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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