Day 988 of retirement

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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

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