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Sunday 14th February:
Huge happy Valentine’s Day to my beautiful wife Guy Kloeden. And happy 6th wedding anniversary for today. Been an awesome adventure with many many more to come. xxooxx
We wandered down to a local restaurant and had a yummy lunch. After lunch it was rest time before heading out of town to see John (The Pom).
John was holding a party for all the locals that live round him. He supplies food and entertainment with prizes for activities.
With Guy’s help he organized a 3-legged race, a sack race and an egg throwing competition. It was hilarious watching the locals who have never heard of these activities trying to participate. But they loved it.
It was like herding cats. But everybody had a ball and got into the spirit of things.
Monday 15th February:
Went caving today at the Bagumbungan caves with Gerald (Pom). It’s actually an underground river system 1.2km in length.
We had a guide Virginia (Owns the land/cave) and explored large cathedrals, climbed up waterfalls, squeezed through slots and crawled through a 700mm tunnel half full of water (so just your head was out of the water) at the end.
The diversity of the structures in the cave was amazing along with the animals that live in total darkness. We saw fish, crabs, shrimp, worms and other furry creatures on the walls. Ooohhh and of course lots of Bats.
The most amazing thing I saw was a coconut deep in the cave system growing in total darkness with albino leaves. It was about 2 feet high.
We made it out very wet, dirty and tired. Virginia had lunch ready for us (A local chicken and Papaya dish) once we hiked back from the end of the cave system (30 minute hike). Very yummy. I shall sleep well tonight.
Guy was at the office (Mahjong).
Tuesday 16th February:
I did a quick trip to Boac and the Boac Hotel to get some fast WiFi to post the blog. WiFi in Gasan is okay for Facebook & Email but not much else.
After lunch Guy was off to the office (Mahjong again….) and I went to see John (Pom) and Patnalin (Thai). Patnalin is a Thai massage specialist so I availed my self of one of her massages.
I was a little stiff and sore from caving yesterday so it was quite a work out but ooohhh so good after.
Wednesday 17th February:
Lazy morning. Ron dropped in for a chat and a coffee. Then we all piled into his pickup and he took us to his nephew’s farm where he farms pigs, chickens, goats and other animals that stray in.
At midday Guy and I made our way to Buenavista to a very nice little restaurant – Curba Grill, just out of town where we caught up with John (Pom) and Patnalin (Thai).
We used to go there when were here last and always got a great meal. It didn’t disappoint this time.
Thursday 18th February:
Massage morning this morning with Ailyn. Guy was first from 9:00am to 11:00am and I followed from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
While Guy was having her massage I washed John’s Thunder Monster ready to hand back tomorrow.
After Lunch Guy was off to the office (Mahjong) and I went cruising along the coast for one last time to snap some pics of our little piece of paradise. The island was kind enough to present a beautiful sunset for the last evening here.
Friday 19th February:
After coffee/tea with Ron, Guy and I had our last manicure/pedicure. I must say I like the pampering and it is amazing what she can do with my old fingers and toes. They feel like new again.
John (Pom) dropped by to pick up his Thunder Monster and to say his goodbyes. Guy was off to the “office” for one last Mahjong session before we leave.
At 6:00pm our Door to door van turned up. These guys run a Toyota type passenger van and will pick you up at your doorstep and deliver you to your destination on the mainland. It’s more convenient than the bus.
As we were meeting at Gigi’s (Guys batch mate) resort, (under construction) which is south of Manila, these guys will drop us off at the front gate.
The RoRo was nice and smooth (3.25 hour trip) so all good. As there weren’t many people on the RoRo we had a whole 4-person bench seat each so were able to lie down and snooze.
Mina and Didit (A fellow Mahjong player) also joined us in the van as they were going to Manila.
Saturday 20th February:
We arrived at Gigi’s place (South of Manila) at 2:30am (The boys let us in after a call from Guy) and then crashed till 8:00am.
We had a leisurely morning by the pool with Guy and Gigi catching up. At lunch time the rest of the gang turned up and started cooking.
We had a Boodle (Pronounced Boo-dal) feast. It comes from the military where you lay out a long table with banana leaves and place food on it (Crabs, Prawns, Fish, Pork, Vegetables and Rice). This is done at night. You then turn out the lights and feel for your food and eat it with your fingers only.
We dispensed with the darkness but all stood by the table and using our fingers only, gorged ourselves on yummy fresh food.
I managed to have an afternoon siesta as the travel last night caught up with me with Guy catching up with old friends.
Sunday 21st February:
Guy finally made it to bed round 4:30am after a looonnggg session with the girls.
Were up at 7:00am and off to Tagaytay Highlands Country Club for the day, which is south west of Manila and is well known locally for the Taal volcano in the middle of a large lake.
Aura was able to get all 12 of us in this high-end country club for lunch and afternoon tea.
The country club has a golf course on top of a mountain (Where we had lunch with impressive views of the volcano & lake) and also a golf course at the foot of the mountain. You can drive between the courses or take the funicular train. Very impressive.
On the other side of the mountain is a huge resort/swimming pool complete with a cable car to get you from the top to the bottom. We drove down this time for afternoon tea.
It was then back to Gigi’s resort to collect our bags and off to Manila with Gigi. We are staying in an apartment in Makati which is owned by Gigi’s business partner as we fly out tomorrow for Sydney.
Monday 22nd February:
Bit of a sleepin then a quick trip to the mall. Back by midday and thanks to Gigi’s driver we made it to the airport in plenty of time for the trip home.
The plane was 30 minutes late loading and then we sat on the tarmac for another 45 minutes due to rush hour at Manila Airport.
Tuesday 23rd February:
Nice smooth flight and Qantas made up some of the lost time so we arrived only half an hour late.
As we brought back some nuts and Pulvoron (Dairy product) we declared them at customs. They put our bags through the scanner and all good so we could go.
Home and a shower, nana nap and a “real” cup of tea. A lazy day was spent as we unpacked and started the clothes washing. Going to be a few loads as Jordan has a heap as well. He “survived” for the 3 weeks while we were away.
Life is good.
Trevor & Guy.