Day 988 of retirement

October 27, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 20th October:

Bit of a sleep in this morning. After a leisurely breakfast with Guy’s mum we packed our bags and made our way to the mall.

We wandered round the far end mall (1 of 3 buildings) where we haven’t been in much. We found all sorts of shops with good stuff in them. We finally found a good old aussie “dish rack” to dry our dishes in.

We have been looking for one of them for the last couple of years. There is nothing on the island at all and there have been a few fancy twisted metal and plastic ones in the department stores but all we want is a simple dish rack.

Well, we finally found one in this little way off kitchenware come hardware store.

It’s amazing how elated you feel when you finally find some little thing that you have been looking for, for ages.

After lunch we caught a cab to pick up our bags from Guy’s sister’s place and then made our way across town to the Mabuhay Manor Hotel to wait for Jason (Son) and Mike to arrive at 5:00pm ish.

It took a while to find the hotel as the cab driver isn’t quite sure where it is, (he’s not from this part of town) but with us navigating we finally found it. We gave him a nice tip to get him back to his side of town again (The whole fare plus generous tip was P400 ($9.50 AUS) for a 1.5 hour cab ride right across town). Bargain.

We got a text from the boys at 4:15pm to say that they had cleared immigration and customs and were on the way to the hotel. We had Ed (Guy’s Policeman friend at the airport) get one of his staff to meet the boys and usher them through immigration and customs so they were through in 30 minutes including a delay in getting their luggage.

Just on 5:00pm the boys finally arrived. After dumping their gear in their room we caught a cab to the Mall of Asia just up the road for Shakeys Mojo’s and Pizza. After dinner we wandered round the mall and then back to the hotel by 8:30pm, as we have a 5:30am start tomorrow morning to get the bus to Lucena then the Ro-Ro to the island.

Sunday 21st October:

Up at 5:00am for my last “Hot” shower in the hotel. At 6:00am we caught a cab to the local JAC Liner bus depot just up the road. At 10:30am we arrived at Lucena Port with 1.5 hours to kill before the Ro-Ro left for the island (2 ¾ hour trip on relatively smooth water).

We arrived at Balanacan Port on the island at 2:45pm to be met by our “Limo Service” (Ron’s pickup).

A quick stop into Barbarossa for an early dinner of cheeseburgers and fries as the fridge was bare at home (Shopping day tomorrow).

The boys were pretty beat at this stage as they have been traveling for the last three days (Adelaide AUS to Gasan Phil).

Monday 22nd October:

A slow morning as we all rested up. Guy and I did a run into the market to top up on supplies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Jas & Mike presented us with all the goodies they brought from AUS for us. See the pics for the goodies. Felt like Xmas with all the presents.

One of the best ones was from my sister Sandy and bro-in-law Brian that were two very nice “Global” knives along with the sharpener. Our knives here are “market specials” which I can get sharp but they just don’t hold their edges.

Guy used the big “Global” to slice up the Pork from the market and the knife just glided through the meat. Just got to keep our fingers out of the way now.

After lunch and a siesta in the Nipa Hut I took Jas and Mike for a walk along the beach. I was playing with an Infrared filter on my camera that Jas brought over for me. Got some “interesting” pics.

Tuesday 23rd October:

Market day so we all walked into town (6km). The boys hit Google IT while Guy and I shopped for fresh fish and vegetables for some Sinigang. We joined them at Google IT after the shopping.

Back home midmorning and I got a text from Gerald that he had some fresh Jackfruit available from his own tree. I rode up to collect the fruit and had a chat about his 2-day trek last week back into the interior with a group from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They had a great trip.

After lunch we were going to go to Boac on the Jeepney but we had a bit of a rainy storm and then a brownout from 2:30pm to 4:30pm (2-hours) so didn’t end up making it. Ooohhh well, there’s always tomorrow.

The boys had a very relaxing afternoon. Mike ended up sleeping for most of it as he has a bit of a sinus infection.

Then another brownout from 6:15pm to 8:15pm (2-hours).

Wednesday 24th October:

Awoke this morning with steady rain from Tropical Storm “Ofel” which is currently south of us at present. Also a brownout greeted us from 8:00am to 10:30am (2 ½ hours).

Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for three one-hour massages for Guy, Jas and Mike.

After lunch I took the boys to Boac on the Jeepney for a few supplies and Guy did a quick run into Gasan for a few more supplies as well.

At 2:00pm ish the power went off and came back on at 4:00pm ish (2-hours).

As of tonight we have a signal 1 (30-60kph winds) on the island from tropical storm “Ofel”. We shall see what the morning brings.

Thursday 25th October:

Tropical Storm  “Ofel” hit us during the night. The rain hasn’t stopped, the wind is strengthening and the sea is very rough. I got a text from Gerald and we are now on Signal 2 (61 – 100kph winds) on Marinduque.

The power has been off since 9:00pm last night except a brief period of it being on during the night (the fan ran for a short while). With “Ofel” upon us and Signal 2 we will probably be without power for 24-hours ish or till the storm passes.

I got up at first light and ran the Thunder Monster inside the cottage and gathered up all the cushions from the Nipa Hut before they blew away.

We were going to do a round the island today with Ron but that was cancelled as you don’t want to be out in this weather (landslides, tree’s down, flooding, etc.).

We battened down the hatches and watched the Tropical Storm go by.

At midday ish the rain eased a little so Guy and I caught a Jeepney into the Gasan market (through the flooded road) to get a few supplies. About half the market stalls were open so all good.

On the way in we saw where a huge tree has fallen down and taken out all the power lines just up the road from us. So looks like we will be without power for a few days. Nothing will be done to repair it till the Tropical Storm passes which will probably be another 24-hours or so.

In the afternoon Jas and I took a walk up the beach in the rain. The sea is the roughest I have every seen it and it is brown from all the stream running out from the hills bringing down all the mud.

A quiet evening in the dark talking and reading.

Tropical Storm “Ofel” gave us one last blast in the evening. The rain bucketed down and the wind blew hard. Only a couple of small leaks in the roof so all good.

I finished reading my 67th book of the year “C is for Corpse” by Sue Grafton (Kindle Book). A good murder mystery.

Friday 26th October:

We awoke to no rain, no wind and moderate seas. The Tropical Storm has passed us by. The locals were out cleaning up all the broken tree braches and leaf litter scattered everywhere. There was no major damage in our area.

Cherry arrived at 8:00am for the washing and cleaning day.

Gerald dropped in for a chat at 9:00am and to let us know that in the last 24-hours we had just over 300mm of rain from the Typhoon. Not a bad drop….

Mid morning Jas, Mike and I walked the 1.5km down the road to where the power lines were taken out by a tree. There were no workers there at all so looks like we might still be a day or three away from getting power back.

OOohhh and just to rub salt into our wounds they have power in Gasan (5km away)…..

We walked back along the beach, or what is left of it. A LOT of sand has been moved but it does eventually come back. The biggest issue is all the coconut / bamboo litter washed up. I had our beach nice and clean and now it is all back worse than ever.

Oohhhh well, it will keep me busy cleaning it up once again.

After lunch Jas, Mike and I headed into Gasan and caught up with Guy who was playing Mahjong. We then discovered that there was no power in Gasan (We had heard there was) and it looks like early next week before we get it back.

Ooohhhhh well we hit the Barbarossa for a cold iced tea (and three plates of french-fries) and “borrowed” some of their generator power to charge up laptops and phones and connect to the web via USB Broadband which is still working at present in Gasan.

Once we arrived home it was “water” top up time. I did two trips to the shop down (I bought their last two containers) the road carrying a 20L container of drinking water back to the cottage. Then we had to fill our washing / toilet water containers from the hand pump on the well. Jas and Mike took turns pumping and carrying. After a half hour we had the water containers all topped up which should last for three days or so.

I then had a very refreshing scoop shower at the well while pumping my shower water.

We are surviving okay. We pump water from the well at the cottage to refill our water containers but that’s fine. Cooking is by Gas so no problems there.

The only issue is keeping phones and laptops charged. A few trips to places with generators should resolve that.

I heard from Dave (Canadian) over Mogpog way (The other side of Boac) and Wayne (Aussie) outside Boac and they got power back tonight. So it is slowly happening……

Life is good including Tropical Storms and 54-hours brownouts (and still counting)….

Trevor & Guy

Day 981 of retirement

October 20, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 13th October:

Off to see Gerald this morning for a chat after he went to a Tourism meeting in Boac yesterday. The meeting is linked with a local TV channel that is starting up on the island and wants to promote tourism.

Gerald and I were invited due to our exploits walking around and over the island and the exploring back in the mountains we are doing in our local area.

The area we call Meadow Peak (Up from Gerald’s) has been earmarked, as a camping ground so we are keen to see that what ever is developed is ECO friendly and sustainable.

At 11:30am I dropped Guy off at Mahjong and cruised up to Boac (44km round trip) for a few supplies that we needed. Back home for lunch, watched the MotoGP qualifying in Japan and then off to Google IT to post the blog.

Sunday 14th October:

We were greeted with a nice little brownout this morning (8:45am to 10:15am – 1.5-hours).

I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at 10:00am and cruised by the Barbarossa Restaurant. Ron (Yank) was having a coffee so I dropped in and joined him for an iced tea.

He was telling me that he met an American and his wife earlier in the week who were visiting the island after finding my blog and liking what they saw in the pics.

So I now have my first official tourist visit to Marinduque solely from “Trevor’s” blog content. He has gone now and it is a pity I didn’t get to meet him as my first official tourist.

Back home at 11:00am for the MototGP in Japan and Casey Stoner’s return after ankle surgery. It was great to see him come in 5th on his return. Look out Philip Island (Australia) on October the 28th for his final race in Australia. Ooohhh great to see Danny Pedrosa win (Honda and team mate to Casey).

At 2:00pm it was into the Barbarossa for the remainder of the expat gathering. On the way home from the expat gathering I dropped into Google IT for some quick Wi-Fi.

Monday 15th October:

Up early and off to Gerald’s for our morning walk. We had Manny the TV Producer/Pastor with us today.

He wanted to see Meadow Peak (our name for the peak) and Bilog Peak (local name) and get some video footage of the trails and peaks for his TV station, which will be on air soon. He is working with a group of island locals to promote Marinduque to local Filipino tourists in the first instance then further afield to international tourists down the track.

This group wants the tourism to be Eco friendly, sustainable and using locals to provide infrastructure, guides, etc. Gerald and I are happy to work with them to try and achieve the above in the trekking side of things.

After 3.5-hours we were back for a nice cold iced tea. I must say that Manny did a good job of keeping up in the heat and humidity. He is 10-years younger than us though.

Manny is keen to join us on other walks to different areas to film the local island paradise and show it on his TV channel and blog once operational.

After lunch we rode over to see Berthold (German) on the other side of town 20 minutes away. He has a Kindle Touch and I had given him the Millennium 3 book series.

It turns out the book the “The Girl Who Played With Fire” was the wrong file so I gave him the correct one. He also gave us the latest Bourne movie “The Bourne Legacy” as we are both huge Bourne fans. And some of it was filmed in Manila which even made it more interesting for us.

On the way home we stopped into Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Skype for Guy.

At just before 10:00pm we had a brownout. I retired to bed and Guy read for a while before following. The power came back on sometime during the night as it was on when we got up.

Tuesday 16th October:

Up and off to market for some fresh supplies. Bought some nice Pork spare ribs and found some more of the local honey we have been looking for to go with our breakfast Oats (Australian Oats no less bought in Manila).

I dropped Guy off to Mahjong at midday.

After lunch I had a leisurely afternoon with a visit to Google IT for some Wi-Fi.

Wednesday 17th October:

Cherry here just after 8:00am for the washing and cleaning. She is a day early this week as we are off to Manila tomorrow afternoon.

Ailyn arrived at 10:00am for my 2-hour massage. Likewise she is a day early as well due to the Manila trip tomorrow.

Guy off to Mahjong at 12:30pm. I did a quick trip into Gasan for some Wi-Fi. On the way home I dropped into Barbarossa for an iced tea and a chat with Geoff (Pom). After Barbarossa I tried the ATM and no go today. It is offline.

Thursday 18th October:

Leisurely day as we wait for the JAC Liner bus to Manila at 4:00pm ish.

I spent the morning burning up the rubbish on the beach. The rubbish was mainly coconut husks that have washed up with the storms of the last few weeks.

The husks take a bit of burning, as firstly you have to let them dry for 3-4 days, as they are water logged. Then they are still hard to burn as then are full on salt and with the high humidity a good old “bushy on the beach” (Aussie slang for a bonfire on the beach) is hard to come by.

But I did manage to get all of our part of the beach nice and clean and all the husks burnt up after stoking the fire for 4-hours.

We made our way down to the road to catch the bus at 4:00pm. It turned up at 5:00pm for our trip to Manila.

The only excitement for the trip was when the JAC Liner bus drove off the Ro-Ro at Lucena it ripped the rear bumper bar off on the Ro-Ro ramp. Lots of shouting and arm waving but all good.

Some 11.5-hours later after a bus, Ro-Ro and another bus trip we arrived at Beth’s (Guy’s sisters place).

Friday 19th October:

We arrived at Beth’s at 3:30am and she kindly let us in. By 4:00am we were in bed and slept till 8:30am. We were lucky that we both were able to get some sleep on the Ro-Ro and bus so it wasn’t too bad.

At 10:00am (Mall’s open at 10:00am here) we cabbed (P100 ($2.40 AUS)) our way to the Ali Mall to pick up my TAG F1 watch (My only TAG now). From there we cabbed it once again (P100 ($2.40 AUS) to the Quezon City Malls where there are three Malls at the same location. These malls are our favorite as you can find everything you need at one of the malls.

After lunch at “Kangaroo Jacks” (They do nice burgers there) we had a Chai Latte for dessert at Starbucks and then caught a movie, our first in the Philippines. Cost of a movie on the big screen here is P181 each ($3.30 AUS)). Bargain. We watched “Taken 2”. An okay movie.

We hung out at the mall till 5:30pm and then headed back to Beth’s for the evening.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 974 of retirement

October 13, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 6th October:

Guy up and off with the girls at 10:00am for hair and make up for her mum’s 80th birthday party at midday. At midday we all made our way to a restaurant about 10 minutes away from their house.

There were copious amounts of really good Filipino food for the 60 ish guests. It was great as all of Guy’s mum’s six children (2 boys & 4 girls) were there along with her old friends and lots of grandkids. There were two daughters from overseas (Australia & New Zealand) and the rest from Manila and Marinduque.

We were able to get a Skype session going with Jo (Guy’s daughter), Zali (Jo’s new daughter), Dave (Jo’s partner), Jordan (Guy’s son) and Carly (Jordan’s girlfriend) who were all in Canberra.

It was the first time Guy’s mum had seen her new great granddaughter in the flesh, so to speak. Also all the cousins were able to see Zali for the first time as well.

At 3:00pm we all made our way back to Beth’s (Guy’s sister) and Mum’s place (they re next door to each other). Guy had a family gathering with all her brothers and sisters then at 5:00pm we were packed and off to the JAC Liner bus station round the corner for the trip back to the island.

The bus trip from Manila to Lucena Port was 6-hours, the Ro-Ro to the island was 3-hours and the island bus trip was 30 minutes. Throw in another 2.5-hours waiting time and at 5:00am we made it home (12-hour trip all up).

Guy and I both managed to sleep the whole of the Ro-Ro trip as we had a plastic bench seat each to stretch out on. We are getting quite accustomed to sleeping on hard bench seats on the Ro-Ro.

Sunday 7th October:

After unpacking and a nice hot cup of tea we hit the hay at 6:00am for a few hours sleep till 9:00am.

Up and welcomed home by a brownout from 9:30am to 11:00am ish (1.5 hours).

At 11:30am I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi before going to the expat gathering at Midday. Later in the afternoon Guy caught the Jeepney to Google IT for her Wi-Fi and to purchase a few supplies. No Mahjong today but tomorrow is another day.

I finished reading my 64th book of the year “Life After War: Book 4 – Adrian’s Eagles” by Angela White (Kindle Book). A good read about the good, the bad and the ugly of a group of people drawn together after a Nuclear War in the USA. Has a little black magic thrown in to add a bit of spice to the story.

This book was a long read (just under 1,000 pages) but well worth it. I checked the authors website for Book 5 and it is due out in December. Waiting now.

Monday 8th October:

Spring clean time at the cottage this morning. Guy has her two sisters and their two kids, her niece and her mum arriving tomorrow morning for a three-day visit to the island. So a busy morning preparing as this will be the most visitors we have had in one go (6 all up).

Yolanda has provided her cottage for us while the visitors are here so it has worked out perfectly for sleeping arrangements (4 sleeping in each cottage including Guy & I).

On the way to dropping Guy off at Mahjong at midday we swung past the market for some supplies for the gang tomorrow. I dropped them back at the cottage and rode back in for some Wi-Fi and cash at the ATM (It was working first try today….).

Back home at 3:00pm and I started cooking up a pot of Pork spaghetti sauce to feed the hordes tomorrow.

Tuesday 9th October:

Guy got a text message from the family (six of them traveling) that they had arrived at Lucena Port and were on the Ro-Ro at 12:30am. The next text was at 3:30am from Cawit Port to say they had arrived on the island.

Guy and I went down to the road to catch the bus for them to exit as it passed by. Well as they say the best laid plans……….

Guy got a text to say that they were in Gasan. Due to mixed messages they got off the bus in Gasan rather then come the extra 5km to Bacong Bacong where we are. Now luckily there was a 12 seater passenger van that pulled up just up the road letting off their last passenger from Manila, so the driver was quite happy to go back to Gasan and pick up the gang for P200 ($4.80 AUS).

Finally at 4:30am the family all arrived a-okay. Beds were sorted in the two cottages and everybody hit the hay for a bit of a sleep-in.

After a latish lunch everybody was off to town and the market. Jonathan and Sarah (the kids) and I hit Google It for some Wi-Fi while the “adults” did some shopping at the market across the road.

It was then back home for a quiet evening ready for our day out tomorrow. And just to welcome the visitors to the island we had a brownout from 4:45pm to 5:30pm (45 minutes).

Wednesday 10th October:

We were greeted by a brownout at 8:00am and it lasted till 6:00am (10-hours).

Up and all ready to go by 9:00am for our day at White Beach on the other side of the island. We meet Ron (Yank) on the road at 9:00am and all piled into his pickup. Five adults in the front with the remaining four in the tray on the back.

At 10:00am ish we finally arrived at White Beach and I must say it was good to get out of sitting in the tray on the pickup.

The kids had a great time swimming and then they hire a plastic kayak for a couple of hours and cruised along the beach with one of the local boys giving them a guided tour (All three on the Kayak).

We were the only people at the beach so had it all to ourselves. Lunch was going to be back in Torrijos but one of the local store vendors organized for the food to be delivered to us at the beach.

So it worked out extremely well that we spent the day at the beach, food included. At 3:00pm we all pilled back into Ron’s pickup and made our way home. The first 5km were a bit wet for us in the back but once we got going, it was okay as the rain was deflected over us by the cab.

Back home and still a brownout. So we sat in the Nipa hut waiting as we heard it was supposed to come back on at 5:00pm. Luckily it came back on at 6:00pm, but I must admit it had us worried for a while there that we may have to go all night with no power.

Thursday 11th October:

Cherry here for the washing and cleaning this morning.

Following a breakfast of pancakes and Maple syrup I escorted the gang into the Gasan market and Google IT. Nida, one of Guy’s sisters, wanted to book online domestic air ticket to join her husband (who went ahead with their son while Nida spend time in Marinduque) next week to go to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. She tried a few days ago but got stuck when she needed an SMS text security number for her credit card and her phone wasn’t on roaming. She’s from Australia.

So this time we went back with my credit card and we couldn’t get through on the Cebu Air website no matter what we tried. Ooohhhhh she will have to wait till she’s back in Manila tomorrow and got to a travel agent.

They all went back home while Jonathan (12 years old) and I stayed on at Google IT. After an hour we caught the Jeepney back home for lunch.

Ailyn also arrived at 10:00am for Guy’s and Nida’s (Guy’s sister) massage. They each had a 1-hour massage.

After lunch we all made our way to the Hot Springs for an afternoon in the hot and slightly cooler pools. Home at 5:30pm for our last evening together as they all leave for Manila tomorrow morning.

I finished reading my 65th book of the year “Outpost Earth” by Randy Caba (Kindle Book). About Alien babies, Alien space ships and Roswell (Another explanation on what happened). Not a good read and an unfinished finish.

Friday 12th October:

Up at 4:30am to get the gang ready for a 6:00am pickup by a door to door 10 seater van that was organized last night. These vans operate on the island and will pick you up at your front door and deliver you to your front door in Manila. For a price of course

But they do provide a good service if you want the door to door delivery. We are lucky that the bus JAC Liner bus depot is just round the corner from Guy’s Mum’s and Sister’s house.

Once they all left it was time for a well deserved early siesta after three days of eight people in the cottage. It was great to have them all here and show them our little piece of paradise.

After lunch it was a quick trip into Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Once back home it was rubbish burn up time along with a beach clean up as well.

I finished reading my 66th book of the year “77 Days In September” by Ray Gorham (Kindle Book). It’s a great read about a guy (Kyle) and a terrorist nuclear bomb that is exploded high up in the atmosphere over America, which emits an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) that destroys everything electrical and nothing else.

Kyle is caught halfway across America and the story is of his walk back to his home in Montana and his wife and three kids. It also tells of the trials and tribulations that she and the kids go through waiting for him.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 967 of retirement

October 6, 2012

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Hi All

Saturday 29th September:

John (Pom) called in for a chat and drop off a DVD series on some Shakespeare. More for Guy than me I’m afraid.

At 10:30am I made my way to Gerald’s for a chat with a guy who is setting up a local TV station on Marinduque. He is very interested promoting the outdoor activities Gerald and I participate in to the locals and tourists.

The aim would be to take the small film crew on some of our walks and show them the island that people don’t normally see. The guy is a local pastor so the aim of the station is to combine local tourism with some salvation as well.

Gerald and I are happy to help out with the tourism side of things to promote the island.

Guy off to Mahjong at 11:30am. After lunch I picked up Arthur (Aussie) from just down the road and we made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. After about an hour he left after catching up with his family at the market.

On the way home I stocked up on fresh Lansones and Rambutans.

Sunday 30th September:

The Thunder Monster got a wipe over and chain adjustment this morning, as she was still quite clean from no rain riding this week.

Guy off to Mahjong at 10:00am and I made my way to Google IT just after 11:00am prior to the expat gathering at midday.

A good crowd at the expat gathering again today. Then home at 4:30pm to watch the MotoGP race at Aragon, Spain. Great to see Danny Pedrosa take the win.

Monday 1st October:

Up early for the early morning walk with Gerald. We headed back to the creek up from the cottage to explore another spur we found. But alas the track we found ran out and the jungle was too thick to bush bash through. So we retraced our tracks back home.

After a nice refreshing shower and breakfast it was off to the market for some supplies for the next few days as we are off to Manila on Thursday.

Lunch was followed by a little siesta and then off to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Guy to Skype the family in Canberra.

Tuesday 2nd October:

A leisurely morning as we didn’t need to go to the market today. We got stocked up with supplies yesterday, so all good.

I dropped Guy off to Mahjong at midday and swung past the local ATM and surprise surprise it was working. So got some more cash to pay the rent before we go to Manila Thursday.

At 2:00pm I rode into Google IT for some Wi-Fi. At 3:00pm a big afternoon rainstorm hit brining with it a lovely brownout. So I packed up and rode home in the drizzle after the main storm had passed.

The power came back on at 7:00pm (4-hours off).

Wednesday 3rd October:

Cherry here this morning for the washing and cleaning. Ailyn was due at 10:00am but texted to say she would be late and could be there at 1:00pm ish. As I had nothing planned it suited me, as it is my massage day today.

We had Cherry and Ailyn come a day early this week as we are off to Manila tomorrow.

After my massage, I did a run into Google IT for some quick Wi-Fi. The afternoon rainstorm hit once again so I waited it out and rode home in the drizzle with a quick detour to fill the Thunder Monster with gas.

Thursday 4th October:

The Thunder Monster got her wash and wax this morning after a dirty week. There has been some road works going on between the cottage and Gasan, which has resulted in dirt being left all over the road.

With the afternoon rainstorms it has created a nice little swamp to ride through hence the Thunder Monster’s being very and muddy. But she scrubbed up okay and is back to her usual shiny self. She is now parked inside the cottage for a bit of a holiday while we are in Manila till next week.

At 3:30pm we made our way to the road to flag down the JAC Liner bus, which will get us all the way to Manila via the Ro-Ro from Cawit Port.

At 5:00pm the JAC Liner bus finally arrived and off we went.

The 3-hour Ro-Ro trip was pretty good with only a little swell. Guy and I managed to get a little sleep as the boat wasn’t very full. We left Lucena Port (On the mainland) at 11:30pm and arrived in Manila at 3:30pm which was one of the quickest trips (4-hours) that we have done. Traveling in the middle of the night helps.

We both managed some sleep on the bus, so all good.

Friday 5th October:

We hit the sack by 3:45pm and slept till 7:30am. After a shower and some breakfast we headed for the Land Transport Office (LTO) to see if we could get our drivers license plastic cards. The LTO is only 500m from Guy’s sister’s place Beth, where we are staying.

After a few trips round several buildings we found our paper work from the island had arrived and we had the originals. Our first stop was window 11 and the man there told us where to go, who to see and what to ask for, after having done photocopies of our licenses, and going where we need to go, It was back to the window 11 again, the guy there will know us personally after today, submitted our paper work and waited. At 10:30am he called us over and told us to come back at 4:00pm for our licenses.

We headed off to the Ali Mall, (Only about 3km from Beth’s place) to get our TAG watches fixed at the Philippines TAG service centre. Now as it stands, Guy and I have two TAG watches each. This time around we needed to get three of them serviced with batteries, seals and cleaned.

I think they saw us coming and with what they wanted to charge us to do all three, I could go out and buy a very nice new Seiko, for example. So we have bitten the bullet and will be retiring two TAG watches and only maintaining one each.

At 3:30pm we arrived back at the LTO and our licenses were ready to be picked up. So now when I arrive back in AUS I can hire a car with no worries with my Filipino license as my AUS one has expired (I will renew it while I am there though).

From there we cabbed it to our local Mall and hung out there till 6:30pm. We did our luxury goods shopping for the island just before we left.

We then had a bit of a family reunion at Guy’s mum’s place with Guy’s sisters from New Zealand and Australia arriving back from their mall trip. They are here for a couple of weeks and may visit us on the island.

They are all here for Guy’s mum’s 80th birthday party which is on tomorrow.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy