Day 722 of retirement

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Hi All

Saturday 28th January:

After breakfast we made our way in Gasan to see the mechanic re the Thunder Monster’s fuel problem.

By the time we arrived the bike had coughed up whatever the issue was and was running fine. I had a chat to the mechanic with Guy being the interpreter and he showed me a hidden carbie drain screw. So if and when it happens again he suggests that I drain the carbie dry and see if that fixes it.

We dropped by the market for a few supplies and back home. At midday as we headed into Gasan for Guy’s Mahjong we dropped by the one eyed sewing man. We bought a shoulder bag in Boracay, which will be good for grocery shopping on the bike but it needed zips on the pockets. He fixed that existing bag (for P100 ($2.40 AUS) and is copying it to make us another one out of stronger material. We will pick it up tomorrow.

Once I dropped Guy off I made my way to Boac for some Wi-Fi and to post the blog. I have been spoiled with good Wi-Fi in Manila and on Boracay and it was back to slow flakey access once again. But all’s well as I got done what I wanted to get done.

I cruised home later in the afternoon and went for a short walk to try out my new Merrell “Waterpro Manistee” shoes. They are designed for water sports so are nice and light and have fantastic drainage / ventilation. My feet suffer in the heat and humidity in normal running shoes hence why I went for these.

And they worked a treat. My feet didn’t get too hot and they are very comfortable. I’m going for a walk with Gerald on Monday so wearing them in now.

Guy started off the year with a win at Mahjong so she is one happy camper.

Sunday 29th January:

Back to the routine this morning with a wash and wax for the Thunder Monster.

Just before midday we headed into Gasan for Guy’s Mahjong afternoon and my expat gathering at the Barbarossa. We stopped in to see the sewing man as he had our grocery shopping shoulder bag completed. He did a great job and had completed it just as we had ordered. And all for P150 ($3.60 AUS) for our custom made shoulder bag. We will give it a run tomorrow when we get supplies.

Usual crowd at the expat gathering. I headed back home just after 4:00pm and the afternoon rain had cleared.

We have a leaking pipe from the tap to the toilet cistern and as I inspected it, it broke off in my hand. The steel fitting on the hose had rusted away. A trip to the hardware is in order tomorrow.

Monday 30th January:

Up early and off to see Gerald for our Monday morning walk. I picked him up on the Thunder Monster and we rode to Buenavista where we caught up with Eric the Austrian.

Eric is retired, married to a local gal and is here visiting relatives in Buenavista. He has spent quite a lot of time here in the past and being a keen hiker, he has explored the area round Buenavista quite extensively.

He took us on a 3-hour (10km) walk back up into the hills and back along a river. It was a great walk and we got to see some new ground. Eric is only here for a few weeks more before he heads off once again. We had a chat about climbing Mt Malindig as he had done it before and he is keen to go back up.

Gerald has a cold at the moment so has passed, but Eric and I are looking at having a go next week sometime at the climb. Hopefully it will fall into place.

Cherry here this the morning for the washing and cleaning.

Late afternoon we went for a ride and checked out a house for rent on the beach about 2km away from us. Sadly it has felt the ravages of the salty sea air so not for us at all. We dropped into the market in Gasan and picked up a few supplies. On the way home we dropped past the house that John (The aussie) and his wife are in the process of building here. This is the guy that only lasted a month here (late last year) before going back to Darwin in AUS as he couldn’t handle the brownouts as we were having 8-hours on and 8-hours off at the time. The house is nearing completion so maybe he will be back?

Spent the evening watching a number of episodes of “The Killing” mini series.

Tuesday 31st January:

Market day so off into the crowded market for some supplies. Back home and John (The Pom) dropped in but couldn’t stay as he has workers painting his house and has to supervise. He did make an “appointment” for 9:00am tomorrow morning to come round for a cup of tea and a chat.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I cruised up to Boac on the Thunder Monster. I grabbed some Wi-Fi while there and then cruised back home to beat the afternoon rain.

The road was wet in a few places but I did manage to get back to the cottage just as the rain set in.

I set about cooking up pork spaghetti sauce for dinner using my secret herbs and spices (from the Italian style mix sachet……).

Now when cooking spaghetti sauce on our little old gas stove (it is basically on or off, no real flame control) I always have trouble with the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan. So by sitting the pan in this old wok we have, it works a treat. I can simmer the sauce and not burn the bottom. See the pic of my setup above.

Also mosquito eradication day today. Yolanda (The Landlord) has water barrels round the other buildings on the block to collect rainwater that she uses on the garden. So once a week I go round with dishwasher detergent and put a squirt in each barrel to stop the mosquito larvae from breeding and developing into mosquitoes. After heavy rain I usually need to reapply as well. It seems to work….

We concluded the evening by watching the concluding episodes of “The Killing”. Interesting ending.

Wednesday 1st February:

Awoke to steady rain this morning and it continued all day. It was flat calm, very steady and the humidity dropped a little as well, so kind of a nice day.

John (Pom) dropped in at 9:30am for a cup of tea and a chat as he and Yolanda (wife) have also been away in Thailand for a 3-week holiday. So we caught up on all the island gossip, eeerrr I mean news.

We were going to go to Boac today to pay my annual residency fee at the immigration office and re-register my motorbike but due to the rain we cancelled and will do it on a sunny day.

Had brownouts from 12:30pm to 2:30pm and 3:00pm to 4:30pm so nothing to do but have a siesta, read and eat fresh Papaya.

Thursday 2nd February:

The rain eased last night but was still around in the form of showers all day.

Massage day today. Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for my massage (my turn this week). While I was having a massage, Guy caught the Jeepney to the market and got some supplies.

At midday Guy was off to Mahjong and I caught up with Ron in his pickup. We stopped in to to see Sam and his wife who are missionaries from the USA and currently living in Gasan. They arrived in November last year and are here for up to 3 years. They are not too sure how long they will be here, as their presence is being evaluated by their church, (they are Mennonites) at the moment.

After a long chat to them we took a drive to Boac (20km away) for a few supplies. A cruise back to Barbarossa in Gasan for a cheeseburger with fries for afternoon tea.

We also had a lovely brownout today that started at 9:00am and last till 6:00pm (9-hours). No news on the cause of it yet.

Friday 3rd February:

The rain has finally eased today with the day being overcast but no drizzle.

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. Due to having the total of February rainfall in two days, these are pretty wet and the tracks muddy.

We did a walk back up into the boondocks along the “fire trail” to Kalong. Even this track was quite wet and muddy in places.

On the way down from the boondocks, one of the local ladies walked with us as she was on her way to work in the village. She commented how the locals up in the hills have seen us walking round up there quite a bit. They had all come to the conclusion that we were looking for gold, as you just don’t walk round the hills for fun. So now we are gold prospectors. We better keep our eyes open for that big nugget that has our name on it then……..

Back home and Cherry arrived for a washing and cleaning day. After being away for a month we decided to do a spring-clean. So we helped Cherry move all the beds and furniture to the centre of the rooms, swept round the walls and Cherry then washed the floors. It is amazing the amount of dust and crap that accumulates under furniture.

We have a nice clean house once again.

We headed for Boac and Goodchow for lunch and Guy spent a couple of hours catching up on her emails. The next stop was the Immigration Office, as I have to pay P310 ($7.40 AUS) each January for my annual residency fee.

The final stop was the Land Transport Office (LTO) to register the Thunder Monster.

The process is to have the serial / engine numbers on the bike stenciled (they get an imprint on sticky tape), purchase Third Party assurance (for a max of P100,000 ($2,400 AUS)) from the one and only agent next door, go have a an exhaust emission test then pay the final fee. All this for P1,146 ($27.30 AUS) for 12-months rego.

A quick stop in Gasan on the way home for the ATM and some supplies then back home after a busy day.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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