Day 498 of retirement

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

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