Day 498 of retirement

June 25, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 18th June:

Power back on in the early hours of the morning and stayed on all day.

Bit of a sleep-in till 11:15am this morning. After brunch we headed for the markets to get some supplies plus a few extra’s (emergency rations) as we have Tropical Depression (Typhoon) “Egay” moving up the east coast of the Philippines at the moment.

It isn’t expected to hit us directly but we will probably get the tail end wind and rain for 24-hours or so. Today is cloudy and still, which is usually the calm before the storm.

Then off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart to post the blog and catch up on emails for us both. Drizzled a bit on the way there and back but nothing serious. The sky is starting to get all stormy so we shall see what eventuates weather wise.

Sunday 19th June:

Well we have gotten off very lightly from “Egay”. Just some rough seas and a bit of wind but no rain as such.

Thunder Monster wash and wax this morning and she is all shiny once again.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I caught up with the expats at Barbarossa. Usual crowd.

Home at 4:00pm and as it had been dry all day I did the incinerator burn up of all the week’s rubbish. All burnt up nicely. And we had power all day as well.

Monday 20th June:

Aaahhh spoke to soon. Up at 5:00am for my Monday morning walk and the weather has turned to rough seas, wind and drizzly rain. The tail of “Egay” has hit us after all. Quick text to Gerald and the walk is called off.

As were already up Gerald caught a Jeepney and came over for a nice hot cup of tea and a chat. After he left I had an early morning siesta after the early start this morning……

Over lunch Guy and I watched the movies “Inside Job” and “The Social Network”. Enjoyed both movies even though I have seen them before.

Another afternoon siesta followed. In the late afternoon I wandered down to the shops to replenish my Coke supplies. A 2km round trip and walk along the beach. The rain has disappeared but it was till windy, overcast and very humid.

I finished reading my book “The Afghan” so that makes four books read for me this year (an all time record).

Just finished our dinner and a brownout hit us from 6:45pm to 8:00pm.

Tuesday 21st June:

The weather has started to calm down once again with just the rough seas remaining.

Leisurely morning with Guy headed off to Mahjong at midday. At 12:30pm we had a brownout so I decided to go to the market for some supplies for tonight’s dinner and roll on up to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi. There was power there when I arrived so was able to do emails and stuff.

Cruised home on the Thunder Monster arriving at 3:30pm. The power was back on at the cottage on arrival so all good.

Wednesday 22nd June:

Had a great day today. Meet Geoff at 8:45am and we headed for Boac where we meet up with John, Ivan and Wayne for a coffee. Geoff, Wayne and I then headed over Santa Cruz way to explore some of the Bathala Caves (pronounced Bat-haa-laa), which are a series of six caves in this huge limestone escarpment.

We found the road in and after 7km on rough dirt road we arrived. Geoff has been before so guided us in which is just as well as there are no signs and tracks going in any direction.

We meet our guide Alex (who was glad to see us as we were his only customers in 2 weeks), who has guided and worked at the caves for over 8 years. The cost was P300 for the guide and P50 per person entry (P450 total ($10.25 AUS)). He was a great guy and knew his stuff on all the caves.

First stop was the “Church” cave, which is the biggest and easiest to get to of all the caves. Sadly it has been vandalized, but I was still very impressed with the size of it and all the bats.

Next stop was the “Python” cave and due to the difficulty in getting to and in it, is still in pretty good condition. To get to it we had to hike along the escarpment till we came upon this “sink hole”. To get to the cave you have to climb down the side of the sinkhole wall and then enter the cave off to one side at the bottom. This involved some rock climbing down moss cover rocks, which was interesting in its own right. Geoff and Wayne elected to remain at the top for this one.

Alex took me down and we found these two beautiful Pythons just inside the cave entrance. It was the highlight of the day. Then back out we climbed and had a team discussion on whether to explore the third “Secret” cave. As it was very very humid by now and we didn’t have the best footwear (Teva’s with the sole worn smooth) for climbing and we didn’t have any fluids we elected to hike out and bypass the “Secret” cave for now.

I had a good chat to Alex and will go back another day and hire him for the day and go explore all the caves. He reckons we could have a great day exploring doing it this way.

From the caves we made our way to Santa Cruz for a late lunch. Some cold drinks and food was extremely welcome. On the way out of town Geoff took us for a tour up in the hills for a view out over the township.

On the way home we ducked into Kawa-Kawa Waterfalls (2.5km off the main road). This is a series of three rock pools (two man made and one natural) with the falls feeding them. We are going to go back here next week and explore the pools and go for a swim.

Made it home at 5:00pm after 125km on the Thunder Monster. Guy had cooked up a very yummy dinner of Chicken Adobo, which went down very well.

We also finished watching “The wire” series 3 (on the MacBook due to the brownout). Got 4 & 5 to go, thanks to John who picked them up in Angeles last week. He is a series behind us so we get the new ones first.

A fantastic day all round but just to throw a spanner in the works, brownout from 7:30pm till 10:30pm.

Thursday 23rd June:

Power off sometime during the night but back on at 8:30am.

We are now on the tail end of tropical depression “Falcon”. It is far off to the east of us and all we are getting is some rain (rained steadily all night) and rough seas but no strong winds.

Ooohhhh well a good day for some more DVD’s. Guy headed off to Mahjong at midday and I potted round the house and watched a few DVD’s. I started on season 4 of “The Wire” by watching the first two episodes. Still a great series even in season four.

I was going to try and go for a walk but we had steady rain all day. It didn’t let up at all. But at least no wind so all good.

Friday 24th June:

Up at 5:00am for the early morning walk with Gerald. Check of the weather and it is still raining (remnants of tropical depression “Falcon”). Text to Gerald and the walk is postponed till Monday and some nicer weather (we hope).

At 8:00am Zieyrish turned up for her washing day but we canned it till tomorrow and hopefully some better weather for washing. The rain had just started to ease (after 34 hours non stop) when she arrived but the sky was still very overcast and the wind was picking up.

At midday Guy and I ducked into the market on the Thunder Monster for some supplies. I then dropped her at Mahjong and headed back home in the light drizzle, threatening skies and the wind picking up.

A brownout hit at 1:15pm and lasted till 2:30pm so another two episodes of “The Wire” were watched on the MacBook. Then later in the afternoon went for a long walk along the stormy beach to stretch the legs as the rain had finally dissipated.

Today is “John the Baptist” day here, which means that people throw water at you as you pass by. Due to the rain there was hardly anybody out but I did come across one group by the roadside (on the way home from the market) that were participating in the practice. Luckily they had “watered a Jeepney” as I passed so I missed out on a drenching.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 491 of retirement

June 18, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 11th June:

Up at 5:00am and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. It was drizzling but we decided to go anyway and the light rain helped to keep us cool just a little. Going back into the hills was out of the question due to all the rain this week so we elected to walk down the beach to the big bridge by Buenavista and back along the road. A very pleasant 1.75-hour walk.

Usual cold tea followed by hot tea before I headed for home. Arriving at 8:30am ish I arrived to find a brownout. So after a delayed breakfast nothing else to do but have a morning siesta.  Guy was just about to start her zumba exercises but that was when the brownout happened.

No power still at lunch so warmed up leftovers on the gas stove.

Guy got a text from the Mahjong house that they “needed” her as they were a player down for the afternoon. So being the kind hearted soul that she is she went in to help them out…….

I decided to go to Joseph’s Mini-Mart just on the off chance they had power in Boac but nope nothing there when I arrived. I had my USB Broadband stick with me and the mobile network was still working (they have battery & generators on the towers) so was able to connect at an okay speed.

Got the blog done and checked emails and that was it. Then went exploring on the Thunder Monster. Followed a few different roads that I hadn’t been down before and had a very pleasant afternoon cruising.

Called into Gasan on the way home and stocked up on more fresh Mangoes and a roast chicken from our chicken man. Home just after 4:00pm and still no power. It finally came back on at 6:00pm.

Sunday 12th June:

Being Sunday it is Thunder Monsters wash and wax day. She has had a bit of a battering this last week, so a well deserved and nice soothing wash and wax was in order.

Midday and I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I headed for Barbarossa for the expat gathering. Usual crowd but I did get to meet Martin, a German who has a house here (in the country side) but works away. He comes back every 3-months or so just to checkup on his house.

He has real problems with Rats eating his house when he isn’t there. They love to eat plastic coverings on cables (his motorbike, washing machine. Etc.) and have eaten holes in doors, walls and are living in his ceiling. One of the problems of having a house in the countryside and not living in it.

We also organized another attempt on the boys day outing to the waterfalls on Wednesday, weather permitting.

Just as I left to come home we had a downpour in Gasan. Dam, the Thunder Monster got a little damp and dirty. Was dry at the cottage so a quick wipe down and she is all good and tucked up for the night.

Finished the day watching the MotoGP at Silverstone, UK. Casey Stoner had his third win and now is the leader in the world championship table.

Monday 13th June:

Up nice and early and off to Gerald’s for a morning hike starting at 6:00am. Headed up into the hills today on a road walk (known as a fire trail back in AUS). We thought we might detour along a ridge top once up in the hills but when we got to the track off the road, it was till too muddy. We checked out another detour along a second ridgeline but it too was just too slippery.

So back down the road we came as it was getting pretty hot and sticky. Huge black clouds heading our way also but as it turned out they went west of us and we missed out on the storm.

Guy walked into the market (6km) for some supplies and caught the Jeepney back arriving just after I got home. After breakfast I did a rubbish cleanup and burnt up what I had while it was dry. With rain almost every day, burning the incinerator (water logged rubbish) can be quite a challenge.

During lunch we watched two more episodes of “The Wire” season 2. Recommend it if you like a bit of intrigue (it isn’t your normal American shoot em up cop show).

Then a nice siesta was enjoyed by all. Brownout hit us at 3:30pm so I wandered down to my local Sari-Sari store (2km round trip) to replenish my Coke (in a glass bottle) supplies. Walk back along the beach so very pleasant.

Power back on at 5:00pm so time to cook the rice for dinner, quickly, just incase it goes off again. Ooohhh and another brownout at 9:00pm and back on again at 10:00pm.

Tuesday 14th June:

Power off sometime during the night as it was off when we got up and came back on at 10:00am.

Guy off to Mahjong at noon and off went the power once again. I headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart and on arrival found they also had a brownout. But I had my USB Broadband stick with me and was able to connect. Got everything done I needed to do and as I was leaving (2:00pm) on came the power. I had a few things to do in Boac so went in and did those and called back into Joseph’s Mini-Mart on the way home for some of their “fast” Wi-Fi to do my banking checks.

I actually saw a coconut fall out of a tree today and hit a Jeepney. I was sitting outside of Joseph’s Mini-Mart and saw this Jeepney going past slowly (looking for passengers) when I saw this coconut fall and hit the roof of the Jeepney with a very loud bang. The Jeepney stopped and an inspection of the roof was made but all good.

And this is on a busy piece of road. One of the reasons you should wear a helmet when riding. Yolanda (John’s wife) was hit on the head by a coconut falling out of a tree whilst riding her bike some years ago. It knocked her out. Luckily she was going slow and only got a few bruises and one very sore head.

Some nice fresh Pandecoco from the bakery in Gasan and home to enjoy them with a nice cup of tea.

Ooohhhh and all the current brownouts are due to maintenance work on the power lines. Which is good, as hopefully it will lead to maybe a few less brownouts. Nnnaaaaa who am I kidding.

Wednesday 15th June:

Geoff arrived at 9:00am and we both headed for Boac where we were meeting Wayne (Aussie) & John (Pom). John joining us only for coffee then the remaining three of us (on our motorbikes) made our way to the Paadyao Waterfalls over Mogpog way.

To get to the falls it is a 5km ish ride up a bush track that follows the river. You then leave the bikes by the roadside and walk for 1km ish to get there. We got caught in a downpour just as we hit the dirt road but it quickly passed and wasn’t too muddy.

Made it to the falls and enjoyed a very refreshing swim in the rockpool. We spent about an hour in the pool before mounting the bikes and making our way back to Boac. Bacon / cheese burgers (real home made ones) with fries were the go for lunch as we watched the world go by. We all went our own way from here and I made it back at 3:00pm ish and a nice hot cup of tea.

Guy had made a market run in the Jeepney in the morning and had made a nice big pot of Pork knuckles cooked in Mungo beans, Malunggay and Okra. Very yummy and great way to finish the day.

Power went off at 10:30pm, 5 minutes before the end of a movie we were watching. Dam…….

Thursday 16th June:

Power back on at 9:00am this morning. Got a text from Gerald that we are into rolling brownouts (8-hours power on then 8-hour power off) at the moment.

John called in for his morning chat and coffee. Sat under the Nipa Hut and had a good old chat and he also dropped off season 3, 4 & 5 of “The Wire” which Guy and I are right into.

At noon meet up with Ron and he dropped Guy off at Mahjong and we continued onto Boac to pick up a few supplies. Then we headed back through Gasan and off up into the mountains by Buenavista, past Mt Malindig, to see Leif (Danish guy). Had a chat to him and arrived back home at 4:00pm ish for a relaxed evening.

Guy had her biggest win in mahjong today, so her flagging confidence got boosted up.

Brownout started at 6:30pm after we had consumed a hot dinner so all good.

Friday 17th June:

Power came back on at around 1:00am and then off again at 8:15am.

I was up at 5:00am and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk. 1.5-hour walk up and down the hill was a good workout, sweat and all.

I arrived back home at 8:30am and we were into the day’s brownout. A scoop shower was in order as we now have a large water barrel set up in the shower for just these occasions. Surprising how little water you need for a scoop shower and it is very effective.

Zieyrish (I previously spelt her name as Cyress) was here for the washing and cleaning. We have two water barrels outside so there is enough there to complete the washing.

So what do you do with a day with no power? After lunch and with food all sorted for the day we retired to the Nipa Hut in cooler sea breeze for the day and we both read. I am on my 4th book for the year reading Fredrick Forsyth book “The Afghan” (loving it). I read half the book today, which is another record for me.

Power back on at 4:30pm so quickly re-filled all the water barrels as we were down to our last barrel due to washing day, just incase…… Power off again at 11:30am.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 484 of retirement

June 11, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 4th June:

Up and off to the market late morning. Called in to see Rose (the hairdresser next to the market) and she was free so a haircut was in order for me. Has been a while and it was looking a little feral.

After lunch and another chapter of “The Wire” (yea we are addicted) it was off to Joseph’s Mini-Mart to catch up on some Wi-Fi.

Home at 5:30pm ish and enjoyed the MotoGP qualifying at Catalunya. Casey Stoner is second on the front row. Should be a good race tomorrow night.

Sunday 5th June:

After breakfast it was time to do the weekly rubbish burn up. I did a beach cleanup as well after all the high tides. Not much rubbish to pick up but it keeps the beach nice and clean.

Then stoked up the incinerator and got it burning nicely as it is pretty dam hot this morning. Burning an incinerator on a very hot and humid day equals buckets of sweat being expelled. A nice refreshing cool shower was very a welcome relief from the sweat bath.

Dropped Guy at Mahjong at midday and I headed for Barbarossa to catch up with the expats. We have organized a boy’s day out on Wednesday. Geoff, John, Wayne and myself are cruising over to the Paadyao waterfalls, Mogpog way. It has a very nice deep rock pool to swim in so should be good.

Guy home with another small win today so a happy Sunday night was had by all.

Watched the MotoGP live from Catalunya and Casey Stoner won once again. Going to make the championship very interesting if he keeps up his current form.

Found some more of the dreaded mold today. I had a pair of jeans (my only pair) here on the island as I wore them to Wayne’s wedding. I had a look at them and the mold has decided to invade. Hung them out in the sun today and will do for the next few days and that should kill it off for now.

Monday 6th June:

Up nice and early and off to Gerald’s for our early morning hike leaving at 6:00am. Did and 1.5-hour walk as it is just too hot and humid by 9:00am ish for us mortal westerners. Did a beautiful walk up behind Gerald’s place along a ridge top with sweeping views of the coast. There was some nice shade from the trees and a bit of a breeze as well so helped to keep us a little cool.

Back to Gerald’s for tea and he gave us a nice chunk of Jackfruit from his garden. Very sweet and tasty.

After lunch we watched a couple more episodes of “The Wire”. Very addictive show this one.

Talking to Guy today that I still feel kind of guilty when I have a “rest” day like today (excluding the hike). I feel like I should be doing something. I guess it will take a while to get rid of that guilty feeling. I must say that I did enjoy today though, just lazing round the house tolerating the heat and humidity under the fan.

Tuesday 7th June:

After a leisurely morning Guy headed off to Mahjong at midday and I headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi soon after.

I was there for an hour or so and we had a brownout. Oohhhhh well good while it lasted and I was able to get done what I wanted to do.

I ducked into Boac and stocked up on a few supplies and headed for home. Power still off when I arrived but came back on at about 4:15pm some 2.5 hours after going off.

Wednesday 8th June:

Well the rain started late last night and down it came for most of the night. We have a low pressure sitting over us at the moment and even though it isn’t a Typhoon it has all the Typhoon symptoms (strong winds, rough seas and lots of rain).

The boy’s trip to the waterfalls was called off so looks like a day round the house. Geoff turned up just after 9:00am (ridden through the storm) ready to head to the falls. Due to the wonders of technology he hadn’t got any of the SMS from Wayne or I cancelling the day out.

Had a coffee and a chat to Geoff and he headed into Gasan to get the paper in the raging storm. He likes being out and about in storms. Must be something to do with mad dogs and Englishmen.

Still have a slight leak in our roof with all the heavy rain so one of Yolanda’s boys (they are working here today on the new Nipa cottage) got up and found the leak. He will fix it next fine day. Nothing serious that a bucket under the drip won’t fix.

Then at 11:00am the brownout hit, not surprisingly. Guy headed off to Mahjong at midday (in the middle of the storm) and I had a nice day in reading (yes me reading), photo editing (MacPro batteries rock), grabbing a siesta and watching the storm go by.

The power finally came back on just after 10:00pm some 11-hours after going off.

Thursday 10th June:

At some stage during the night the power went off again as it was off at 6:00am when I visited the loo. It came back on at 9:00am and went off again at 11:00am. We managed to shower and cooked some fresh rice in the 2-hour window so got the essentials done.

The weather had settled down a bit this morning. The wind has dropped and the rain is now just the odd shower now. The seas are still pretty rough though.

Late morning we headed for the market to get some supplies for the next few days. Guy then hit the Mahjong house and I headed back to the cottage.

The power came back on at 1:00pm so got all the electronic toys and gadgets onto charging up the batteries. Just to be sure to be sure given the latest power cuts.

After my afternoon siesta I went for a wander up the beach to check out the storm damage and see what weird creatures had washed up. This tidal surge with the storm yesterday was the highest I have seen since being here on the island. No major damage at all but it has rearranged the beachfront a little. Also the small creeks that were all silted up have all carved a nice stream through the beaches, as they are now in flow after all the rain.

Did a quick trip up to our block as well to see how our beach fared. No problems at all. Not even close to the high point (high water mark). And as our beach is very stony no real erosion either which is good.

The block is starting to look very overgrown once again. We are letting the vegetation grow back as we now aren’t planning to build for some time. This is to discourage any squatters from taking up residence on a nicely clear block on the beach. Should they take up residence with the Nipa Hut you actually have to pay them to leave your property.

Back home at 4:00pm and yep the power is once again off. Came back on at 4:30pm so all good for dinner.

Friday 10th June:

Up just before 8:00am as Cyress our washing and cleaning lady arrived right on time. As she went about her chores, I had a few myself today.

The cottage wall facing south, which took the brunt of the storm, was covered in stuff (small leaves, grim & stuff I have no idea what) so I set about washing it. Got that all done then the veranda footpath was next.

The concrete path round the south and east sides of the cottage get this green moss on it from all the heat and humidity. Every 6-weeks or so you need to scrub it as it get rather slippery. So after some elbow grease was expended I had it all done apart from one section about 1.5 metres long where Cyress was doing the washing. Man it was hard work in the humidity.

Cyress, bless her, finished off the last bit when she finished her washing.

After lunch we headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and Guy had her usual manicure / pedicure as well.

While we were there the afternoon rainstorm went through. By the time we left at 4:00pm ish the road was almost dry. There was no rain at the cottage so most of the clothes were dry.

Quick stop at the Gasan bakery for some fresh Pandecoco finished off the day nicely.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

Day 477 of retirement

June 4, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 28th May:

Up at 6:30am and a text from Gasan Port that the Bangka “will” be running at 8:30am. So at 7:15am Ron’s Limo service took us all into the port and after some confusion, the Bangka was cancelled by the Coast Guard due to the rough seas. We are now getting the tail end of the Typhoon so we can expect rough seas for the next few days.

After a quick discussion on options it was decided to try and get them to Manila via a RoRo and then they can fly to Boracay. So off to Cawit Port, just down the road, and see if the larger Ro-Ro is running. Arrived at Cawit at 9:15am and there was this big beautiful RoRo tied up at the dock. It is scheduled to leave at 12:00 noon so all good. We got them all organized and said our goodbyes, again…..

We headed back home with Ron with a quick stop at the Gasan market for some supplies.

Arrived home and wouldn’t you know it, a brownout. The gang was here for 7 days (was supposed to be 3 days) and not a single brownout. I think the gang thought we made up the brownout outages thing. Got a text from Deb to say that the TV at the Port terminal just went off so they now just might believe that the whole brownout thing does exist after all…..

Just after 12:00 noon a text from Deb that they were leaving the port so on their way. All I can say is rather them than me on the RoRo as the sea is the roughest it has been so far.

After lunch Guy headed for Mahjong with Vicki while I had a little siesta. Early afternoon I went to Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi and to post the blog. Checked all our bank accounts and download a couple of program updates I needed. Finished up and headed for home arriving at the same time as Guy. And she actually had a small win at Mahjong today. Wwwwoooo hhhooooo.

Nice relaxing dinner followed by an equally relaxing evening.

Sunday 29th May:

Nice little sleep in this morning followed by a leisurely breakfast. The Thunder Monster is still nice and clean so no wash and wax required. Did the rubbish collection and burn up and a bit of a clean up (coconut palm bits) in the yard after all the wind of the last few days.

Midday and I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and I hit Barbarossa for the expats gathering. The usual crowd was in attendance.

Got a text from Deb, Pam and Mike and they made it safe and sound to Boracay and have settled into a deluxe room at the Villa Camilla (same place where Guy and I stayed with Jordan and Jo back in January).

Back home and Guy arrived with a sad look as she had a little loss once again at Mahjong.

Monday 30th May:

After our usual breakfast we headed north of Gasan to go to Yolanda’s (our landlord and John the Pom’s wife) younger brother’s wake. Arnold, aged 43, was a policeman with the Philippines National Police (PNP) and has been all his life. He was lured to a location in Manila and shot dead by two gunmen on motorcycles last week.

Arnold has worked in various branches of the PNP including the special branch, a bodyguard and as a sniper (he trained in Australia). He was currently working for the drug enforcement agency. Sadly Arnold leaves behind a wife and three children.

The wake will last for approximately five days where people come and pay their last respects to Arnold and the family. He will be buried here on the island next to his parents.

Yolanda lost her older brother, who was also a PNP officer, about twelve years ago. He was killed while serving on the force. Her other younger brother, Ed (45 years old), is also a PNP officer here on Marinduque.

On our way home we called into the market for a few supplies. It was 2:30pm by the time we had lunch so a siesta was in order following lunch. At 4:30pm I went for a walk up the beach while Guy continued with her siesta. Still a little windy and the sea is a little rough but the weather is starting to settle down after Typhoon Chedeng.

Tuesday 31st May:

Up at 5:30am for our walk into the Gasan market. Left at 6:00am and arrived at 7:00am (6km walk). Even this early in the morning it is now getting quite hot and humid so we worked up a nice sweat. There was a gentle breeze and you can walk mostly in the early morning shadows so that helps to cool you down a bit.

Got what we needed and caught the Jeepney back home. I managed to have a very nice little siesta when we arrived home under the fan. Very refreshing.

I then broke out our three drug / first aid kits and proceed to go through them and restock the missing item as it hasn’t been done since we arrived over twelve months ago.

I carry a small everyday kit with me in my daypack that I take with me everywhere (a few drugs & first aid stuff). I have a second larger kit in a dry bag that sits on top of my large pack when we travel (has emergency drugs & first aid stuff). And then I have the large kit with all the drugs in it that goes in the bottom of my large pack when we travel.

Got everything sorted and drugs restocked and packets re-organized for easy access. The one thing I did find is that band-aids don’t like the tropics. In the ones I have from AUS originally, the plaster has gone all soft and sticky, even inside the sealed packet. May have to look at replacing these every twelve months or so.

After an early lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I headed for Joseph’s Mini-Mart for some Wi-Fi. At 3:00pm ish we had a brownout so Wi-Fi was off line. I ducked into Boac and grabbed a few things (including Satellite and Broadband recharge cards) and cruised home arriving at 4:00pm.

Boac was organized chaos due to school going back in two weeks after the summer holidays. All the kids are getting books, stationary supplies, shoes, uniforms, etc.

Made it home and the power came back on at 4:30pm, Guy had a win at mahjong too, so all good.

Wednesday 1st June:

Rest day today. Nothing planned just take it as it comes. Did a rubbish clean up in the morning while Guy did her Zumba aerobics, followed by an early siesta followed by lunch. After lunch Guy and I started watching the series called “The Wire”. It is all about the drug scene in Baltimore USA.

John gave us a DVD set with season 1 & 2 so we will work our way through it. A very interesting series.

At 3:30pm I went for a walk up the beach (Guy had a little siesta). Still pretty hot but there was a nice breeze so not too bad. Home for dinner and a nice cool refreshing shower.

Rest day completed.

Thursday 2nd June:

Up and off to the market for some veggies for the Sinigang to last us the next few days.

When we arrived back home I went for a walk up the beach, as the tide was the highest I have ever seen it since we arrived. It was very hot and humid as well so I went for a very nice cool refreshing swim.

Guy had an early lunch and headed off to Mahjong at midday.

John and Geoff turned up for a chat just as Guy left (ooohh and we had a brownout for about an hour) so we retired to the Nipa Hut for a couple of hours and shot the breeze. John also brought over a nice fresh piece of fish (Talipok) that he had been telling us about.

I had a late lunch after they left (2:00pm) then went for a ride on the Thunder Monster. Called in to see Kevin (Aussie) and have a look at the progress on his block. He has cleared a plot on the hillside for his house and is completing the garage, which is where he will live while building the house.

The good old aussie windmill was happily spinning away pumping water up to the tank at the “garage”. He has also planted some “dry land rice”. Rice normally is planted in muddy ponds but he has this special dry land rice that you plant in a “garden patch” and it grows. His patch of dry land rice is coming along nicely.

After a cruise along the coast, I arrived back home at 4:30pm. I prepared the Talipok in some garlic and virgin olive oil and cooked it lightly. We ate it with rice and some fish / chili sauce. Very yummy.

Oohhh and Guy had a nice little win again today at Mahjong so a very happy day all round.

Friday 3rd June:

Up at 5:00am and off to Gerald’s for our Friday morning hike. As it is very hot and humid at the moment we are limiting our hikes to about 2 hours. We left at 6:00am and climbed up the hill behind his place (worked up quite a sweat) and did a loop back around.

A nice cold drink followed by a nice hot cup of tea finish off the mornings activities nicely.

Our washer / cleaner woman (Cyress) was here when I arrived home at the cottage for her day’s chores.

A refreshing shower to wash the sweat away was enjoyed and a relaxing morning was had by all. After lunch the afternoon rainstorm hit so nothing better to do than have a siesta. It drizzled on and off all afternoon so time to watch a few more episodes of The Wire.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy