Day 352 of retirement

Hi All

We are getting used to living without power. Due to a fuel shortage for the generators here on Marinduque (there are three generator plants) there are rolling brownouts till the 12th of February. The brownouts range from 3 to 9 hours and can happen at anytime day or night.


Sunday 23rd January 2011:

A very slow morning this morning as we are exhausted after a fantastic visit with Jo and Jordan. We needed a few things to take back to the island with us so went and shopped for them. Dropped them off at the condo and had brunch at a very nice Thai place we have visited a few times as the food is great.

After lunch we both went our own ways for a few hours, as I wanted to look at gadget stuff. Also swung past the Mountain Bike shop and they had the new Trek Superfly 29er on the floor fully fitted out with the SRAM X0 gear. Niicceeee…… Brought back memories….

Meet Guy for a Chai Latte before retiring for a late siesta. Dinner was ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches as Guy also had a hankering for this little delicacy.

A very quiet evening as we move to Beth’s place tomorrow and then back to the island on Tuesday. We need a rest……

Monday 24th January:

Last day at the condo so definitely a sleep in as we only have to be out of the condo later in the day. Once up and showered we rounded up all our gear and started the packing process. Seems like some of our stuff has multiplied, as I’m sure we never had this much stuff. But anyway we managed to get it all packed including some supplies for the island. Guy bought a carry on suitcase so it’s stuffed with the entire foodstuff we have purchased that isn’t available on the island.

Off to the mall one last time for brunch which consisted of corn on the cob and a donut, my last sweet treat. All finished off with a Chai Latte and a very nice little piece of Pistachio Nut Cake washed down with the Chai.

Caught a cab to Beth’s place and made a few last minute calls to try and track down my residency status and some info I need from the Australian Embassy. Alas we were not successful in either case. Oohhh well another day and another call.

Yummy dinner cooked by Guy’s Mum and off to bed as we have an early start in the morning to get home……

Tuesday 25th January:

Alarm went off at 5:30am. Quick pack of the last few things and off we Triked to the JAC Liner (Bus) depot just down the road. The bus left at 6:20am and 4.75 hours later we arrived in Lucena Port for the 12:00 noon Ro-Ro. We had some time to spare which was good as I psyched myself up for another rough Ro-Ro ride.

The forecast was for strong winds and rough 3m – 5m waves. After my last rough trip I was a little weary. Drugged myself up and we were able to get some nice large padded bench seats as we boarded. So we both lay down and stretched out as the Ro-Ro hit the rough seas. It wasn’t as rough as the previous trip from hell but it was pretty rough as the Ro-Ro rocked and rolled.

We both felt a little “flushed” but I must say that it is better being able to lie down. At about the 2-hour mark the seas abated and the last half hour of the ride, as we approached Marinduque, was actually quite smooth. No vomiting for either of us….. yyeeeaaaaaa…..

We arrived at Balanacan Port at 2:30pm and boy we were both glad to have our feet on dry land and be home. Ron was there waiting for us (our ever faithful Taxi) and we headed for home in the pickup. Quick stop over at Barbarossa for cheeseburgers and fries, as we hadn’t eaten all day.

Home to a nice hot fresh cup of tea watching the sun go down from the veranda. And we were then really welcomed home by a lovely brownout at about 5:00pm which lasted till 9:15pm.

Must say Marinduque is certainly our home now and we are so so so glad to be back and away from the smog and hustle and bustle of Manila. Rest day tomorrow then Guy has Mahjong on Thursday, we both have Bridge on Friday. No rest for the wicked.

Wednesday 26th January:

Very nice little snooze in and breakfast on the front veranda watching the world go by on the beach.

Off to the Gasan markets for some fresh supplies followed by a visit to our local “supermarket” down the road for my Coke. I cooked up some Pork Adobo for lunch and just as Guy was cooking the rice in the rice cooker, it blew up. So we had to rough it and cook the rice on the gas stove. Yolanda and the boys are working here today and she gave us a plate of tofu, tomatoes, pechay (local spinach) and Pork. It is kind of like a soup. Had this with the rice and Adobo and it was so nice to have local fresh food again after being on the road for the last four weeks.

Also the boys got us 4 fresh Buko so a nice big batch of Buko juice was made and chilled in the fridge.

After lunch we headed to Joseph’s Mini Mart for some free fast Wi-Fi as Guy wanted to upload a heap of pics from our travels to her old high school website.

All done and home for a very relaxed evening with a nice cold Buko juice with a dash of Malibu (Rum). Man that was good. I think that it should be named the TGB (Trevor & Guy Buko) cocktail.

Thursday 27th January:

After a leisurely breakfast, I had a look at our three electrical items that have died (Rice cooker, DVD Played & Jo’s portable DVD player). Yea things do happen in threes.

No life in any of them so the rice cooker has been retired (element burnt out), the DVD player (power supply dead) given back to Yolanda and the portable DVD player (comes on but won’t play) I will persist with.

One of the boys gave us a couple of fresh Papaya and Yolanda gave us some bananas and a Papaya so good for fresh fruit for the next few days.

Guy off to Mahjong with Vicki after a four-week lapse so she’s really looking forward to getting back into the “office”.

Cherry is also here today to catch up on all our washing from being away for the last four weeks. I rigged up an extra cloths line between a couple of coconut trees for the extra load.

I caught up with Ron in the afternoon and sharpened all his knives. He was complaining how blunt they all were and nobody knows how to give them a good sharpening. So after my sliced finger episode he asked if I could help.

Oohhh and the finger is all good. The cut has healed well but it is still a bit tender and swollen round the scar.

After the knife sharpening, we did a quick trip into Gasan as I needed a spare gas cylinder for our cooking stove, as it is too big to fit on the Thunder Monster. Brought that back to the cottage and sat under the Nipa hut talking to Yolanda’s son and girlfriend who are visiting from the USA.

3:00pm and another brownout greets me. Power off till 5:30pm, just before dark. At least we had power for dinner. The rumor going round the island is that there is a current shortage of fuel oil for the generator engines. So there will be continuous rolling brownouts during the days to come.

Guy arrived home at 5:00pm with a break even day at Mahjong.

Friday 28th January:

Another brownout last night. It started about midnight and ended at 8:30am this morning. Just in time for showers before we headed off to our Bridge Club game at Terry’s place just down the road.

The players today were Terry, John, Guy and I. All a bit rusty as we last played before Xmas but Terry and Guy won one set with John and I the other.

Off home for lunch then off to Buenavista to pay our land tax (Council rates) for 2011.

After lots of paper shuffling (all hard copy here, no computer system at all) they discovered they have to create a new ledger account for us. This won’t be ready till Monday so we need to go back then to pay the P200 ($5.00 AUS) for our 2,908 metre square block.

On the way home we called into the block and it certainly has become over grown once again. Looks like a few days slashing with the Bolo are required. I will get a start on that job next week.

Into Gasan for some supplies and a new rice cooker. Arrived home in time for a nice leisurely stroll up the beach before watching the Australian News on the Australian Channel. And we still have power so all good.

Saturday 29th January:

Brownout last night started at 11:00pm and the power was back on at 6:00am ish.

Up and about as Gerald (my pommie hiking guide) was coming over for a cup of tea and a chat. Had a good old chinwag and organized a hike for Monday to have another go at finding the waterfalls we could find last time. We have a guide this time that is one of the locals for the area so we should find them.

Rubbish burning day today. As there is no rubbish pick up I have to burn our rubbish apart from the tin cans, bottles and plastic bottles which I leave by the roadside  for the junk man.

Off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart (40km round trip) for Wi-Fi but when I arrived it appeared that they have change the password (which they do regularly) and the mini mart was closed so couldn’t get the new one. Ooohhh well, back to Barbarossa and the USB modem as I still am having trouble with their Wi-Fi. USB is slow but it is reliable so I managed to get done what I needed to do.

Back at the cottage Yolanda and the boys were cooking up a storm including a Lechon (suckling pig) from her farm. The reason for the gathering was that her son and partner are returning to the USA tomorrow so it was a goodbye food gathering, Filipinos call it a ‘despidida’.

The food was outstanding once again and we all ate too much, again. Also meet Berthold (German) and his wife Josephine (Filipino) and his sister Ingrid (German) who is visiting them from Germany. They spend part of their time in Greece and the rest on Marinduque as they have a house here by the airport. They have been coming and going for the last 14 years. Also his mom lives here in a separate house on their land.

Day finished off with a nice hot cup of tea and watched the movie “Red Dragon”. This is the movie pre “Silence of the Lambs”. Great movie.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


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