Day 1142 of retirement

March 30, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 23rd March:

John (Pom) arrived at 9:00am to pick up the Thunder Monster. It was a little sad moment to see her go out the gate. But she is going to a good home.

Then back to the packing. We had it pretty much all done by midday so we caught a Jeepney into town for a lunch treat at the Barbarossa.

Back home and we sealed off the three plastic barrels that we are leaving here and John is storing for us. At 3:00pm the Door to Door van arrived and loaded all our gears (2 large duffel bags & a carry on). As it was too early to board the van (The Ro-Ro only leaves at 8:00pm) we told the driver we will meet him at Cawit Port later in the day.

Geoff (Pom) dropped in to say goodbye and Gerald text to say bon voyage. At 4:00pm we said our goodbye to Yolanda (a little sad moment leaving the cottage) and headed for our last visit to Google IT to post the blog before heading off to the port.

We made our way to the port at 5:30pm and caught up with our van driver. As it turns out there were only three passengers including us so we had plenty of room to stretch out.

The Ro-Ro left at 8:15pm and arrived in Lucena at 11:30pm. The Ro-Ro was pretty empty as well so we each got a bench plastic seat that we could stretch out on and lay down. We both got a couple of hours sleep on our makeshift beds.

Then into the van for Manila.

Sunday 24th March:

As we were the first to be dropped off by the van we had our quickest trip ever to Manila (Two hours). We were at Beth’s house by 2:30am and off to bed. We arose at 9:15am after having a good sleep. After breakfast it was time to pack and re-pack once again.

We worked for five solid hours and got all our stuff into:

  • 4 Door to Door boxes to go back to AUS
  • 1 big box of stuff to leave here at Beth’s place in Manila
  • 2 large duffle bags as our check in baggage on Wednesday

Back on Marinduque we have 3 plastic tubs with kitchen stuff so this is all our worldly belongings. And it is still too much stuff. We will cull some more of this stuff when we get back to AUS.

At 3:00pm we were both bushed so a later afternoon siesta was in order and man it was good getting that little nap.

A quiet evening just pottering and sorting through the last few things.

Monday 25th March:

Up and off to Immigration this morning to sort out my exit permit and how being out of the country for an extended period could effect my ACR (Residency) Card.

I paid P2,880 ($70.00 AUS) for an exit permit which is good for 12 months. When it is due again Jerry (Guy’s brother) can pay to have it extended for another 12 months on my behalf.

So provided I pay each year’s fee and make it back before my ACR Card expires in 2017 I retain my Filipino residency. So all good.

We then made our way to Greenhills Mall to get some more DVD’s for Jo and Jordan (They sent a list). While waiting for our “regular” DVD suppliers to go through the list we browsed iPhone’s in Phone Central in the Mall.

I was looking for an iPhone 4s 16GB. The sellers were quoting about $450 AUS for a “new” phone.

We got quite interested in one so took the serial number to an Apple shop round the corner and got them to run the number through the Apple system.

Turns out the iPhone is a Korean build and the warranty had expired. Which leads to the phone being a re-packaged second hand phone.

Needless to say we dropped it like a hot potato and left with no iPhone. As they say “If it sounds too good to be true……”.

Back home early afternoon and back to packing. We did a repack and managed to get our Door to Door AUS boxes down from 4 to 3 boxes. This leaves 1 ½ boxes of stuff left here at Beth’s for our return.

In bed for an early-ish night as it has been a busy day.

Tuesday 26th March:

Up at 8:00am as the Door to Door freight people are scheduled to pick up our AUS boxes between 8:00am and 11:00am. They finally arrived at midday and carted off our 3 boxes of gear for AUS. Just have to get it all through customs back in AUS now…..

Then off to the mall for one last time and Shakey’s Mo Jo’s for lunch. After lunch we wandered and found some very comfortable neck pillows for our journey. We have some old blow up ones but they were not so good any more.

Then a long spell reading in Starbucks with a Chai Latte for me and Hot Chocolate for Guy. Very relaxing.

The final stop was the supermarket in the Microwave oven section. Guy’s Mum’s microwave blew up end of last year so they have been without it for many months. So we bought her a new one as a parting gift.

Back home and ready for the final duffle bag to be packed in the morning. We have one done and it is a bit over weight (23.5kg) so we shall see how we go at the airport.

Wednesday 27th March:

Up and had a leisurely breakfast. Packed the last few things in the box we are leaving here and then the final duffle bag pack and weigh in.

We are 13kg over our limit all up. I distributed the excess over our four bags (2 checking and 2 carry on). So off to the airport we went at 10:30am. We arrived at 11:30am, lined up and got to checking in just after 12 noon.

They weighed our two duffle bags and Guy’s carry on (Prior to check in) but not my backpack as I was wearing it. And they waved us through. Bonus as in no excess charges.

The plane was an hour late leaving for KL. KL is much the same as Singapore airport. We arrived at the main terminal and had to catch the sky train to Terminal A for our onward flight to Sydney.

We originally had a 4-hour layover so now back to 3.5-hours so still all good. We arrived in KL at 7:30pm and the first stop was a noodle place for a good Laksa and noodle curry soup. It was the best Laksa I have ever had. It was listed as mild but by AUS standards it was medium +.

We then found a Starbucks and had a Black Tea Latte, which was very nice after the hot Laksa.

Back on the plane to Sydney and away at 11:00pm.

Thursday 28th March:

A smooth flight where we both managed to get some sleep. At 9:30am we arrived in Sydney along with all out luggage. We loaded up the Thrifty hire car and off to Forestway (North of the city) to catch up with Jordan (Guy’s son) and Carly (Girlfriend) for lunch. It was great to see them so soon after our Xmas visit.

Sadly they are working on Saturday so won’t be joining us in Canberra this weekend. But they start school holiday in two weeks so we will organize a few days when they are free for another Canberra trip to see Jo, Dave and Zali.

Off to Canberra at 1:00pm to beat the Easter traffic leaving Sydney. It wasn’t too bad (a couple of bottle necks) but once we were out of the city on the freeway it was fine.

I did count eight Police radar speed traps between Sydney and Canberra. It is double demerit points off your license if you’re caught speeding for the Easter weekend. The cruise control worked well as we cruised on the speed limit.

We arrived in Canberra at 4:30pm for a leisurely Easter with Jo, Dave and Zali.

We were both pretty bushed after some 26-hours of Planes, Trains and Automobiles so crashed early.

Friday 29th March:

Man did we sleep like logs last night. We only woke up ay 11:30am so got a great night’s sleep. A very leisurely day trying to keep up with Zali. She’s 8 months old and mobile (Crawling) now so we were kept rather busy.

Early afternoon I went for a walk into Belconnen and found the street full of car lots. I had a wander round and looked at used cars. The rest of the afternoon and evening I spent searching carsales.com for a suitable car in our budget and options range in Canberra.

I found a very promising Mazda and arrange an inspection for tomorrow morning.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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Day 1135 of retirement

March 23, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 16th March:

A leisurely morning breakfast was had. Then it was off to Google IT for some Wi-Fi for us both and to post the block. Back home for lunch and some afternoon reading as it is a little hot and humid today.

Guy off to an evening session of Mahjong at 4:45pm just as we had a brownout. The power was back on at 5:45pm.

I finished reading my 15th book of the year “61 Hours : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). A great mystery murder set in the back blocks of the USA.

Sunday 17th March:

Our last leisurely Sunday morning having breakfast on the veranda watching the world go by. We read for a while and then spent an hour practicing our Bridge bidding ready for Wednesday’s game.

The Thunder Monster missed her wash and wax this morning. Due to all the road works that are either dusty or muddy (after the water truck has been by) it just wasn’t worth it for now.

She will get a good clean on Friday when I hand her over to John and Yolanda as we leave on Saturday for Manila (stage one of the trip back home).

At midday I made my way to the Barbarossa for the final expat gathering and Guy was off to an afternoon / evening Mahjong game.

We had the usual gathering at the Barbarossa today. I must say that I will miss my Sunday afternoon expat gatherings where we solve all the problems of the world. OOhhhh well we will be back before we know it in a few years’ time.

Monday 18th March:

Up and off to Boac again today to try and complete the registration change on the Thunder Monster. We arrived with ALL the paper work only to be told that Yolanda has to purchase the third party insurance. We can’t transfer ours across.

So no go. Ooohhh well we will hand all the paper work over to John (Pom & Husband) so they can now complete the process. Normally the buyer does this transfer anyway so we were doing it just to help John out.

Then after a light lunch at Good Chow (As it is air-conditioned) we made our way to the dentist.

Guy had two fillings and a clean and I had a clean. Total cost was P2,450 ($61.00 AUS). A clean is P600 ($15.00 AUS) and she does a really good job. Most of the westerners here go to this lady dentist as she is good and doesn’t over charge.

Then we made our way to the Adis Resort just outside of Boac to meet up with Aura (Guy’s best friend from school) and Phillip (Husband) for dinner. They are from Manila but Phillip went to school here. He is here to speak to the current graduating class at his old school as he was chosen as the most successfull alumni last year.

They are friends with the owners of the resort who where there also. So a big feast was cooked up for dinner and enjoyed by all.  The resort is almost brand new as buildings are added little bit by little  bit and the location is very good.  Suitable for day trippers as there are numerous huts for rent and half a dozen rooms for overnighters.

I finished reading my 16th book of the year “Worth Dying For : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). A good murder mystery once again.

Tuesday 19th March:

Up early and off for my last hike with Gerald and Manny. We made our way up to Meadow Peak first for a last look over Mount Malindig and the coast. Then we hiked across to Bilog Peak for a last look over the interior of the island.

We covered a nice steady 10km and made it back by 9:00am before it got too hot and humid although it was pretty humid back in the boondocks. We got quite a sweat up.

I will miss my hikes with the gang.

After a refreshing shower I did a market run and bought some ready cooked food so we don’t have to cook while we sort out our stuff over the next three days.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday for another late evening game. After a little siesta I hit Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Jo (Guy’s daughter) sent through some more second hand car sales and we are looking good to get what we want.

I also printed off our tickets and hire car booking info for AUS and a document for John (Pom) on the satellite TV as he is taking it.

At 4:30pm I was back at Gerald’s. I took him down to the block and showed him the fencing and the boundary markers as he is going to keep an eye on the place while we are gone.

He only lives about 1.5km up the road from the block so handy for him and us.

I finished reading my 17th book of the year “Second Son : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). This a short story about Jack when he was a boy growing up with his Mum, Dad and Brother Joe.

Wednesday 20th March:

Up and off to Terry’s (Welsh) at 9:00am for our last meeting of the Marinduque Bridge Club. When we arrived, we found Terry with some major plumbing problems in his house.

So sadly the bridge game had to be called off. We meet John (Pom) on the road on the way home and managed to stop him and give him the sad news. He came back to the cottage and we had a cup of tea and a chat under the Nipa Hut in the cool ocean breeze.

At 10:30am after John left, we caught a trike into town with our empty water containers (filtered drinking water) and a gas bottle. We dropped the water containers off and got our container refund and then the gas bottle.

But it looks like we will not get a refund for the gas bottle so we left it at the gas depot anyway as we have no use for it.  John is buying our other spare bottle.

At 11:30am we meet Ron (Yank) and Vicki (Wife and fellow Mahjong player with Guy) for lunch in the Barbarossa for some farewell burgers and chips.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong with Vicki and Ron dropped me back home.

I managed a nice little siesta before we had a brownout at 1:45pm. The power was back on at 5:00pm (3 ¼ hours).

I spent the afternoon emptying cupboards and wardrobes and organizing the stuff into various heaps depending on what we are doing with it. I also did a burn up of a heap of rubbish I had collected and took some recyclables (Tin & glass) down to the road.

I have a spot on the road where I leave this stuff and it is gone within minutes as the locals collect the containers and re-use most of them or sell them to the junk collectors.

Once the power was back on I did a quick trip into Google IT for some Wi-Fi to check emails.

Thursday 21st March:

Cherry here at 8:00am for her final wash and clean. She got a nice bonus today. She will be back Saturday as we are giving her most of our left over food and our big fan.

John (Pom) arrived at 9:00am for the hand over of the Thunder Monster spare parts and service history and when she is due again. He will pick up the Thunder Monster on Saturday, our leaving day.

At 9:30am Guy was off to see Rose (Hairdresser by the market) for a cut and colour. At 10:30am, after John left, I made my way to see Rose as well for a nice short haircut (P60 ($1.50 AUS)), which will last me a while.

Guy was off to Mahjong after her cut and colour and I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi.

Back home for lunch and a little siesta. Geoff (Pom) dropped in to say goodbye mid afternoon. I then rode back into town and caught up with Gil (Local) to say goodbye to him. Gil and I have some great old chats as he is an artist and loves the art of photography.

Back home and started the packing.

I started by sorting our stuff into piles:

  • Stay on the island, in storage on the island with John (Pom)
  • Give away to locals (Food mainly & other stuff (Fan, DVD, Rice cooker, shoes, etc.))
  • Take back to Manila (Leave there at Guy’s sisters for our return)
  • Take back to AUS (Take with us on the plane or Door to Door freight service to AUS)
  • Rubbish to burn

We are getting good at this…..

Finished up the evening watching American Idol.

Friday 22nd March:

Ailyn arrived at 8:00am for Guy’s last 2-hour massage. Then we had a little brownout from 8:00am to 9:00am just to remind us of what we are leaving behind……

I gave the Thunder Monster her last wash and wax as John is picking her up tomorrow. It will be sad to see her go as we have had some great rides together.

Once Guy’s massage was finished we rode into town for some Wi-Fi at Google it. At 11:30am I dropped Guy off for her last day / evening of Mahjong.

I spent the rest of the day sorting and packing our gear into the appropriate bags and containers.

I finished up doing two incinerator burns of rubbish plus a run down to the road with the glass and metal containers for the locals to use or sell to the junk collectors.

Everything fitted where it was supposed to so quite happy that we haven’t collected too much stuff over the last three years.

Guy arrived at 6:00pm with three of her Mahjong mates. They were here to pick up the booty consisting of stuff from the house we are giving away (food, alcohol, rice cooker, DVD player).

I finished reading my 18th book of the year “The Affair : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). A good read about Jack back when he was an MP still in the military.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 1128 of retirement

March 16, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 9th March:

Busy day today. At 9:00am I rode up to our block to see Yolanda and her six workers as they’re clearing and fencing our block. We ran through what to do and I then left them to it.

Back home and at 10:30am I was off to the Hiking Association of Marinduque (HAM) Club meeting at Gil’s in town. There were four of us there today (Gerald, Manny, Gil and me). The main discussion was around the Moriones Festival at Easter time and getting some banners (with our photos) to display in Gil’s place promoting hiking on Marinduque.

Early afternoon and after lunch at Gil’s, I made my way to Google IT to post the blog and update the HAM blog with last Thursday’s hike to Butterfly Falls.

Late afternoon it was back to our block to see how the boys were progressing. They are doing a great job and I reckon that with clearing and fencing (Bamboo fence) our 2,908sqm we should get it all done for less than P10,000 ($250 AUS). This equates to about 9-10 days works. We pay each worker P200 ($5.00 AUS) per day, which includes food (This is a top rate for here).

Guy was playing a late Mahjong game so an evening to myself with some reading to catch up on.

And just to keep me on my toes we had a brownout from 6:15pm to 7:15pm (1-hour).

I finished reading my 12th book of the year “Nothing To Lose : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). Another great mystery read that had me guessing right up till the end.

Sunday 10th March:

The Thunder Monster got her usual wash and wax this morning. She was rather dusty and a bit muddy from all the road works (Ripping up bitumen road and replacing with a concrete road) happening between town and us.

At 11:00am I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and then at midday hit the Barbarossa for the expat afternoon gathering.

Guy was off to Mahjong at midday and played another late one into the evening.

Monday 11th March:

Ailyn here at 9:30am for Guy’s 2-hour massage. I did a run to the block to see the work the boys were doing. But they weren’t there so back to the cottage and caught up with Yolanda on their whereabouts. They are back in the hills cutting bamboo for the fence today so all good.

We were supposed to be going to the Dentist in Boac this afternoon but she text to say she was off sick. She will text us when she is well again so we can get our teeth done (Guy 2 fillings & me a clean) before we leave the island.

Midday and Guy off to Mahjong and another late one. I hit Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Back home and some more reading.

I finished reading my 13th book of the year “The Day of the Jackal” by Frederick Forsyth (Kindle Book). A great read set in the early 60’s about an assassination attempt against President General Charles de Gaulle of France. As it was in the 60’s there are no computers, no satellites, no drones and no mobile phones. All the investigation was good old-fashioned legwork and paper trails.

Tuesday 12th March:

After a leisurely breakfast on the veranda I made my way to the block to see how the boys are going with the boundary fencing. They are progressing well and have started the actual fence on the long side.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong and I was back at the block “supervising” the fencing.

At 6:00pm I meet Guy at Gil’s Restaurant where there was a gathering for dinner. Gerald and Manny have a tourist operator (Called Briggs) from Manila here for a few days showing him round as he is looking at putting packages together for Marunduque.

These tours include looking at local attractions and also some caving, scuba diving and hiking for the more adventurous. They had also organized a Putong and a Kalutang welcome ceremony for the visitors.

Putong is a group who sing a welcome and you get crowned as part of the celebration. Kalutang is a group who play a welcome tune with only “tuned” sticks that each give off a separate pitch.

A great night was had by all.

Wednesday 13th March:

Up and off to the Marinduque Bridge club gathering at Terry’s (Welshman) place down the road from us. Terry and John were the winners today. We will have our last gathering next Wednesday so Guy and I planning our revenge so we can leave the island winners.

At midday on the way home we called into the block to see the fencing work by the boys. Bern was there and had Yolanda railed up. We rescued her from Bern as he is still disputing the land boundary. So once again Guy and I explained it all to him and once again he had to agree we were right.

After lunch I dropped Guy off at Mahjong at 2:00pm for a late game. I stopped at Google IT for some quick Wi-Fi.

Then back home, dropped off my gear and off to see Gerald. I had a good chat to him about Bricks’ (Travel agent from Manila) visit and some tourism possibilities for the island, hiking included.

We had a little brownout from 9:00pm to 9:30pm.

I finished reading my 14th book of the year “Gone Tomorrow : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). Another great read about politics and espionage from the past.

Thursday 14th March:

Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for my 2-hour massage. After lunch and a bit of a rest for us both I made a trip into the market for some Pork spare ribs for dinner tonight and tomorrow.

Late afternoon Guy and I made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi. Guy then walked over to house number 3 for an evening Mahjong game.

I was back home for my adobo dinner and tonight’s American Idol episode.

Friday 15th March:

Up and off to Boac (22km away) today to complete the Thunder Monster’s transfer of ownership to Yolanda (John’s (Pom) wife at the Land Transport Office (LTO). We got there at 9:30am with “all” our paper work (5 documents) only to be told we were missing a 6th document of Yolanda’s details.

The guy gave us the document required and all we need to do is get her to fill it out. In the mean time we went to see the Highway Police (HP) about 2km out of town, as you have to get a clearance from them to sell the bike to say that it isn’t stolen.

When we arrived there we discovered that we didn’t have enough photocopies of the 5 documents (They want 2 copies and you need one for the LTO) so luckily there was a Xerox machine in a shop across the road (Catering for folks like us).

The highway police check is a two-part thing. Firstly we had the bike photographed and the serial number stenciled all for the cost of P300. Then off to the next HP office where the actual check takes place and two more fees are payable.

With the first payment you have to go back into Boac to the Land Bank and pay P300 at the bank and get their receipt. Back to the HP with the receipt and the check is done and clearance issued. Then the second payment of P500 is paid there to the police then and there for the clearance document.

All this took us just over 2 hours. So now all we need to do is get Yolanda to fill out her form and then back to the LTO on Monday to complete the process. Hopefully….

We dropped in to see the dentist but she was still off sick. Guy then got a text from her that she will be back on deck on Monday so Guy is booked in for her fillings and me for my clean in the afternoon after the LTO visit in the morning.

After lunch Guy was off to Mahjong (Another evening session) and I went back up to the block to photograph the fence and all the boundary markers, just to be sure.

Bern was there working on his land and we had the same conversation once again and he got the same answer once again. While we are back in AUS Yolanda and Gerald (Who lives only 1km away) will keep a lookout for us just to make sure all is good.

We had a short brownout from 3:00pm to 3:30pm (1/2 hour).

At 5:00pm I joined Yolanda and the boys for Friday night’s drinks. I gave Yolanda some cash to buy the boys some nice food and a 4 litre jug of the local hooch to thank them for the work they did at the block.

The food was awesome. It was Pork barbecue, Pork Dinuguan (Pork cooked in blood), Octopus, Fish & snails and Pancit. I ate all the food but passed on the local hooch. The boys got me to try a bit and had a great laugh when they saw the screwed up look on my face. Not for me.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 1121 of retirement

March 9, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 2nd March:

We had a very leisurely morning sitting on the front veranda, reading. Guy was off to Mahjong at midday for a late game.

After lunch and a siesta I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and post the blog. Late afternoon I dropped the MacBook off at the cottage and made my way to our block.

I marked all our boundary survey pegs with tape as we are getting Yolanda’s (Landlord) boys to use some of the bamboo on the property and fence it off for us. This will ensure nobody squats on our land while we are back in AUS. Yolanda will also keep an eye on the property for us as well.

Guy arrived back home at midnight ish.

Sunday 3rd March:

The Thunder Monster got a good wash and wax today after all the dusty and muddy roadworks she had to endure this week.

Then Guy and I were off to Barbarossa for lunch and then a meeting with Bern (German) re our block and a land dispute.

The history of our block purchase is a follows. We bought the land off Laura (Local) who was married to Bern (German). They divorced and she received a portion of land from Bern as part of the settlement. We bought a part of that land from Laura, which is our block.

Laura died last year. So now Bern has come to us and said that part of our block (More than half) is on his land so therefore we don’t own it. Ssssoooo as you can imagine with both Guy and I being Virgos we had all the paper work with the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed.

Bern had a plan that showed that our land was his but it wasn’t certified. We have our certified plan with our land title showing that we do indeed own our land. We also paid a certified surveyor last year to peg our block so that the boundaries from the certified plan are correct.

So after showing Bern all this he conceded that indeed we do own our land and none of it is his.

Case closed………. Or is it????

We are getting Yolanda and her boys to fence the boundaries for us with bamboo from the block and maintain it while we are back in AUS. Just so everybody knows where our boundaries are and ensure no squatters appear.

After the meeting Guy was off to Mahjong and I joined the expat gathering for the afternoon.

I finished reading my 10th book of the year “The Hard Way : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). A good mystery about mercenaries, kidnapping and murder.

Monday 4th March:

No walk today as we have a big one coming up on Thursday.

Ailyn arrived at 10:00am for Guy’s two-hour massage. I rode into the market and got some nice Pork spareribs and snake beans for lunch.

After lunch Yolanda joined us at our block and we ran through the fencing we are getting her boys to do while we are away. Back to the cottage and we grabbed the MacBook and off to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and to Skype Zali and the gang in Canberra.

Tuesday 5th March:

A very leisurely morning with Guy and I sitting on the front veranda enjoying a long breakfast and reading. The weather was overcast so very pleasant and not too humid.

At midday Guy was off to Mahjong and I made my way to Google IT. After my Wi-Fi fix I needed to photocopy some document for the sale of the Thunder Monster to proceed to John (Pom).

And wouldn’t you know it just as we fired up the copier a brownout hit. It was 2:00pm so I hung round for 45 minutes and caught up with Geoff (Pom) for an iced tea in the Barbraossa. Still no power so I decided to do a run to Boac (20km away) and hope that they had power as they usually do even when we don’t.

I arrived in Boac and they had power so I got all my documents photocopied. I arrived back home at 4:00pm and the power was back on, all good.

I finished reading my 11th book of the year “Bad Luck and Trouble : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). Another great read on espionage, murder and mystery.

Wednesday 6th March:

After breakfast I walked up to see Gerald (8km there & back) for a chat and to finalize our hike tomorrow into some new un-explored country. All sorted for tomorrow so all good.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I hit Google IT for some Wi-Fi and spent a couple of hours looking at heaps of info sent to me by family and friends on cars, white goods, mobile phones and broadband plans.

I must say that coming back to AUS is being made just that little bit easier knowing ahead of time what we need, where we can get it and what it will cost.

Back home late afternoon and some more reading in the cool evening was enjoyed.

Thursday 7th March:

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

I had already left for my walk with Gerald and Manny (Left at 5:45am). I walked down the road to the Tabionan turnoff and meet Gerald and Manny there to catch the 6:30am Jeepney (There are only 2 per day to Tabionan) the 8km back into the interior. The aim was to link up the Maapoy (Fire field) walk with the Butterfly Falls walk (In the Caigangan River), which is separated by a rather large ridgeline.

When the Jeepney didn’t turn up we decided to start walking to Tabionan and catch the Jeepney when it came along. Well an hour later and two thirds of the way in the Jeepney finally turned up.

We caught it to Tabionan and meet our two guides there (Ailyn’s husband and one of his friends). We headed off to Maapoy and made good time. Just before Maapoy we turned right and made our way up the steep ridgeline to the top (300m climb). So far so good.

We then picked up the Caigangan River at the very start of the river in which Butterfly Falls are situated further down. As we started to descend we discovered that there are no tracks and we had to make our own. We spent some time in the river (More of a creek at this stage) but came across 3 large waterfalls so had to detour onto the jungle’s steep sides to get round them. We also scrambled down 4 smaller waterfalls (4-6 metres).

So for about 3km we scrambled, slid, slipped, hacked and balanced our way through jungle, landslides and loose rocks. It took us just over 2 hours to cover that 3km so it wasn’t real fast.

But it was awesome fun with a few heart in the mouth moments high up on the escarpment’s sides scrambling.

Finally we made it to Butterfly Falls and the old “resort” (2 Nipa Huts on big rocks in the river), which has been washed away following heavy rains last year during the Typhoon season.

We had a bit of a spell and some snacks there before we walked out to the township of Bagtinjon (Over another ridge) and caught a Trike back to the main road (5km ish). Then we all piled into a Jeepney and got off at our relevant home stops. We only covered 14km ish but we had a hard 6km section so we all were a little shagged.

Our guides did a great job of getting us through the 3km wilderness bit in one piece and we rewarded them with a very nice tip.

Home and Guy had cooked up a pot of vegetable curry. After lunch, some iced tea and a refreshing shower, it was time for a little siesta.

At 4:30pm we headed into town so I could sign the deed of sale at the “JP’s” for the Thunder Monster so I can transfer the registration to John’s (Pom) wife Yolanda. I then dropped Guy off for a late Mahjong game (Till midnight).

It was home for me and time to relax watching American Idol.

Friday 8th March:

I am a little stiff this morning after yesterdays epic hike so an easy day is in order.

After breakfast we made our way to Terry’s (Welshman) place down by our block for a gathering of the Marinduque Bridge Club. Terry is back on the island for a few weeks. He and his wife spend most of their time in their Manila condo and also traveling between England and Canada.

John (Pom) joined us so Terry and John paired up as did Guy and I. It wasn’t our day as Terry and John were the winners today.

After lunch it was siesta time for us both. At 3:00pm we headed to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Skyped Zali and the gang in Canberra. Guy then made her way to Mahjong for an evening game and I relaxed at home watching American Idol eliminations from 20 to 10 (5 guys & 5 girls).

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 1114 of retirement

March 2, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 23rd February:

I had a bit of a sleep-in as Guy was overnighting with the girls. Late morning I headed to the Mall for a wander and to meet Guy there on her return.

I needed an extra link put in my TAG F1 so found the TAG shop and they fixed it for me for P250 ($6.25 AUS). I wandered round the three malls, and then set myself up in Starbucks with a Chai Latte, my Kindle and spent the afternoon in a lounge chair reading.

Guy arrived just after 4:00pm having had only about 1-hour’s sleep for the night so she was a bit bushed. Back to Beth’s and we both crashed by 9:00pm.

Sunday 24th February:

After a bit of a lay in we sorted some more of our stuff into what we will leave here and what we will take back to Australia. Have gone as far as we can for now so just need to do the final pack when we return on the 23rd of March.

We will be sending a few Door to Door boxes back to AUS with the gear we don’t need immediately so all good. They will arrive about 6 weeks after we send them.

Just before lunch we caught a ride to the mall with Beth. After a leisurely lunch we had a stop at the medical supply shop looking for an automatic blood pressure gauge for Guy’s mum. Her old one has given up the ghost.

We caught a cab back to Beth’s, packed our bags and caught a Trike to the JAC Liner Bus depot just round the corner arriving at 3:30pm.

On the bus at 4:00pm and the welcomed air-conditioning. The bus left at 5:30pm and arrived at Lucena Port at 10:30pm. The Ro-Ro left at 12:15am and we arrived on the island at 3:30am. The trip was nice and smooth this time and with not many passengers we got a plastic bench seat each. We both lay down and slept most of the way.

Monday 25th February:

We arrived at the cottage at 4:15am (12.75 hours after leaving Beth’s) to a lovely full moon and a nice cup of tea before bed.

We were up at 7:45am cause Ailyn was due for Guy’s 2-hour massage at 8:00am. She arrived at 9:00am so all good.

I did a trip to the market and got some nice Pork spare ribs which I cooked Adobo style. We had a leisurely afternoon reading with a little longer siesta than normal thrown in after last night’s travel.

I finished reading my 7th book of the year “Without Fail : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). Another great mystery thriller read. I like the Reacher series as each book is totally different from the last and has you guessing right up till the end who’s good and who’s bad.

Tuesday 26th February:

Market day today so we rode into town for some fresh fruit and some more supplies as Guy has an old school friend (And her nephew & his wife) from the USA coming to stay for a few days tomorrow.

Guy off to Mahjong at midday and I made my way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and looking at mobile phones and plans back in AUS.

Late afternoon I dropped into to see Gerald for a chat and a cup of tea. Then on the way home I swung by to see Ron (Yank) as I hadn’t seem him for a few weeks.

Guy played a late nighter’s game till midnight once again.

Wednesday 27th February:

The alarm was set for 3:30am as we got up and waited for the Door to Door van to deliver our visitors (Mayet (From the USA) her nephew Kerwin & his wife Ruth (From Manila)). They finally arrived at 4:15am. After a cup of tea / coffee and a lots of catch up we all went to bed at 5:00am ish.

Cherry came today at 8:00am to do our washing and cleaning.

We all had a bit of a sleep in till 10:00am ish. I did a quick run into the market for some supplies and was greeted by a brownout at 10:15am. The power came back on at 11:30am so all good.

After a leisurely lunch we made our way to the Hot Springs about 15km away and spent the afternoon lazing in the pools. The main pool was only about half full and being filled so it was really clear and the water was “Hot”.

The secondary pool was cold compared to the main pool so it was good plunging into each pool in succession.

Back home at 5:30pm and the girls spent the evening catching up.

I finished reading my 8th book of the year “Persuader : Jack Reacher” by Lee Child (Kindle Book). Another great mystery read in the Reacher series.

Thursday 28th February:

Ailyn arrived at 9:00am for my massage, which I gave up for Mayet to enjoy. Guy and I did a run into the market and bought a 3kg Tuna. One of Yolanda’s workers volunteered to grill it for us for lunch.

He did a great job so along with rice and a couple of veggie dishes we had a great lunch down in the Nipa Hut.

Guy and Mayet spent the afternoon in the Nipa Hut chatting and I pottered round the cottage and did a considerable amount of reading followed by a nice long walk along the beach.

Friday 1st March:

Up at 5:00am and Mayet, Kerwin and Ruth packed and caught the 6:00am Jeepney to Balanacan Port to catch the Ro-Ro back to Lucena and then the bus to Manila. Guy and Mayet only made it to bed round 2:00am so they were a little tired.

At 6:30am Gerald and Manny arrived at the cottage and we did a nice slow 8km loop walk over the ridge and down to the Dawis River and then followed it back to the main road. I arrived back home at 8:30am only to be greeted by a brownout. So I had a nice cool iced tea and the power was back on at 9:45am so a refreshing shower was had.

After lunch and a little siesta we made our way to Google IT for some Wi-Fi and Skype with the gang in Canberra. I’m currently looking at mobile Pre-Paid plans and buying an unlocked phone (iPhone 4s) in AUS. AAAaaahhhhhhh……

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy