Day 647 of retirement

Hi All

Saturday 12th November:

Off to the market after breakfast for some supplies for the next few days. The fresh corn is starting to trickle back to the market so we got very nice sweet cooked ones to devour.

At midday we headed to Boac and Goodchow for some Wi-Fi and a light lunch as we had sampled the corn before we left home. Goodchow had a party happening at 2:00pm so we left and cruised back home along the coast.

We called into the Barangay Pangi hall (council office) and dropped off some pics I had taken of group of kids on All Saints Day. They were there with one of the parents so got enough pics to go round to all the kids.

Home and once again we are trying the “beef”. Got the butcher to finely chop the beef into “mince” and mixed it with some Italian spaghetti sauce. MMmmmm the beef here is just not beef I’m afraid. Never had “tough” spaghetti sauce before. It is great in Adobo or Sinigang (gets stewed basically) so will have to stick to that I’m afraid.

Power went off at 5:00pm and remained off all night.

Sunday 13th November:

Power came back on at 7:30am (Off for 14.5-hours). Then off again at 10:00am and back on at 11:00am and off again at 6:15pm and back on at 7:00pm. Aaahhhhhh. It has been a while since we have had an extended brownout. The water barrels were all full so scoop showers and washing dishes was all good.

I think that the power company would have been lynched if the power wasn’t on for the day as it was the big boxing fight between Manny Pacquiao (Filipino congressman and international world champion in 8 divisions) and Juan Marquez (Mexican) in Vegas.

Guy off for a manicure / pedicure and Mahjong at 10:30am and I walked into Barbarossa for the expat gathering at 12:00noon. The island was like a ghost town on the way into Gasan as every few houses there was a TV going with everybody gather round ready for the big fight with Manny.

I made it into Barbarossa as the fight started. These two boxers have met on two previous occasions and it was one draw and one win to Manny. The fight went the full twelve rounds with Manny taking a points decision win.

I walked back home in the afternoon sea breeze and managed to have a shower and cook dinner before the power went off at 6:15pm (came back on at 7:00pm).

Monday 14th November:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. Only a short one today (1.5-hours) as we are resting up for a big one on Saturday. Doing a 30km walk round the bottom of the island.

Arrived back home and John (Pom) dropped by for a coffee and a chat and to inspect the new “Buckingham Palace” gates going up at the cottage. They are nice big steel gates with the crest of an Oak Tree on them and the name of the property on them, which is “Oaklands”. It’s an English thing…

Filled up our new 180L water container. So now we have 380L of water available in the event of an extended brownout for washing and the loo.

After lunch had a nice siesta as a thunderstorm went through later in the afternoon.

Tuesday 15th November:

Woke up early as we were going to walk into the market in town. But it was raining so a Jeepney ride it was.

As it was raining at the market everybody had his or her umbrellas up. And with me being a foot taller than everybody else I was lucky not to get my eye poked out……

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I had a nice little siesta. As it was still drizzling rain (but at least no wind) I broke out the umbrella and walked into Gasan and back (10km total). Had an Iced Tea at Barbarossa and managed to get a very sllloowww broadband signal, which was just enough to download email.

Nice cool shower when I arrived home and a relaxing evening apart from a brownout between 8:30pm and 9:30pm to ensure we don’t take the Kuryente (the electricity pronounced Kor-i-en-ty) for granted.

Wednesday 16th November:

After breakfast we headed back into the rice fields across the road to see Cherry, our old washer lady who had a baby 7 months ago. She and her family (husband and 4 girls aged from 7 months to 16 years old) live back in this valley behind us. To get there you have go through the rice fields, which are all flooded at the moment with the second rice crop of the year in progress. And after the rain yesterday it was a little muddy and slippery in places but we made it with no mishaps.

After some fresh Buko juice (Coconut) straight off the tree we made our way back home in time for a rest before lunch.

After the after lunch siesta it was rubbish burn up time with a quick cleanup of the beach.

Thursday 17th November:

Off to the market for supplies for the next few days before breakfast.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I headed to Goodchow in Boac for some Wi-Fi. I managed to get a Skype connection (voice only) to my good friend Lisa P back in Sydney. We had a good old chat and catch up on all the latest with us both.

Cruised back home along the coast and dropped into a store in Gasan for some goodies for my big walk on Saturday and they had ice cream in. They very rarely have it (the freezer doesn’t work so good in the brownouts) so a real treat. Of course I had to try some. Got a small tub of “Hershey’s Heath” (English Toffee in vanilla ice cream with chocolate swirls).

Very quick dash home to get it into the freezer before it melted. Made it and had just a little sample. Yuummmmmmmmm ooohhhhh…..

Friday 18th November:

No walk this morning as we are doing it tomorrow. Going to do 30km round the wild southern end of the island.

Washing and our regular lady Zieyrish is no more. There has been a family dispute and she (and family) has gone to Manila. But as luck happened Cherry our original washer lady is back. Her baby is now 7 months old so she can leave her for a few hours with hubby and do our washing and cleaning.

She also brings her 16 year old daughter to help which makes the job that much quicker.

And a real treat for breakfast as John (the pom) had Yolanda (his wife and our landlady) drop off some “Coon Extra Tasty cheese” (Made in AUS). He was in Manila this week and found us a block. So we had cheese on crackers with vegemite for breakfast. So so so good. The last time we had good cheese was back in January when I found some Coon cheese in a supermarket in Manila.

After lunch I went for a walk back in the rice fields behind us exploring a couple of the valleys that feed into the paddies. I love the look on the people’s faces when I pop up in the middle of nowhere. The common question is “where are you going?”.

Saturday 19th November:

Off to Gerald’s where Ron (the Yank) picked us up and drove us to Lief’s place back in the mountains on the northern slopes of Mount Malindig.

At 6:45am Gerald and I left Leif’s place and headed east down to the coast to Sihi where we turned south to follow the rough track that goes round the bottom of the island and the southern slope of Mount Malindig. From there we finished up back on the west coast at Buenavista some 6km from Gerald’s house. As we were feeling pretty good, we walked to Gerald’s to finish off the day. The total trip distance was 33km.

We stopped for a break each 2-hours (roughly 10km) where we drank, ate and rested our feet with our shoes off. The stops were for 20-25 minutes.

I suffered a bit on the second 10km leg where we were in the sun (no clouds) and it was very hot and humid with no wind. At the end of this leg we had lunch and fluids on the beach in the breeze under a big tree. That helped me heaps and I was ready to go again.

The last 13km was pretty good as the skies clouded over and as we were back on the coast where we had a nice breeze. We bought a cold iced tea in Buenavista and had a pleasant slow stroll back to Gerald’s, which was 6km up the road.

We covered 33km in 7h 42m which is about 4.2km/hr overall including rest stops. We had 55m rest time in total (we had 3 rest stops) so walk time was 6h 47m which is 5.0km/hr ish walking speed. And I burnt up 3,216 calories.

Overall a great day and we both feel that we are now ready to tackle our round the island 120km walk in 4-weeks.

I arrived back home at 3:00pm to a very refreshing cool shower and a bit of a siesta on the couch. Feeling a tad stiff tonight so will see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday 20th November:

Feeling okay this morning after the big walk. Just a little stiff.

The Thunder Monster got her usual wash & wax. At midday I headed for the Barbarossa expat gathering and dropped Guy off at Mahjong along the way.

Usual gathering who managed to solve all the problems of the world.

I started my 13th book of the year “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” by Eric Newby after finishing my 12th book of the year “Spy Catcher” by Peter Wright. I’m enjoying this reading thing.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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