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Saturday 18th February:
Guy off to Mahjong at 10:45am and I headed for Boac for some Wi-Fi to post the blog and do web stuff. After completing my Wi-Fi stuff I went exploring the back roads out the back of Boac.
I made my way to the Boac River just outside of Boac and followed the dirt road on the southern side of the river going back into the mountains till it ran out (10km from the main road).
I took a GPS reading as this is where we hope to pop out of the mountains when we do our across the island walk. This will give us an aiming point should we get navigationally challenged (lost) in the tricky middle 10km section.
I crossed the river back in Boac and did the same thing on the northern side of the river and discovered that the road on this side finished about 500m from the road’s end on the southern side. This gives us 2 GPS way points to aim for depending on what side of the river we find ourselves at this point.
Cruised back home in time for a little siesta before Guy arrived home.
I plotted out the GPS coordinates on my 1:50:000 maps of the island tonight and it has confirmed my previous observations that the details of the interior are way off. Roads, villages, tracks, bridges are 1-2km out in places.
The major towns and landmarks around the coast are pretty much spot on but we will have to use a little navigation imagination in the interior.
Sunday 19th February:
Thunder Monster got her wash and wax this morning. Then she was tucked away for the day as I decided to walk into the expat gathering at Barbarossa (10km round trip).
Guy caught the Jeepney to her midday Mahjong gathering.
We both walked back home at the day’s end. Guy has been walking home (5km) pretty much every time she plays Mahjong now. It is in the cooler of the evening and great exercise.
Monday 20th February:
Leisurely morning with a late trip to Boac for Guy to catch up on her Wi-Fi. We tried the Tahanan Sa Isok Hotel first but no luck so finished up at the Boac Hotel where we managed to get connected (even though its flaky) and have some lunch.
On the way home we had a run in (literally) with a guy outside Boac on the main road. As I came along this guy just stepped out onto the road to cross. I beeped, swerved to the opposite side of the road and slowed down.
The guy just kept on walking and basically walked into my handle bar. Luckily I was down to about 10km/hr at this stage and the only injury was his soft drink bottle, which shattered and sprayed Guy and me with nice cold sticky soft drink.
There were a couple of other guys there who witnessed it and agreed that this guy just didn’t have any awareness of us at all and was lucky we had slowed down and swerved. Luckily nobody was hurt so after wiping the soft drink off the Thunder Monster we were on our way.
Finished reading my 4th book of the year “Serpent’s Tooth” by Faye Kellerman. A great murder mystery.
Tuesday 21st February:
Market day, so off to the market for supplies for the next few days.
Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I headed south towards Mount Malindig and the village of Sihi, which is on the main round the island road and the foot of Malindig.
I was looking for a side road that goes back into the mountains and according to the map finishes at a little village called Tambuna (8km off the main road). This village is at the headwaters of the Boac River, which we hope to follow all the way to the coast on our cross island walk.
I found the road but only managed to get about 2km along it, as it was just too rough, steep and slippery for the Thunder Monster and her slick road tires. Would have been good on a mountain bike…..
So I turned back and will look at walking in along the road to see where it goes.
Back home, grabbed the laptop and cruised into the Barbarossa (Gasan) for some slowwww USB Broadband. Had a couple of iced teas and a chat to Ron as he breezed through for a coffee.
Wednesday 22nd February:
Today is one of our “rest” days. Once or twice a month Guy and I have a rest day, when we both stay home together and plan nothing. We sleep in, laze around, read, watch a DVD, eat, siesta, and talk about life, love and the universe. It is our time together and we love it……..
What with my hiking, exploring and Wi-Fi and Guy’s Mahjong games, we are kept pretty busy so these “rest” days are grand to just chill out.
I started my 5th book of the year “1st To Die” by James Patterson. It’s a murder mystery. We are looking at a Kindle to solve our problem of having no library, book exchange or bookshop on the island. Thanks to James R, Mikey W and Lyn A for all their great help and advice.
We have been relying on the other expats for books but that is drying up rapidly. We do buy books when we go to Manila but they are big and bulky to carry and store once you have read them.
So a Kindle each maybe the way to go.
Thursday 23rd February:
Awoke to a brownout at 8:30am and it lasted all day till 5:30pm. They were replacing some power poles up Boac way so no power for the day.
Ailyn (the massage lady) arrived at 9:00am for my 2-hour massage. Very nice indeed and a great way to start the day.
After lunch Guy headed off to Mahjong and I made my way to Boac with a stopover to see John (Pom). He is just back from seeing one of his mates, Doggie Dave, up north by Angeles. Doggie Dave is the movie / series download king and John always comes back with loads of movies and series. John lent me his 16GB USB stick with lots of stuff on it so I’ll copy the stuff Guy and I want to look at.
Into Boac and first stop was Tahanan Sa Isok Hotel for some good Wi-Fi. Well they have now added a password to get in and nobody there knew what it was. So off to Boac Hotel. Their Wi-Fi was working okay but the uploads (blog photos) were just not happening. Last resort was the SMART USB Broadband stick, which was actually okay, so got my blog pics uploaded in just over an hour.
Cruised back home and picked up very nice sweet Star Apples from our favorite lady by the market. Her Star Apples are the best. They are like a green apple but the flesh inside is soft and very sweet (if you get the good ones). We love them along with the mangoes, which are coming into season as well.
Friday 24th February:
Up early, and off to Gerald’s for our early morning walk up to Calong and back.
After the walk and over a cup of tea we discussed further the across the island walk and the recon trips we need to do before we set a date. Over the next few weeks we have a couple of exploratory trips to do to determine the best route and to get some GPS waypoint as emergency exit points to aim for, should we get navigationally challenged on the centre un-charted section of the walk.
We talked about the logistics of the trip looking at some worst-case scenario possibilities (having to swim across the river, spending nights in the jungle, getting navigationally challenged (lost), etc). Also looked at taking emergency food supplies, being totally self sufficient for 4 days, water purification, foot wear, etc.
Gerald is also just back from Manila where he purchased a new 40L High Sierra pack and Merrell hiking boots. Time to wear them in before the big trek.
Arrived back home and Cherry was here doing the washing and cleaning. Guy had also been into the market via Jeepney for some very nice Pork Spare Ribs and veggies for dinner.
After lunch I gave the Thunder Monster an oil and filter change. She’s all refreshed and ready to go once again
Guy and I spent the afternoon resting, reading with a little siesta thrown in for good measure.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy