Day 275 of retirement

Hi All

Sunday 7th November:

Had our first earth tremor last night. We both awoke to the cottage vibrating and a low rumble for a few seconds. Used to get these back in Cummins South Australia where I grew up so knew what it was. No damage to the cottage.

Usual Sunday activities for us. Guy is playing Mahjong for the day and I’m at the Barbarossa for the day with the expats. Had eight expat’s there today so the group is growing, slowly which is good.

Guy’s Mahjong is still up and down but she really plays for the fun and not the cash. They actually have a “high rollers” table where she plays but she and Vickie don’t play it.

Monday 8th November:

Early start as Ron picked us up at 7:00am and we headed for Santa Cruz for Guy and I to see the ear doctor again.  Got straight in and Guy got the all clear that her ears are on the mend. I also had mine checked out this time and I got a good bill of health for my age. There is a bit of deterioration but nothing serious.

We then had a coffee and tea at the Rejano’s Bakery across the road. This is the place where they bake the Arrowroot Cookies, which are a local delicacy and very nice. Stocked on some more biscuits while we were there.

We then headed for the Flintstone house over Torrijos way (the opposite side of the island to us). Now this house is the first house that Jan (Paradise Valley man) built here on Marinduque and it is built round the theme of the Flintstones. Jan sold the house about five years ago to Divine (Filipino) and Alex (Norwegian) and then built Paradise Valley.

Divine has just arrived back at the house and Alex is arriving for Xmas.

The two-storey house is built on a small cliff top overlooking the ocean and I must say it has been done very tastefully. The whole house and most of the furniture is all made out of sculptured concrete and it is built like you are living in a “modern” cave. The lights are built into the stalagmites for example.

It has a large covered veranda out front (where we sat and had tea) with a balcony on the first floor and the roof is also an entertaining area. All this facing the ocean with sweeping view of the water and also Mount Malindig to the right. See the pics. A great place and Divine is a great lady.

We stopped in Torrijos for a very nice lunch at this very cool restaurant, which is under these two huge trees with all these vines hanging down. Food was great and it was literally nice and cool sitting in the shade of these big trees and vines.

Then we headed down south and round the bottom (remote part and a bit of a goat track in places) of the island past Elephant Island (the 6 star resort on an island just off the coast) and up to Buenavista. From there it was into Gasan and Barbarossa for tea before a quick stop at the Catholic Church on the hill over looking Gasan (Guy hadn’t been there before) and off home.

Busy day so will sleep well tonight.

Tuesday 9th November:

Got picked up at 10:00am by Milton (one of Guy’s Mahjong mates) to go have a look at some “cheap” land he is selling for a friend who now lives in the USA. It consists of 3 hectares with 1 hectare being rice paddies and 2 hectares being set on a hillside over looking the rice paddies. They are asking P800,000 ($20,000 AUS) for the 3 hectares.

It is just outside of Buenavista back off the main road about 1km. Certainly is a beautiful spot but has one major problem, there is no legal access to the property. It has rice paddies on three sides and the mountains behind. So the only way to get access would be to build a road over the rice paddies. This would be the expensive part, as you would need to buy the land for the road so the owners would have you over a barrel in regards to price. Then you have to construct the road also, which wouldn’t be cheap.

Glad we had a look but not for us. Our little block is looking better and better the more we look at other properties.

Then into Buenavista for lunch to try out a new restaurant we have seen. The food was good and cheap (P169 ($4.23 AUS)) for drinks and a meal that we couldn’t finish. We got a doggie bag, which will be dinner for us tonight.

Then off to the Land Assessors Office to determine what fees & taxes we have left to pay on the purchase of our block. Turns out the final fees to pay are P50 ($1.25 AUS)). Then our “council rates” for 2011 will be P30 ($0.75 AUS). This is until we build on the block and then they re-assess the value which will then make our rates rise just a little……..

We both had a very nice little siesta at the cottage before a quick trip into Gasan for some supplies dodging the afternoon storms. Managed to make it home just as a storm hit so all good.

Wednesday 10th November:

Rained pretty much all night last night and didn’t stop till 11:00am ish. Cherry (washer lady) was due at 9:00am but due to the rain didn’t turn up.

So we had a leisurely morning followed by and equally leisurely lunch and then an equally leisurely afternoon siesta.

I arose later in the afternoon and did my weekly rubbish burn up which was a challenge due to the wet but managed, with the help of some dried coconut palms, to get the job done.

Guy and I then went for a nice long 1.5 hour walk up the beach and back down the road exploring the neighborhood.

Had dinner and watched 2 DVDs. Now that’s what you call a leisurely day.

Thursday 11th November:

Weather has cleared but still no Cherry.

Frank (Aussie) & Rosie (local) dropped in with our bacon and sausages from Manila. Rosie goes to Manila once a month to get meat supplies for Frank, as he is not keen on the local meat. So we got Rosie on this trip to pickup some goodies for us to supplement our local diet. Looking forward to some snags with rice. Where is the Barbie when you need it?

Guy does a mean bacon / rice dish which consists of bacon and rice………

At midday Guy headed off to Mahjong with Vicky and Ron and I went cruising to Boac for a few supplies and to get some cash from the ATM (which was working this time). We stopped at a butterfly farm for a look but the owner was out so no grand tour.

Finished up at the Katala Lodge (German establishment), which is just down the road from the cottage, where we had a very nice wiener schnitzel and mashed potato (dam good mash as well) for an early dinner. I walked home from there in the cool of the evening sea breeze.

Guy arrived home on dark being very happy with herself as she had a win today so got to be happy with that.

Friday 12th November:

Yesterday there was a van going up and down the road informing everybody that the power would be off today from 9:00am till 3:00pm. Good of them to let us know……

So we got up at 8:00am and had breakfast prior to 9:00am. The aim was to then go exploring on the Thunder Monster for the day while the power was off.

Cherry (the washer lady) turned up on 9:00am 3 days late. We had actually organized another washer lady for tomorrow, Saturday, so Guy had a good chat to Cherry and she will now come in and do our washing on Saturday’s as it is easier for her. All sorted now.

So off we headed. First stop was Kevin’s (Aussie) place just down the road. He has 5 hectares of hillside and rice paddies just off the main road and is in the process of building a storage shed cum living quarters where he will live and store his house materials while he builds the main house. He has a great piece of land with sweeping views of the coast from the hillside.

We then headed for the road by the river by the big bridge and turned left and rode up the dirt road through the dry riverbed and turned left by the basketball court looking for this Grotto (Catholic place of worship with a statue of the Lady of Lourdes) and garden on the hillside. Missed the turnoff the first time but after some help from the locals we found it.

You enter the gardens at the river level and wind your way up the mountainside through these jungle / gardens to the statue at the top. It is a really beautiful walk complete with concrete steps. There is a little chapel and some water features about half way up where you can take a break. It was hard going in the heat and humidity but well worth the climb for the fantastic view of Mount Malindig and the coast down Buenavista way. Got a great panoramic shot from the top.

It is a great peaceful spot and well worth the climb and visit.

Headed to Geoff’s (Pom) place but he was out so off to the Curba Grill out by the Hot Springs for lunch. Had a very nice long leisurely lunch out on the balcony on the first floor in the Nipa Hut. Nice breeze with views across the rice paddies. Even had a little siesta lying down on the bench seat after lunch. You can do that here and no one worries you. Tried to get a Halo Halo for desert but due to the power being off there was no ice so sadly no Halo Halo.

Back to Geoff’s but he wasn’t home yet so back to the cottage for a continuation of the siesta in the Nipa Hut and wait for the power to come back on.

3:10pm the power was back on so all good (actually came back on time so got to be happy with that). A nice stroll up the beach before dinner watching the sunset and the sky light up.

Saturday 13th November:

Early start for a Saturday morning as I headed to Ron’s place as he was threshing rice and I wanted to see the process. I arrived at 8:00am but they had just finished. Oh well always next time as they will be threshging again in about a week or so.

Back to the cottage as our new washerwoman arrived with Frank and Rosie so Guy got her organized. Rosie found her so delivered her to us just to be sure that everything was okay. Off to the Gasan markets for our supplies as Guy was making her famous chicken rice and also her chicken and green papaya for lunch.

I did a quick trip to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and to load this week’s blog photos. Back for a latish lunch before heading to Barbarossa and some broadband connection so Guy could catch-up on her emails.

Home to a brilliant sunset and some very yummy chicken dishes and fresh papaya followed by some DVD viewing.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


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