Day 631 of retirement

Hi All

Friday 28th October:

Up early for our usual Friday walk. But as it had rained most of the night, was still drizzling and there was thunder and lightning about, so we called the walk off.

Zieyrish here at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning. We did have another brownout at 9:00am ish that lasted for an hour. After Zieyrish finished late morning, we headed for Boac and Goodchow for lunch and some Wi-Fi. Going exploring with Ron tomorrow so posted the blog a day early.

While we were in the restaurant Guy spotted this guy and his family sitting a couple of tables away from us that she thought she knew from her school days back in Manila. I’ll let her tell the story:

His name is Edwin John David who finished 3rd honor in our high school graduating class of 1975.  He went to the same university I went to but different campus and we both took up Accounting.  Never saw him again after college, but with all our long lost high school alumni in our numerous school reunions, he’s one we always want to hear from. 

So I can’t believe my eyes when there he was, sitting 10 feet from me in this restaurant, in this isolated island we now call home.  Anyway, the story was simple, his family is from Marinduque and he was visiting his dad with his wife and daughter, his dad lives next to our barangay and knows everyone I know on the island.

The island is starting to get busy, as it is “All Saints Day” on Tuesday the 1st of November. It is where everybody visits his or her deceased loved ones at the cemetery. So all the people from the provinces who have moved away return to their home lands for this occasion.

Tuesday night is the big occasion at the cemetery where all the candles are lit at night and it is quite an amazing sight.

Saturday 29th October:

I was picked up by Ron at 7:00am with Gerald joining us soon after. We headed over Torrijos way to have a look at the “Pulang Lupa” memorial situated up on a mountaintop about 6km off the main road.

This is where on September 13th 1900, the Filipinos (The Marinduque Revolutionary Force) had a battle with the occupying American forces and defeated them. The hostilities lasted till April 1901 when the Marinduque Revolutionary Force surrendered to the Americans forces in Boac.

Ron had borrowed Vicki’s 4×4 as we had heard that the track up wasn’t in good condition. Luckily the road wasn’t too bad at all.

The memorial is a beautiful place with sweeping views of Torrijos (including Mt Malindig) round to Santa Cruz. It is starting to become somewhat over grown so hopefully the locals will save it before it gets too bad.

For lunch we stopped in the Curba Grill (near Buenavista) for cheese and bacon burgers with home made fries and iced tea to wash it all down.

Guy had a quiet morning doing her Zumba then a quick trip into town on the Jeepney for some supplies.

John (Pom) dropped in for a chat and informed us of another aussie and his fiancée (she’s a local gal) are here on the island living in Bacong Bacong (our Barangay). He is from Sydney and worked in IT so shall have to track him down.

Siesta time in the afternoon.

Sunday 30th October:

Usual wash and wax for the Thunder monster on a glorious morning.

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:15am for an early start. I headed for Barbarossa at midday for a catch up with the expats. Eight in attendance today with an aussie called Simon wandering past so we hauled him in for a chat. He is traveling round the Philippines and heads back to Manila tonight and off to Thailand on Wednesday.

Cruised back home to watch a stunning sunset to finish off a pleasant day.

Monday 31st October:

It is a public holiday today including tomorrow and Wednesday.

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. We decided to do the walk from his place up into the boondocks to Kalong and back. We have marked out a start and finish spot and are going to start timing our walk, up and back, to see how our fitness is progressing.

This morning we did the 3.5km up and back (7km ish round trip) in about 80 minutes. Next trip I will use the GPS and get an accurate km and ascent / descent reading.

Gerald and I are planning a walk round the island, some 120km, in either December this year or February in 2012. So we are looking at upping our training with longer walks with some “mountain” climbing strength work as well.

Guy off to Mahjong at 11:00am and I was back at Gerald’s at 12:30am. We headed for Buenavista to catch up with Anders Myrene (Norweign) who is a missionary here with his wife (she is Malaysian) and three children (new born, 2 & 4 years old). They arrived in 2009 and are here till 2012.

Anders is just back from Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia (Sabah) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinabalu_National_Park) where he climbed Low’s Peak (the highest point), which is 4,095m (14,435 feet) high. Had a good chat to him and looked at his photographs of the trip. A very interesting part of the world.

Home in time for a late afternoon siesta before dinner.

Tuesday 1st November:

Had good intentions of walking into the market this morning but when I got up at 6:00am it was drizzling rain so back to bed. Midmorning the rain stopped so we rode the Thunder Monster into the market. At the cemetery, just this side of Gasan, we hit the organized chaos of “All Saints Day” (A Public holiday).

This is the day you visit your dead relations in the cemetery with candles, flowers and offerings of food. The island is the busiest I have seen it in a long time with all the “mainlanders” coming home for the day.

Did my rubbish burn up before lunch. Also got a fire going on the beach and did a big cleanup. Not much litter, mainly drift wood (coconut, bamboo, etc.) so burnt up very nicely. We have a nice clean beach now.

After lunch a siesta was in order. At 4:00pm we walked to the cemetery (4.5km) to experience All Saints Day with the candles lighting up the grounds once it was dark. I took some pics then we started to walk back home. About half way we got a lift from a Trike man on his way home and going our way.

Wednesday 2nd November:

The last of the All Saints Day Public holiday today. All the visitors are leaving the island and heading back to their respective homes for another year.

Rest day today for us. We hung out round the house with the midday movie, some reading and a siesta thrown in.

I did a quick trip into town for a few supplies dodging the afternoon storms. A nice relaxing day all round.

Thursday 3rd November:

Quiet day. Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I headed for Goodchow in Boac for some Wi-Fi.

I am finding that I spend less and less time on the net these days. I know that a 44km round trip to get Wi-Fi access does dampen the enthusiasm a bit. I find that I check email, do blog stuff, look at few camera sites, check the weather, check Facebook (mainly to see what friends are up to) and look up anything as requested by the expats who are in the IT wilderness.

And that’s it. I have amazed myself on what I can actually do without when I don’t have it.

Friday 4th November:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our long walk this morning. We arranged for Ron to pick us at 6:00am and drive us to Lyf’s (Danish guy) place at the foot of Mount Malindig some 21.5km away.

From there we walked back to Gerald’s house along the roadway in just over 4-hours. It was a good solid walk with 1-hour of up hill (to get to the high point at the foot of Malindig) and then the remaining 3-hours downhill and on the flat.

You see so much more walking than you do riding by on the Thunder Monster and you get to chat to locals. Basically here if you are walking (rather than taking a Trike or Jeepney) you are considered to be poor, as you can’t afford the fare. They all think we are mad for walking when we can ride.

We are in training for our walk round the island in either December or February. We are looking at doing the 120km walk over 4 days so as to avoid the heat and humidity of the afternoons. The aim is to do the main body of our walking in the mornings starting at sunrise and walking till noon ish.

Then rest up in the afternoon ready for an early start the next day. Our plan is to walk approximately 30km on day 1, 40km on day 2, 25km on day 3 and 25km on day 4.

Had a nice siesta after lunch and feeling pretty good after the long walk.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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