Day 470 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 21st May:

Up early and off to Gerald’s at 5:45am for our early morning hike. Headed for the Bagtinjon River, which is 3km up the road from his place. We hiked for about 5km up the river from the road exploring, as we have not been up this way before.

At the 5km mark we found the Butterfly Falls Lodge. It is a Nipa Hut built on a big rock in the middle of the river. Just don’t be there during a Typhoon or monsoon or you could get wet feet (very wet feet…..). Oohhhh and it is for rent. If you’re looking for a secluded retreat this is your place. See the pics.

Back to Bagtinjon Township where Gerald had organized a Trike to pick us up and deliver us back to his house.

Great hike walking in the river as the water is flowing again from all the rain.

Home for a nice cool shower and a hot lunch. Then off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and Guy had a manicure / pedicure there as well.

Called into the bakery for some delights on the way home.

Got a couple texts from Deb (my cousin) to say that she and Pam had arrived in Manila with Mike arriving round midnight. They will all arrive here at the airport at 9:00am tomorrow morning.

Sunday 22nd May:

Meet Ron at 7:15am and off to the airport to pick up Deb, Pam and Mike. They arrived 20 minutes early with their luggage so we loaded everything into Ron’s (pick up) limo service and headed for the cottage.

Quick unpack and we headed for the beach for a swim, as it was rather a hot one. Spent an hour or so floating about shooting the breeze. Guy was “laboring over a hot stove” and had lunch ready for us on our return.

After lunch it was siesta time, especially for Mike who only has had a few hours sleep in the last 24 due to traveling from New Zealand. At 3:00pm it was time to head for Gasan to get some Pineapple juice for the Malibu rum and some beer for the gang.

Waiting on the road for a Jeepney and along came Ron who picked us up and gave the gang a guide tour of Gasan and the Catholic Cathedral over looking town.

We bought our supplies and meet Ron in Barbarossa for some Halo-Halo and Mango smoothies. Just as we were leaving the Santacrusan parade (like a mayflower festival) was coming down the street complete with marching band. So we watched them all pass us by. See the pics.

Back home and we sat on the beach and watched another magnificent sun set. So much for our “quiet” day. Everybody crashed at 10.30pm ish.

Monday 23rd May:

After a good night sleep by all it was a lazy morning lounging round. Guy and I did a quick trip into Gasan to get some supplies for the next two days and pick up our washing from Pearly Bubbles. The gang chilled at the cottage till our return.

We packed up and headed for the Hot Springs down by Buenavista. First stop was Curba Grill for lunch where we had a very nice Lomi and Crispy Pata (Pork Knuckle). A few beers were inhaled by some of the gang to help wash down the meal.

Then a nice 2km walk to the Hot Springs and into the hot and cold pools, which was very refreshing indeed. One of the grounds men directed us to a private pool where we had the whole area to ourselves complete with Nipa Hut.

A few more beers eerrrr I mean drinks were consumed while we relaxed in the nice gentle breeze in the Nipa Hut.

Back to Buenavista by Trike where we managed to fit the five big westerners and two locals (7 all up) in / on the Trike. I was hanging off the back of the sidecar. Very amusing.

A wander round Buenavista and into the Jeepney for the trip back home.

Another great day was had by all.

Tuesday 24th May:

Up nice and early and we walked to the market in Gasan, except Mike. He elected to sleep in for a bit while we were away.

Very nice stroll into Gasan with a quick stop at the port to check on the Bangka to Mindoro tomorrow for the gang. Typhoon Chedeng is still way out east so hopefully the gang will get off the island and Chedeng continues its northward passage.

Got all our supplies at the market and Deb and Pam had a good look round while enjoying a fresh banana cue. Caught the Jeepney back home where we rested up in the Nipa Hut before Deb, Pam and Mike went for a swim, Guy read and I had a little siesta.

After lunch John (the pom) called in to meet the gang and have a chat. Once he left we all pilled into a Jeepney and headed for Boac. First stop was the museum where the gang got a private tour, as they were the only people there.

Off to the local motel / hotel for some iced tea and Wi-Fi to get up to date on emails, Facebook, etc.

Home at 5:30pm with a top up of the beer supplies as this is the last night before the gang head off to Boracay tomorrow. Guy cooked up a nice big pot of Sinigang and Deb cooked some fresh fish from the market this morning.

A little accident occurred where Guy was getting some stuff out the fridge and a beer bottle fell out, smashed on the floor and left a nice gash on her right big toe. Pam the nurse swung into action and the gash was butterflied up, antiseptic cream applied and wrapped up. All good.

Brilliant lightning storm off in the distance tonight. Lasted for about an hour all up. The lightning bolts would light up the whole bay from time to time.

The night was finished off with Pam, Mike and Guy partaking in some very fine Karaoke (after a few beers of course).

Wednesday 25th May:

Up and the gang all packed to head to Mindoro on the morning Bangka. Also checked Typhon Chedeng’s current status and Marinduque now has a Signal 1 (118-130kph winds) alert. This means that all boat traffic off the island is cancelled.

We headed to Gasan Port at 7:30am anyway just to be sure and yep the Bangka was cancelled. Also heard that all the Ro-Ro’s are cancelled as well.

So Ron invited all five of us back to his place for breakfast. Quick stop at the bakery for some treats and off to Ron’s. As we were now at a loose end, Ron offered a trip round the island to while away the day.

Quick stop at the cottage for swimming gear and off we went. Mike and I sat in the back of the pick up with the girls in the front with Ron. First stop was a look at Elephant Island (The 6 Star Resort) from across the bay.

We continued on round the southern end of the island and the rough dirt road to the Cagpo Beach Resort, which is run by Harry (Aussie) and his wife Charmaine (Local). We had a very nice swim before lunch. For food we ordered five different dishes and shared. It was very very yummy. A few beers and glasses of wine were consumed to wash down the lunch as we chatted to Harry.

Deb even found some Australian wine that Harry had so a couple of bottles were purchased for tonight.

We sat in the Nipa Hut and enjoyed an afternoon storm pass by, which cooled down things nicely.

No sign of Typhoon Chedeng as the water was glassy calm.

Headed back home over the mountain pass on the southern end of the island. On the way we called in to see Lyf (Danish) and his wife Elena (local) for a chat. After a coffee and Coke we headed for home after another great day out.

We shall see what tomorrow brings for our visitors’ exit from the island and Typhoon Chedeng.

Thursday 26th May:

Up at 6:30am and a text off to the Bangka man to get a status report and yep the boat is cancelled again today as Marinduque is still on signal 1 Typhoon warning. Guy managed to get the number of Vicki’s nephew who works at the airport an he gave us the Zest Air contact to see if there are any flights off the island would be available tomorrow (no flights today).

So into Barbarossa for lunch and see what we can organize.

There is one plane tomorrow but it is fully booked. So Guy put Deb, Pam and Mike down as standby just in case seats become available. Ooohhhh and the one way price has nearly doubled as well due to the demand.

Also the local’s reckoned that the boats (Ro-Ro and Bangka’s) won’t be running till Sunday. The plan is to see if the Bangka will be operating in the morning (will know by 6:30am) and if not head to the airport at 7:30am and see if the gang can get a seat on the plane. The next plane out is on Sunday.

So the gang could be here till Sunday either way. Oooohhhh well the joys of travelling in the Philippines during a Typhoon.

After Barbarossa Guy headed off to Mahjong and we four hit the marker for some veggies for dinner. Deb & Pam were right in there getting the best veggies from the market store owners. We picked some grilled chicken from the man who cooks them over the coals by hand on the roadside. Then a stop at the bakery for a few goodies and we caught the Jeepney home.  We also stopped at the house where Guy plays mahjong so the gang can see what the game being played looked like.

The humidity was quite bad now so it was in for a swim. The Typhoon wind was now starting to hit us, as there were now waves it was getting windy on the beach. But it cooled us off a bit so all good.

We are finally getting some Typhoon weather after two days of flat calm conditions.

Friday 27th May:

Got a text from the Bangka man at 5:30am to say the boat is running. Marinduque no longer has a signal 1 Typhoon warning so all good. The gang was all packed up and on the way by 7:15am in Ron’s Limo service.

As we have a new washer / cleaner woman (Cyress) starting today I stayed at the cottage to get her organized while Guy went with the gang to make sure all was good at Gasan Port and they make the Bangka. The sea is still a little rough but the wind has dropped so their 3-hour Bangka trip shouldn’t be too bad.

Oooohhh dear. Just got a text from Guy and the Bangka is now re-scheduled for 12:00noon. A follow-up call from Guy and the boat has now been cancelled all together till tomorrow. Later in the day we also heard that the Ro-Ro’s were all cancelled as well due to the rough seas. So there has been no boat traffic to and from the island for 3 days now.

Everybody arrived back at the cottage, again, for another day in paradise. Guy and I did a run into the market and we got some fresh fish (cooked it Adobo style) and veggies for lunch and dinner.

Contacted Ron about the possibility of going to a waterfall over Santa Cruz way but he is busy with workers at his place fixing his fence. So after a yummy lunch it was a designated rest day. Some swam, some slept, some read and some did all. Snacks consisted of fresh Jackfruit and Pineapple.

A very relaxing day indeed.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

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