a sleep in this morning, as we had nothing to do and all day to do it.
Had a late brunch, which consisted of Mango & Banana pancakes. Very nice.
Then lounged about with some swimming and a bit of a wander up the beach. At 3:00pm we had a Banana boat organized and all enjoyed the ride and several dunkings. See the pics.
Everybody sort of ate when they felt like it so a very relaxed day. Oohhhhh they have free Wi-Fi here so quick email and Facebook check was in order.
Then right on dark we headed up the beach to White beach, which is about 1km away for the fire dancers show, which wasn’t too bad. More food and drink before the show and then a leisurely wander back to our resort in the cool of the evening.
OOohhh as you know Guy and I haven’t had a hair cut in 8 months and it is getting a little long and blowing every where sooooooo today we had cornbraids done to our hair. It actually is very comfortable and certainly stops your hair blowing everywhere. See the pics for what it looks like.
Feels like I’m a born again hippy from the 70s …… Love it….
Friday 1st October:
Rounded up the gang for the trip back to Manila. As the tide was out at the resort, the Bangka couldn’t pick us up at the beach so we all pilled into a mini Jeepney (luggage and all) and off to the port we go.
Arrived safe and sound and loaded up onto the Bangka for the ride to Batangas.
On arrival in Batangas we were going to catch the bus back to Manila. Guy did a deal with a 14 seater mini van driver to drive us all directly to her Mum’s place for P2,500 ($62.50 AUS), only P50 more than the bus fare. So we all loaded up into the van, luggage and all. Now this is a 14-seat van with virtually no luggage space. So all the luggage was packed and prodded into and around all the passengers and off we went. Three hours later we arrived all safe and sound back in Manila and extracted the luggage and passengers from the van.
Soren, Doug, Margaret and Tony it reminded me of one of our plane trips from Lukla to Kathmandu.
We headed for the hotel just down the road as Guy’s two sisters and kids are staying at the house.
Saturday 2nd October:
Off to Greenhills Mall today. This Mall is renowned for its clothing/shoes (genuine fakes) and electronics sections. Jordan was after some Nike stuff and some PS3 games.
After many hours of wandering round and “negotiating” with the vendors he found everything he was after so all good.
The Nike copies are actually not too bad quality wise, better than what I remember from a few years ago. You can get the latest Nike shoes for anywhere between $10 to $30 AUS so yea a bit of a saving.
And PS3 games are about a half to a third the cost of AUS for new ones and much less for second hand, which has a big market here as well. For the second hand ones they allow you to try them first before buying so it is pretty much all above board,
And of course we managed to get a few extras. Managed to acquire 21 assorted DVD’s along the way as well (that were not so genuine).
Back to Guy’s Mum’s for a very yummy Pork Adobo dinner followed by Buko fruit salad which is like our Buko drink but with lots of other fresh fruit added. Went back for thirds for this one.
From the born again hippies….
Trevor & Guy
PS: Life is good…..