Day 685 of retirement

December 29, 2011

The photos below are the last installment of the walk round the island.
If you wish to see the descriptions on each photo remember to click on “Permalink” on the lower right of the pic in the slide show.

Hi All

Wednesday 21st December:

Up and off to see Gerald at 8:00am. I delivered the data files from the GPS and Heart Rate monitor from the walk and a copy of all the photos I had taken. Also a Java update I had downloaded for him while on Wi-Fi as he has very limited broadband access where he lives.

Back home and we headed off to Boac and some Goodchow Wi-Fi. The rain started by Gasan so out came the ponchos. It was sunshine by the time we hit Boac.

The Wi-Fi was rather slow today as it took me 2-hours to load all the pics and post the blog. It got that slow that we packed up and went to the Boac Hotel and their Wi-Fi turned out to be much faster.

So while Guy sorted her email I went for a walk and picked up our Xmas ham. We were able to order a 1kg ham from Goodchow so decided to try one and see what they were like.

On with the ponchos as we left Boac and it rained all the way home (20km). The roadworks outside of Boac were a swamp again. Arrived home pretty dry so all good but the poor old Thunder Monster is covered in mud.

Afternoon tea was ham on crackers with plastic cheese with a hot cup of tea and it was dam good. Especially after not having any ham for a very very long time. Even though there is lots of pork here on the island, ham is just not made.

Thursday 22nd December:

Our masseuse Eileen arrived at 9:00am. It was actually Guy’s turn but she gave up her massage day to me (she’s the best) to help soothe the muscles from the walk. And it was very very nice especially having the bottoms of my feet massage.

At midday Guy off to Mahjong and I headed back to Boac and some Wi-Fi so I could load up the rest of the walk pics. I tried The Boac Hotel and Goodchow but both Wi-Fi upload speeds were woeful. It took me 2.5-hours to load 25 photos.

Not sure what is happening at the moment but Wi-Fi everywhere is slow. Maybe it is the end of the month and they have used up their MB allowance?

I cruised back home (no rain today) arriving at 5:00pm just in time for a brownout. It lasted till 7:00pm.

Finished my 14th book of the year “Blind Man’s Bluff” by Sherry Sontag & Christopher Drew. The history of the American submarine fleet. Interesting but I found it very frustrating that the USA spent billions of dollars on machinery that has a very limited life, a limited capacity and in some cases just didn’t work. Imagine what that money could do in the education and health care systems for the people.

I started my 15th book of the year (and last for this year) “Colin Powell” A biography by Howard Means. This is the most number of books I have ever read in one year over my entire life. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Friday 23rd December:

Cherry here this morning for the washing and cleaning. She also bought 5 young coconuts for us to process for Xmas. When she had finished we paid her a Xmas bonus of P700 ($16.00 AUS) for her great service this year.

The coconut juice was collected for drinking and some of the soft flesh mixed with it. The rest of the flesh was made into Buko Salad for Xmas day. Buko salad is actually a sweet dessert. You mix the shredded soft coconut flesh with a fruit cocktail mix, cream (had to use long life as all we could get) and condensed milk. It’s sweet and very very yummy.

After lunch we headed off to Boac for some Wi-Fi. The connection at the Boac Hotel was pretty good so we managed to get a Skype session going to Guy’s daughter Jo back in Canberra in AUS. Even managed to get video going so it was good to be able to have a long talk and see Jo.

Following that call we had a great chat with Lisa P (friend in Sydney) on Skype. When it works (we need a good connection here) Skype is great to keep in touch.

Back home and we enjoyed a very rare Malibu Rum with pineapple juice to celebrate what a great year we have had.

Saturday 24th December:

We had to pick up some pork at the market at 8:00am and also needed to replace our empty gas cylinder and a drinking water container. So we loaded up a Trike and headed into town.

The Trike man delivered us to our three stops and then back home for the princely sum of P60 ($1.50 AUS). We gave him a Xmas bonus of P100 ($2.50 AUS) for the trip and he was a happy man.

I then walked up to see Gerald and as this was the first walk since last weekend it felt good to be back on the road. Legs still a little heavy but were good. I walked back home along the beach and enjoyed the coolish cloudy morning.

Guy was off to Mahjong at 10:00am for the day.

Had a brownout from 12:30pm to 3:00pm. John and Geoff (Poms) dropped by for a Xmas chat during this time.

I spent the afternoon looking for the home of some tiny little ants that have taken up residence in the kitchen. I cleaned out a cupboard but they weren’t hiding there. Then quite by accident I discovered them living in the microwave door of all places. Sadly they no longer live in the microwave door.

Another brownout at 7:30pm till 8:30pm.

Sunday 25th December:

Power went off after midnight and back on at 7:00am.

Leisurely morning as all the expats are coming to the cottage for lunch. Everybody is bringing a “plate” so that makes the catering very easy. At midday the crowd started to arrive and we had 14 people come and go throughout the afternoon.

John (Pom) and Yolanda (our land lady) hosted the party and did a fantastic job of organizing everybody and providing the venue complete with the utensils required.

Too much great food was washed down with too many drinks and we almost achieved world peace……

And yes I did have a Xmas drink (of real alcohol). I am good till next year now….

By 8:30pm the hordes dispersed and another great Xmas day had passed us by.

Monday 26th December:

Power went off after midnight and back on at 7:00am. This is becoming a bit of a standard now. The talk round the island is that we are about to go back on rolling brownouts once again. The money for the fuel for our island generators has dried up and the government coffers are empty.

Kevin (Aussie) arrived at 7:30am to pick up his grill from yesterday so I gave him a hand to load it onto his Trike. After a leisurely breakfast I headed down to the Nipa Hut to cleanup from yesterdays festivities. And low and behold it was all cleaned up. Tico (one of Yolanda’s workers) had arrived at first light and cleaned everything up. Now that’s service……

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I walked into Gasan and caught up with Geoff (Pom) for an iced tea before walking back home (10km round trip). The weather is overcast and the humidity is okay so a very pleasant stroll.

Tuesday 27th December:

Power off again during the night, came on briefly round 7:00am ish but then off again till 11:00am.

After lunch we packed a backpack and headed off to Mogpog (27km away) to attend Dave & Crissa’s wedding commencing at 3:00pm. We were going to ride the Thunder Monster there but with the weather looking rather stormy we caught a Jeepney instead (1h 15m ride). It turned out to be the right decision as it rained for about 9-hours during the afternoon / night.

We had a room booked at the Hilltop Hotel in Mogpog (which was very very basic) so we were in no hurry to get home.

The wedding was in a large covered outdoor area and even though it was raining you didn’t get wet at all. Lots of food / drinks and great friendly people was enjoyed by all.

Dave and Crissa didn’t have a formal MC so Guy stepped in and did a fantastic job of conducting the official evenings affairs. Give that girl a microphone and the world is hers. She got the Karaoke going as well and even got Harry up to sing his one and only Tagalog song he knows. That went down an absolute treat with the locals. They loved it.

Harry (Aussie from Cagpo) was also there but unfortunately none of the other expats could make it. Harry dropped us off at the hotel at 8:30pm and he headed to Boac to stay for the night (only 5km away).

Dave (47) is a Canadian who works on engineering projects (mainly mining) in Canada. Some 7-years ago he was working on a project in Vancouver and one of his bosses was a Filipino guy from Marinduque. He invited Dave to come visit the island so he did. When he arrived he caught the eye of a very lovely lady, Crissa (local gal just up the road from his mates place). And so the courtship began. Some 7-years later, they are now married and have a new house here on the island where Crissa lives.

Dave is still too young to retire (but wants to retire here on the island) so comes and goes from the island during the year. He is trying to get a job closer to the Philippines to make his trips home a little easier. But at the moment he is still working in Canada.

Wednesday 28th December:

Guy and I didn’t sleep to well on the “hard” bed but did manage to get a little shuteye. At 8:00am we packed up and caught a Jeepney back home. The roadworks outside of Boac were once again a swamp so we were glad to be in the Jeepney and not on the Thunder Monster.

We arrived home at 9:30am and enjoyed breakfast with a nice hot cup of tea. After a rest and lunch Guy was off to Mahjong. I was going to give her a lift but I had a minor fuel issue with the Thunder Monster. I got the fuel issue fixed and off to the market for some supplies.

At 2:00pm I went to visit John (Pom) and take some pics of his Labrador puppies so he can print them off and send to family back in the UK.

I dropped into Barbarossa on the way home and tried the Broadband but it was too slow to do anything so gave up and came back home.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 677 of retirement

December 21, 2011

The photos below are the first installment of the walk round the island. The rest will be on the blog next week.
If you wish to see the descriptions on each photo remember to click on “Permalink” on the lower right of the pic in the slide show.

Hi All

Monday 12th December:

Up early and I walked to Gerald’s place for a final catch up on the logistics for our walk commencing on Thursday. Gerald was unable to do a walk as he had to head to Boac later in the morning to sort out some bank problems with his British bank.

On the walk back home I ran into Ron about 2km out so got a ride with him and had a chat to him re his support for us on Friday and Saturday. I will deliver him a run sheet tomorrow with his “duties”.

After a shower and breakfast Guy and I also headed to Boac and Goodchow for some Wi-Fi and to get the blog posted. It was a busy day in Boac with people everywhere getting into the Xmas spirit including the beggars.

We paid our annual PhilHealth Private Health insurance bill today for 2012. The total cost for 12 months is P1,200 ($30.00 AUS). Beats my old Medibank Private payments back in AUS.

We had a pizza for lunch, which was pretty good, then cruised back home early afternoon in time for a little siesta.

As the sun was finally shining through, and the rain departed, I hung out the remaining damp washing to dry. Almost all dry now with only a few things left which can dry inside.

And to finish off the evening a brownout from 8:00pm till 10:30pm.

Tuesday 13th December:

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I headed to see Ron and ran through the run sheet with him for his support role on Friday and Saturday of our round the island walk. All sorted out and off to Barbarossa for a cold iced tea and some slloowww broadband.

Mid afternoon Guy rang to see where I was so came on by from her mahjong game, as she wasn’t feeling well. She has had a bit of a tummy bug for the last few days and it hit her again this afternoon.

We stopped by at the market in Gasan to get my last piece of high tec equipment for the walk (a nice blue & white 16 rib umbrella as the cheap ones only have 8 ribs) and she booked in for a hair colour next Monday with Rose.

And of course just as we left for home on the Thunder Monster the afternoon storm hit so on with the ponchos. By the time we got home the road was dry and we were out of the storm and into sunshine.

Wednesday 14th December:

After a leisurely morning and lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at midday and headed to the market to get some supplies for Guy while I’m away for the next three days.

Home just as the afternoon storm hit and did a pack of all my gear into my backpack and the day bag that Ron will carry. As usual way too much stuff in my backpack so had to cull some stuff out.

An afternoon siesta was in order after the rigors of packing.

Did a re-check of my gear after dinner and an early night was in order as I’m up at 4:00am.

Thursday 15th December:

12-hours on the road and 45km covered today.

Up at 4:00am and packed all my gear ready to go. At 5:00am I meet Gerald on the road in a Trike and we headed off to Gasan (Barbarossa) which was our starting point for the round the island walk.

We left Gasan at 5:20am still in the dark (daylight at 6:00am). First quick stop was at Gerald’s house after a couple hours walking for some iced tea. Then we headed for Buenavista.

Just as we were leaving Buenavista headed over the Mt Malindig road, Gerald got a text from Juliet (Wife) that Leif and Elena (where we were supposed to be staying that night) were away so no accommodation was available for us that night. We looked at options for Ron to pick us up and drop us back in the morning or make our way straight through to Torrijos which would make it a big 45km walk day.

Guy did some checking and found us some “accommodation” in Torrijos so we deiced to go for it.

Where Leif lives we stopped for a lunch stop just down from his place and lo and behold he was home. So we had a chat to them and they said we could stay the night if we wished. We both had a feeling of something not quite right so off to Torrijos we went.

The weather was cloudy with some sunny periods so not too bad for walking. When the sun came out it got pretty hot and humid which made it tough walking. This is also the remote end of the island so there are not many villages along the way to break up walking distances. Very pretty part of the island though.

We both were going okay till the last 5km into Torrijos when we hit the wall. That last 5km was the longest 5km I have ever walked and Gerald was faring worst than me at this stage. We arrived in Torrijos at 5:30pm just as it was getting dark.

Our accommodation was not very nice either. A twin room with two beds and nothing else. A pillow and a single sheet were on the bed and that’s it. Ooooh it did have a flush toilet and scoop shower.

We found some food and retired, as we were knackered. But then the Karaoke started up directly below us and it felt like they were in the room with us. That stopped round 11:00pm ish.

Friday 16th December:

10-hours on the road and 28km covered today.

At 3:30am (yes 3:30am it was) the church across the road started up the Filipino christmas tradition of midnight mass with lots of bells ringing and singing. It was a midnight mass at 3:30am. So not much sleep was had last night.  This midnight mass is for 12 days to Christmas and the belief is that if you attended all 12 masses, any wish you have will come true.

I woke up with a huge half golf ball size blister on my right side heel, which meant I couldn’t get my foot into my hiking shoe. I was lucky as my TEVA sandals were fine and I could walk without aggravating the blister.

We had a few biscuits for breakfast and headed off at first light (6:00am) for Santa Cruz. We made it to the 20km mark when Ron, Juliet and Guy caught up with us with some cold/hot drinks and some hot chicken rice.

A leisurely 2-hour stop at this point to eat and avoid the midday sun was in order. At 4:00pm we arrived in Santa Cruz and hit a little café for some cold and hot drinks. We had 1.5-hours to kill till Randle (one of Juliet’s old students who is now a teacher in IT) was off work and would pick us up to stay at his place that night.

The weather was reasonably cloudy today so walking was a little more pleasant. My trusty umbrella served me well when the sun did come out.

At 5:30pm Randle caught up with us and we Triked to his place on the outskirts of Santa Cruz. Randle is 26 and lives with his mum in a very nice house. They feed us heaps of food and drinks for dinner and looked after us very very well. Ooohhhh and the shower was pretty dam good as well.

Saturday 17th December:

6-hours on the road and 25km covered today.

We both slept rather well that night with no karaoke or early morning mass across the road to disturb us. At 6:00am we Triked it back to the town centre and off we headed for Mogpog some 25km away.

I strapped up my feet so the TEVA’s wouldn’t rub and all was good.

The weather today was cloudy with a bit of drizzly rain which made for our best walking day so far.

We arrived in Mogpog right on 12:00noon and were checking into a very nice little hotel called the Hilltop. Ron and Juliet arrived with some very yummy quiche and drinks about 5 minutes after. We all sat up on the big balcony at the hotel in the breeze and enjoyed a great lunch.

After Ron and Juliet left, Gerald and I showered and rested up (with a little siesta) for the afternoon. The ladies in the hotel were great and also looked after our dinner menu selection. Once we ordered some Pork Adobo and Chop Suey they went to the market to get the ingredients so it was all nice and fresh.

At 4:00pm we went for a “little” wander down to the cathedral and round the town for a look. It was a slow walk as the last couple of days had taken their toll on our frail old bodies………

At 5:30pm the ladies at the hotel laid out our dinner on the table on the balcony and we enjoyed them even more, as it was very nice fresh food.

Off to bed by 8:00pm and just to make us feel at home, we had a brownout for a few hours. Didn’t bother us too much though as we hit the hay.

Sunday 18th December:

5.5-hours on the road and 22km covered today.

Up at 4:30am with biscuits (Me) / cake bar thingy (Gerald) for breakfast and ready to go at 5:30am. Was still dark but we headed off anyway as it got light by 6:00am.

We made Boac at 7:00am and looked for somewhere to maybe get some breakfast but everything was closed, so just kept on walking. A big rainstorm hit us just out from Boac which lasted for an hour ish. I had my trusty umbrella and Gerald pulled on a poncho so all good.

We plodded on counting down the km as we neared Gasan and the finishing point. At 3 minutes to 11:00am we arrive back at the Barbarossa having walked round the island in the 4 days. Guy and Juliet joined us to celebrate out triumphant return in Barbarossa.

Over the next hour the expats arrived for the Sunday expat gathering but we didn’t stay too long as the adrenaline and endorphins began to wear off and the stiffness / tiredness set in. Ron dropped us home and it was time for a nice long shower, a hot cup of tea and a little “rest”.

Spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking my pack, my support bag of left over food and clothes, dirty clothes and medical stuff I used on my feet.

Also popped the half golf ball sized blister on the side of my right heel. Once drained of all the gunk I cut away all the skin to expose the “new” skin. Plenty of Betadine was applied followed by antiseptic cream.

Yeaaaa my own bed tonight to sleep in. You can’t beat your own bed……

Monday 19th December:

Bit of a lazy morning. Guy off to the market for some supplies as I cleaned up the blister and applied copious amounts of antiseptic cream once again.

After lunch Guy had a hairdresser appointment at 1:00pm in town so we rode in. I hit Barbarossa for some slow broadband and a chat to Geoff and John.

Met “Dude” a younger American guy who is back in town. Dude has a bit of a reputation as being “out there”. Met him as I was leaving so shall reserve my judgment on Dude for now.

Home to a siesta and Guy rolled up later in the afternoon.

Tuesday 20th December:

A big sleep in this morning was in order. We got up round 11:00am, had a brunch and Guy was off to Mahjong. I spent the afternoon updating the blog document and processing all the photos and data from my heart rate monitor and GPS.

I did a quick trip into town for a few supplies and discovered the local store had some ice cream in stock. They don’t have it very often so just had to get a small tub of Vanilla and Almond. Very very yummy….

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Walk round Marinduque Summary (120km):

Gerald (Pom expat and fellow hiker) and I decided to walk round the island starting and finishing in Gasan in a counter clockwise direction. It is something that Gerald has always wanted to do but couldn’t find anybody else crazy enough to join him till I came along.

The aim of the walk was to experience all the different landscapes, communities, cultures and people of the island up close and personal.

We had a fantastic walk meeting lots of very friendly, cheerful, smiling and chatty people. On the less populated eastern side of the island we saw people who looked like they were ready to cut you in little bits and bury you in the jungle but with “good morning” and a smile they would break into a big grin and a “good morning” right back at you.

As Gerald can speak a little bit of Tagalog he had great pleasure in telling everybody who asked “where are you go” exactly what we were doing. Some didn’t believe us and the ones who did (about 2/3 believed us) were left chattering and laughing at the crazy westerners.

It was interesting seeing people’s reaction when Gerald spoke to them. You couldn’t tell if they were surprised at a westerner talking in Tagalog to them or the fact that we were walking round the island. People don’t walk here unless you have to. There are Jeepneys and Trikes everywhere.

The kids were great, asking whom we were, where we were from and what were we doing.

I have been round the island a few times now with Ron and on the Thunder Monster but walking, I saw many things that I haven’t seen before like a group of about a dozen weavers on these old wooden machines weaving these beautiful colorful mats.

How did I fare:

I burnt 10,207 calories over the four days walking 120km.

We basically stopped every 2-hours when walking for a 15-minute break to eat and drink (also drank while walking) and at midday stopped for a 1.5 to 2.0-hours ish break to eat lunch and avoid some of the midday heat and humidity.

I struggled when the sun was out and the humidity was high which luckily was only about a quarter of the time on the road. I had an umbrella that I used and it helped in the sunny bits.

My feet got very hot, sweated and the outcome was blisters (never had this problem before). My feet were better in the TEVA’s but still I had to be careful of hot spots. Luckily none of the blisters were on the soles of my feet so walking was fine as long as I strapped the hot spots.

I had the usual aches and pains but nothing serious, as our packs were pretty light (10kgs for mine) due to our support crew meeting us with fresh supplies of food and clothes.

The weather was mainly overcast with some rain, which is why Gerald chose this time of the year to do the walk. My new piece of hi-tech hiking equipment (the blue & white 16 rib umbrella) served me well in the sunny and rainy bits.

Over all it was a fantastic walk and Gerald and I both thoroughly enjoyed seeing the island close up and personal and meeting lots of great friendly happy people. Would we do it again? Maybe with a few new twists!

Day 668 of retirement

December 12, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 3rd December:

Leisurely morning, then off to Goodchow at 10:00am for lunch and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi was excruciatingly slow today so got the blog posted and emails checked and we headed back home.

A nice hot cup of tea followed by a siesta, was the order of the afternoon.

Sunday 4th December:

The Thunder Monster got her usual wash and wax after a very muddy week (all the road works and rain on the way to Boac).

Guy off to a manicure and Mahjong at 11:00am.

At midday I walked into Gasan (5km) and hit the expat gathering at Barbarossa. Wayne (aussie doctor) broke the news that he and Grace (wife and a local) are moving to Australia in early 2012. Wayne is mid 50’s and Grace is a little younger. They find island life a little too quiet, so are going back to AUS and the aim is that they both will go to work.

Grace is an accountant so in AUS she will do a bridging course to update her qualification. Wayne is a Cardiologist from Brisbane but is looking at working in either NSW or VIC, out of the main city areas.

So there is a great “retirement” house up for sale just outside Boac…….. If the house was in Gasan, Guy and I would snap it up but neither of us want to live in the Boac area.

I walked back home after the expat gathering and just made it before the afternoon rainstorm. We had a spectacular lightning show tonight out over the bay.

Monday 5th December:

Got up at 5:00pm and there was a brownout. Power came back on at 5:45am so all good.

Gerald arrived at the cottage at 6:15am and we headed off for a walk into Gasan and back via the Gasan lookout. We are now tapering our exercise as we start the big round the island walk next Thursday (15th Dec).

We did the 10km walk in 2-hours even with a short stop and chat where we ran into Ron on the Gasan lookout road.

After some iced and hot tea and Gerald departed, I had a nice refreshing shower and did a quick trip to the market for some supplies. Guy is having a rest day to hopefully finally shake her cold. She is almost over it now.

After lunch and a bit of a siesta I burnt up the rubbish and prepared a jug of Buk juice (young coconut meat and juice with condensed milk mixed in). The boys are here at the cottage today harvesting the coconuts and gave us three, which made up about 2 litres of juice.

Tuesday 6th December:

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

Today was my “finance” day where I checked all our Superannuation and bank accounts. Our Super has taken a bit of a hit over the last 6-months with the WFC but seems to have stabilized now and even shown a little growth. Don’t have to go back to work yet so all good………….

Had a few frustrating issues. One of the Super accounts locked me out so had to reset the password. Part of the process was remembering three “security” questions. I hate these things as they were done over 12-months ago so it was a bit of a guess on the “exact” answer but I managed it. Back in again.

I did a bank transfer to one of our Filipino banks and received an error right at the end of the process. The exchange rate had changed mid process so had to do it all again. Ooohhh well worked the second time.

Cruised back home along the coast in the cool late afternoon.

We finished up with no running water for the night, as the boys were working in the pump shed today and unplugged the pump. We don’t have a key and the cord / plug was just too far to reach even with a stick. We had the water in the barrels so all good.

I finished my 13th book of the year “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” by Eric Newby. Another great read.

Wednesday 7th December:

Up at 5:00am and headed off to Gerald’s at 5:45am. Decided to walk (4km) as it was a cool ish morning. The purpose of the visit was to download the files off my heart rate monitor onto his Windows PC and deliver an Excel files with all our latest training stats.

After a cup of tea I walked back home arriving just before 9:00am.

The boys arrived and with the water back on had a nice cool refreshing shower.

Off to Gasan where I managed to get a sloowww broadband connection as Guy needed to do some banking. Got that all done and off to see Rose (my hairdresser) for a haircut. Guy did a supply run to the market across the road while Rose trimmed my grey locks.

Back home and the rain started and rained most of the afternoon so a quiet one.

Thursday 8th December:

The rain lasted through the night and finally abated this morning to present us with a glorious day.

Our masseuse Eileen was supposed to be here at 8:00am ish but didn’t show up till just after 10:00am. Now Eileen lives in Tabionan which is 8km up a dirt road back in the mountains. The one morning Jeepney that she catches down to be at ours by 8:00am was delayed for 2-hours and she had no way of letting us know. She has a mobile phone but they don’t work up there.

Anyway I had nothing planned for the day so had my late massage and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday so after having my lunch and relaxing after the massage, I walked into Gasan for a few cold Iced Teas before the afternoon storm hit. Once that cleared I walked back home and dropped by to see Guy at the gambling house. She was having a little losing streak and it continued after I left.

I almost made it back home before another light rainstorm hit so out with the trusty umbrella.

We had a short little brownout from 6:30pm to 7:30pm to keep us on our toes.

Friday 9th December:

More rain again last night but fined up for our walk this morning. Only a short walk today as we are also finalizing the logistics for the walk round the island next week. Back home by 8:00am.

Then the rain started again and rained all day. We are on the backend of a big low-pressure system at the moment, hence all the rain. Can’t complain, as at least it isn’t windy and cold….

Cherry here for the washing and cleaning first thing. As it rained steady all day the washing got a good rinse. Not so good for drying though….

A leisurely day in sorting my kit for the up and coming walk, reading, a bit of TV and a siesta. I have started my 14th book of the year “Blind Man’s Bluff” by Sherry Sontag & Christopher Drew. It’s the untold story of the American submarine espionage during the Cold war.

Saturday 10th December:

It rained all last night and finally stopped at 2:00pm today. Our Boac trip was cancelled, as the road works up Boac way would be a swamp with all the rain. We considered taking a Jeepney to Boac but gave that idea away.

Mid morning we caught a Trike into Gasan and stocked on supplies for the next few days. On the Trike ride back home we managed to get half soaked in an exceptionally heavy downpour.

John (Pom) dropped by at 2:00pm (just after the rain ceased) for a cup of tea and a chat. Even though the rain had stopped his legs were covered in mud from riding here on his motorcycle.

Sunday 11th December:

Up and greeted by some more rain. It did clear up at 11:30am and was sunny for the rest of the day.

The Thunder Monster got a wipe and shine as she has been tucked up under her cover during all the rain this week.

Guy off to Mahjong at 11:00am and as the rain cleared I walked into Barbarossa for the expat gathering. I walked back home at a nice leisurely pace late afternoon.

Guy walked home after Mahjong and rang to meet me down in our village to have a look at the Xmas lights. But just as we were talking off went the power. So meet her anyway hoping the power would come back on but to no avail. We had a brownout from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 659 of retirement

December 3, 2011

Hi All

Saturday 26th November:

Up at 4:30am as I was going to walk to Gerald’s at 5ish. But it was really dark, no moon at all, so chickened out and rode there on the Thunder Monster arriving at 6:00am.

He has successfully installed my Polar heart rate software on his Windows PC so we setup a user for each of us. I then downloaded the files from our last two walks (I have a S625X – heart rate monitor) via an Infrared reader to the software and we had a good look at the information.

I was also able to transfer all my Polar heart rate data files to his PC from right back to 1998 and then able to view them. Give him something to look at and play round with.

Had a look at my heart rate data files from my mountain bike 24-hour world championship ride in Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Oct 2006). Now that was just a few years ago but seems like yesterday.

Home by 8:00am and after a morning siesta we set off to Goodchow in Boac for lunch and some Wi-Fi.

Satruday lunch at Goodchow is busy and the Wi-Fi is slow, so had our lunch, posted the blog, checked email and headed for home beating the afternoon rainstorm.

After the rain ceased I did a rubbish burn up (have a lid on the incinerator to keep it dry) and did a litter pickup on the beach, which is nice and clean at the moment.

Guy has picked up a nice head cold so slept most of the afternoon.

Sunday 27th November:

Guy got a good night’s sleep last night with her cold after taking some drugs. She is much the same today and headed off to Mahjong at 10:30am. Nothing will keep her from her Mahjong, not rain, sleet, heat, snow or a head cold.

I washed and waxed the Thunder Monster, as she was quite muddy this week after traversing the muddy road works on the way to Boac. Then off to Barbarossa, for the expat gathering for the afternoon.

Monday 28th November:

Up and off to Gerald’s for another of our training walks. We did the same walk as last Thursday (Gerald’s – Buenavista – Boondocks – Buenavista – Gerald’s) but in reverse. This time we walked back to Gerald’s from Buenavista at the end of the walk instead of taking a Jeepney. This made up a 24km walk in just over 5-hours with rests.

We both struggled for the first few hours, as it was a little humid. Then it got pretty hot and humid in the last hour back to Gerald’s. The temperature hit 39C at one stage and my heart rate jumped up. But it was good training, as we will need to walk in these conditions on the big walk.

Home to a nice cool shower, lunch and a siesta.

Guy is feeling a little better this morning. Still got the head cold with a nasty cough though. These bugs just seem to hang here in the tropics.

Tuesday 29th November:

I was up and off mid morning to do a trip round the island on the Thunder Monster (120km) to map out the route for our walk in a couple of weeks.

Checked all the distances between our overnight stops with the GPS and just had a general look-see of the road. No issues found so the walk should be pretty straightforward.

I dropped in to see Lief as he is our first night’s camp spot. Need to check with him next week to finalize. The other two nights accommodation are now confirmed.

Back by mid afternoon and only 5km from home I got hit by a rainstorm. Oohhhh well the rest of the day was a gem of a day on the Thunder Monster so can’t complain.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and returned home with a win so very pleased with herself.

Wednesday 30th November:

Off to the market mid morning for supplies for the next few days.

At midday we headed off to Barbarossa in Gasan where we had organized a birthday lunch for Ron along with Vicki, Gerald and Juliet and Guy and myself.

Juliet had made a morning run to Boac (42km round trip on the Jeepney) to get a cake for Ron as you can’t get cakes in Gasan. Ron was 77 on Monday and he is still very very active and has a sharp witty mind to go with it.

He is a reformed alcoholic (34 years clean) and walks most days of the week. As he has been here on the island for some 16 years, he knows everybody and they know him. And he speaks Tagalog, so he chats and jokes with all the locals. A whole generation of kids have grown up with him as well and he has quite a following who all chat to him.

We all had a great leisurely 2-hour lunch and the cake was very very nice (A Black Forest Cake). Not too sweet and nice and moist. And yes I did enjoy seconds as most of us did. Guy was very controlled and only had one piece……

Home to a cup of tea and afternoon siesta.

Thursday 1st December:

Massage day today. Guy and I are taking turns for a massage, which gives us one massage each 2-weeks.

Our new masseuse Eileen arrived at 8:15am and I had to endure a 2-hour massage….. She is very good and works on your pressure points from head to toe. My favorite bits were having your eyebrows and ears massaged.

With all the walking I am currently doing my legs are a little “tight” so she found the tight spots and worked on them. Also gave the soles of my feet a good going over. And all this for P200 ($5.00 AUS). Bargain.

After lunch Guy off to Mahjong and I headed for Goodchow in Boac for some Wi-Fi. Rained on and off during the afternoon which meant that the road works on the way to Boac were very muddy. Poor old Thunder Monster got nice and muddy but she will clean up okay on Sunday

Friday 2nd December:

Off to Gerald’s for our last long walk before the round the island trip in 2-weeks. We left Gerald’s at 6:00am and walked down to Buenavista, did a circuit back in the boondocks and once back in Buenavista walked back to Gerald’s (Just over 5-hours and 24km).

It was nice and cloudy and not too humid for the first 4-hours and then the sun and humidity came out for the last hour’s walk. Next week we will do some shorter walks (12km ish) and taper back ready for the big one.

Home at midday for a very refreshing cool shower and lunch.

Leisurely afternoon for us both with a siesta. Guy’s cold is hanging on with a hacking cough annoying her.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy