Day 582 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 10th September:

Yolanda and some of the boys are here this morning cleaning up and getting ready for the expats gathering here at the cottage Nipa Hut tomorrow. John (Pom & Yolanda his wife) is putting on the beer and doing a Pork chop barbecue for lunch and a bit of a birthday bash for me as well.

Guy and I off to Boac for some Wi-Fi and also some noodles for lunch at the Boac Hotel. Very yummy.

Back home by 2:30pm

The beer and chops have been deposited in the fridge ready for the party.

Ooohhh and the first Lansones fruit for the season have appeared. Still not real sweet so will leave them for a few days to ripen. Did I tell you I love Lansones.

Ooohhh and Jerry (Guy’s brother) has my residency ACR (Identity Card) in his hot little hands. I authorized him to pick it up on my behalf once it was completed. So will pick it up when next back in Manila.

Sunday 11th September:

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:00am. Yolanda and a couple of the boys arrived at 10:30am to setup for the expat / my birthday gathering.

We had barbecued Pork chops with home cooked potato wedges with a potato salad supplied by Harry and Charmaine from Beach Club Cagpo. Food was fantastic.

The gathering commenced at 12:00noon (with 8 in attendance) and everybody headed for their respective homes at 4:15am. Was a great day under the Nipa Hut with a few beers and some iced teas consumed while solving the problems of the world.

And to top it off Guy had a big win at Mahjong.

Monday 12th September:

Up early (5:00am) and off for an early morning walk with Gerald. As we have had just under 70mm of rain since Friday the boondocks exploring was put on hold as it would be too muddy and slippery.

Did a walk up the “fire trail” and back. It’s a good hill climb up which provides a good workout.

Home to a shower and siesta before lunch. And a little siesta after lunch as well.

We headed into Boac at 3:30pm to see our travel agent and finalize out trip with Guy’s kids (Jo & Jordan) to Boracay (coming Deb & Pam????) in January 2012. Once again we had to pay for the whole trip in cash as no credit cards can be used. So a visit to the bank and P53,500 ($1,275 AUS) later our flights (Manila to Boracay and back) with 8 nights / 9 days (Breakfast included) for all four of us was sorted.

Picked up my TEVA sandals on the way home from the shoe man as they needed the soles re-glued back on. I have had these since May 2007 and they have been all over the world with me on my adventures.

They are well worn and extremely comfortable. The shoe man did a great job for P40 ($1.00 AUS) so they should last another year or two.

I did purchase a new pair when I left AUS in 2010 so have my “spares” as I haven’t seen them anywhere here including Manila.

Tuesday 13th September:

Got woken up at first light this morning by a ruckus in the ceiling. My first thought was Rats. I banged on the ceiling but that only stopped the noisemakers for a short period. Nato (one of Yolanda’s boys) was here so he got up into the ceiling to see who the culprits were.

Turned out to be two big Tuko lizards getting a little amorous. Nato caught one but the other one escaped outside. He let the captured Toku go away from the cottage so hopefully they have learnt their lesson to stay out of our ceiling. Famous last words hey…..

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I went exploring. Stopped into Gasan and had an iced tea with Geoff at Barbarossa before gassing up the Thunder Monster and off back into them there hills.

I headed for Tabionan (on the Dawis River) some 8km off the main road just up from the cottage. I took a GPS waypoint in the township as Gerald and I are going to do some exploring south of the township and need this as a reference point.

I rode to the end of the road a couple of km past the town and while having a rest watched a husband and wife team panning for gold in the River.

On the way out I checked out the house being built by John (Aussie from Darwin). He was here for a month or so but couldn’t take the brownouts, no aircon, heat and humidity so went back to AUS (Darwin). His wife is building the house still so I guess he maybe back once the house is finished.

Back home for a nice cold Coke and a pleasant relaxing evening.

Wednesday 14th September:

We had a very nice un-planned sleep-in this morning. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot or humid, and with the fan gently oscillating over us we slept till 11:15am.

After a brunch we hit the market for some supplies. Back home for a latish lunch and we watched the afternoon movie “Freejack” with a very young Mick Jagger.

I then spent a couple of hours burning up the house rubbish including the litter, coconut and bamboo rubbish from the beach. Then trimmed the Aroma bush (has big thorns) along the front fence by the incinerator. Put all the trimmings into the incinerator and burnt them up so the thorns wont finish up in my feet one day.

It is interesting to see that when I am cleaning up the beach and the local kids are there, they firstly look at me strangely (what is this white man doing) and then they slowly start picking up bits of rubbish and putting them into my bucket. Hopefully they are learning bit by bit not to litter.

A nice cold shower followed by an even colder Coke finished off the day very nicely.

Thursday 15th September:

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I caught up with Ron.

We called in to see Roger & Heather (missionaries from the USA) in Gasan and had a chat to them about the house they are renting (we are a little interested in the house). They are going back to the USA in November and are now being replaced by another couple that will continue with renting the house.

Off to Boac where we caught up with Wayne (Aussie) who showed us a new medical clinic being setup. It is better equipped than the Boac Hospital so good to know if ever we get crook.

Back to Wayne’s place where Grace provided us with cold juice and sandwiches while we chatted.

Arrived back home at 5:15pm just five minutes ahead of Guy who had a win today.

Friday 16th September:

Today is the 6th year anniversary of Guy and I meeting back in Chatswood (Sydney). Who would have guessed that that “innocent” meeting lead us both to where we are today (married, retired and leading the good simple life). You just never know do you……….

Up early and off hiking with Gerald. Today we headed for Meadows Peak and went looking for an alternate way down on the other side of the peak.

After a bit of exploring, and admiring the view, we found our way down through the next valley to the settlement of Kalong, which is up in them there hills behind Gerald’s place.

After the rain earlier in the week the track was not too bad. Only a couple of muddy slippery sections that we negotiated very carefully. Some of the rocks were quite slippery as well so a careful walk was had by all this morning.

We now have a good loop walk round Meadows Peak of about 8km.

We did discover a couple of other tracks leading off Meadows Peak heading east so will go back and explore some more and see where they end up.

Arrived home and Zieyrish was here for the washing and cleaning.

After she finished, we headed for Boac for our 6th anniversary lunch in the restaurant overlooking the town square (same place we went for my birthday). The food is actually not too bad at all.

The Boac Hotel for some Wi-Fi was the next port of call and then home with a quick stop for some fresh Pandecoco.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Other Stuff:

The “New Peoples Army” (NPA)

The NPA (also known as people with No Permanent Address) are a communist based group of insurgents who are scattered throughout the Philippines. They visit the island every now and then and there have been several sightings in the last week just up the road from us and also over on Harry’s side of the island (Torrijos way).

They live back in the mountains when here and visit smaller villages at nighttime looking for “donations” (food and or cash).

Last week they “visited” the little village up from Gerald’s. Nothing this week though. They don’t cause too much trouble, as that would have the Police swarming all over them.

Several years ago they got into a gunfight with the Police up Santa Cruz way and a Policeman was shot dead. But they have been pretty quiet here on the island since then.

No More Mountain Bikes:

On Wednesday 14th September I closed another chapter of my previous life by selling my mountain bikes. When I left AUS in May 2010 I left 3 mountain bikes with my good friends Ben S & Kim S. The aim was to ship them over once we were settled.

I have discovered that the conditions for mountain biking are not the best in the jungle. The tracks are too steep, narrow, slippery and muddy. They are really hiking tracks only.

At first I missed my bikes as I have been riding bikes all my life. But now I am into hiking (which I have also done all my life) with Gerald and with so much more of the island to explore, the bike riding is but a distant memory now.

The decision was made when we were back in AUS in March 2011 to sell the bikes.

Ben S undertook the challenge to sell my bikes for me and on Wednesday 14th this was completed. Ben sold 2 bikes on eBay and he bought my 29er himself.

So no more mountain bikes. Chapter closed.

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