Day 205 of retirement

January 7, 2018

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Hi All

Wednesday 27th December:

Nice quiet day after all the festivities. Guy and I went for nice long walk along the beach to start burning up all the calories.

Thursday 28th December:

Time to gather all our belongings together once again and pack the car. Tomorrow we head for Canberra for a few weeks to see the gang there. Then back on the road trip for the next 6 months ish.

Washed and cleaned, the mighty Mazda is ready for the journey.

Friday 29th December:

Left Port Willunga in SA for Hay in NSW and tomorrow onto Canberra ACT to see the grandkids for the new year. (680km & 8 hours (had a few stops)). It started to drizzle after about a 100km and continued all the way to Hay. It actually got quite heavy in the last 100km into Hay. Nice traveling weather.

Arrived at 4:30pm and made our way to the BIG4 park (we are members) for a cabin. This is the first time we have not booked ahead and of course all the cabins were taken (Xmas school holidays).

We found a very nice motel just up the road with a nice big room and as it is just out of the township, it is nice and quiet.

Saturday 30th December:

Left Hay under nice bright skies for Canberra (500km @ 5.5 hours). Had a good run all the way thru. The Police were out in force in NSW as it is double demerits till January 1st.

We arrived to some excited grandkids.

Sunday 31st December:

Quiet day. For lunch Dave and Jo took us into town to a very nice hotel restaurant for lunch. Then back home for our afternoon siesta.

At 8:00pm we made our way into downtown Canberra for the 9:00pm fireworks. We were not disappointed. A great family show.

Back home and we all managed to stay awake for the midnight New Year’s fireworks.

Monday 1st January 2018:

Huge happy New Year you allllll. Here is to all the adventures that 2018 shall bring us all.

Quiet day just chilling with the grandkids.

Tuesday 2nd January:

Busy day today. I broke out the lawn mower and mowed all the lawns as well as moving the trampoline, swings, play gym, bikes and chairs so I could get a complete mow. It has been a long time since I mowed a lawn. I still remember how…….

Also gave the mighty Mazda a good wash and clean and check over. She will have a rest for the next few weeks then back on the road again in mid January.

Wednesday 3rd January:

Quiet day, well as quiet as you can get with two grandkids crawling all over you. I think we will need a holiday in a few weeks after all this activity.

Thursday 4th January:

Aria’s first birthday today. Very relaxing day with a bit of a cake and party for her for dinner. The big day is Saturday where there are 30 odd guests coming and Aria is getting christened as well.

Friday 5th January:

Babysitting duties today as Dave is working and Jo is busy shopping for Aria’s christening/birthday party tomorrow. Finished up with Aria and me asleep together on the couch.

Saturday 6th January:

The big day for Aria’s christening and 1st birthday party. Had 25 ish people over and a great time was had by all. Kids galore so some pretty tired kids and adults tonight.

Sunday 7th January:

Recovery day today as the temperature hits 40C in Canberra. Luckily at 3:00pm ish a thunderstorm came through and cooled things down. It dropped 10C in half an hour. Made the rest of the day quite pleasant.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 194 of retirement

December 26, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 18th December:

Left Menindee for Mildura. Now we had two choices of routes. One was 300km with 130km of dirt road. The other 400km but all sealed road. We took the 400km route, as we didn’t fancy doing the dirt bit in the Mazda.

We arrived in Mildura early afternoon in time for lunch then checked into our luxury cabin and had our afternoon siesta, as it was another scorcher outside.

Tuesday 19th December:

Another scorcher today so off to do the 11:00am paddle steamers cruise. Very interesting 2 hour cruise as we heard all about the old days of steamer boats on the Murray.

Back at 1:00pm and off to Gol Gol for lunch. Just as we arrived the hot north wind hit and it blew a gale (whitecaps on the Murray River). So after lunch it was back to the cabin for our siesta in the hottest part of the day.

At 4:00pm a huge storm hit with thunder and lightning along with pea sized hailstones. Just on 5:00pm as the storm subsided the power went out. Learnt from the park owners that 2,800 homes in Mildura are without power and they hope to have power restored by 9:00pm.

Then the sun came back out it became extremely humid. Ooohhhhh well good training for when we return to Marinduque (brownouts and all).

Wednesday 20th December:

Left Mildura for Renmark (150km) in much cooler conditions this morning. Along the way we visited the Inland Botanical Gardens and Orange World.

The Inland Botanical Gardens has the Sturt Desert Peas in full bloom, which was spectacular. The rose gardens were also in full bloom. Very nice place to visit as it was full of color and the smell of the roses was fabulous.

Next stop just up the road was Orange World. We took a tour of the 10,000 orange tree orchard and heard all about growing oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes and avocados. Also very interesting.

Made it to Renmark by 1:30pm so into town for lunch. Back to our very nice huge cabin and settled in for the afternoon.

Thursday 21st December:

Left Renmark for Port Willunga (our home away from… well no home) in nice cooler conditions (330km @ 4 hours drive). Grabbed a few groceries and lunch then back to the house to unpack the mighty Mazda as we are here for a week.

Guy found a cherry orchard 20 minutes away that allows self-picking of nice plum sweet cherries. So off we went and filled up a bucket and of course sampled a few (well quite a few) cherries. We both felt sick from an over indulgence of cherries.

Gave the mighty Mazda a wash and vacuum, as she was looking a bit rough and eeky after her outback experience. Like new again.

Friday 22nd December:

Leisurely morning as we made our way into Adelaide to the central market. Caught up with my sister Sandy and planned out the food requirements for the next 4 days. All stocked up and back to Port Will for a relaxing afternoon.

Saturday 23rd December:

Lazy day relaxing and eating with a siesta thrown in for good measure. For dinner Guy and I took Sandy & Brian out to the Star of Greece restaurant. Awesome food and view over the beach. After dinner we wandered down to the beach and watched the magnificent sunset.

Sunday 24th December:

After a last minute dash to the supermarket for a few supplies it was off to Second Valley south of Port Willunga to have a look at the geological formations.

A very interesting place with some magnificent geological formations to look at.

Then back to the cherry-picking farm where we picked another bucket of plump, juicy red cherries. Should last us a few days. Back for a late lunch and our afternoon siesta.

Monday 25th December:

Merry Xmas everybody. We had a light lunch with just the four of us as the big Kloeden family gathering is tomorrow. My boys (Rik, Jas & Mike) arrived late afternoon to stay the night so good to see them once again.

Tuesday 26th December:

We spent the morning preparing food ready for our Xmas celebrations at lunchtime. The rest of the family (my brother and crew) arrived at midday and the feast began for all eleven of us.

A great day was had by all.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 184 of retirement

December 17, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 11th December:

Left the magnificent Wilpena Pound for Broken Hill (500km / 5.5 hours). Beautiful countryside and no traffic. After checking into our motel it was off for a late lunch and then into the info centre to plan our next few days. The temperature is climbing to 40oC over the next few days so will need to plan our exploring to work around the heat.

Tuesday 12th December:

Off Silverton way toady with the first stop at the old Day Dream Silver mine. It is 20km on sealed road then 13km on dirt road. The dirt wasn’t too bad and the mighty Mazda handled it well. The old mine is certainly in the middle of nowhere. Amazing how somebody actually found silver right there.

We did the mine tour and heard all the stories of years gone by (The mine is purely a tourist attraction now).

Following the tour we had the best ever (just like my mum used to make) scones, jam and cream (real whipped cream).

Then off to Silverton and visited the Mundi Mundi lookout (looks out over a vast beautiful nothing) and the Umberumberka Reservoir which is now dry. Back to the pub for a cool Coke and a real old fashioned hot dog (just like I used to have as a kid). We decided to stay at this hotel for 1 night to stargaze as we heard this place to be real good for it.

On the way home we detoured to the Sculptures in the Desert for a look. Did a wander round but had to cut it short due to the heat. It was damn hot.

We made our way back for the sunset. Awesome magical and well worth the visit. Although we did get eaten by little black ants. They attacked everybody there so we weren’t alone.

Wednesday 13th December:

In for a scorcher today so only small activities planned. After a sleep in and a load of washing it was off to the Pro Hart gallery. We spent about half an hour watching various video clips of his life and talking about his art works.

Then we wandered round his gallery (No photos allowed) looking at a very good selection of his works throughout the years. It was extremely interesting and we both topped up on culture.

Ooohhhh and it was air-conditioned, so bonus.

After lunch at the local Demos services club we headed to the Silver City Arts Centre. The attraction here is “The Big Picture” which is a 100m long by 12m high circular canvas painting (the largest canvas painting in the world).

Local artist Peter Anderson took 2 years to paint the canvas. He used 9 tonne of paint and added 300 tonnes of red earth and 10 tonnes of rock to make it feel like you are standing in the outback. Very impressive (no photos allowed unfortunately).

Then back to the room to sit out the hottest part of the day. Just checked the temp on BOM and it is 41.6C at 3:00pm.

Thursday 14th December:

Much cooler this morning (42C down to 28C) so a perfect day for a city tour of Broken Hill. Met our guide Milton at 9:00am and once again we were the only clients, so a very personalised tour.

For three hours Milton drove us round the hill and told us of all the history and goings on. Very entertaining.

After lunch we made our way back to the memorial for the miners up on the waste dumps. Very interesting place with great views over the township.

After our afternoon siesta we made our way back to the lookout for sunset. Beautiful sunset as a fitting send off for our last night in Broken Hill.

Friday 15th December:

Left Broken Hill for Silverton (25km) so a very short drive. Before we left Broken Hill we visited the Palace Hotel where some of the movie Priscilla was filmed. Each year in September, Broken Hill have the “Broken Heel” festival, which is a celebration, of all things Priscilla.

The Palace is also an attraction in its own right with all the murals painted on the walls and ceiling in the pub. Very impressive.

On arrival in Silverton we visited the jail museum. Silverton used to have a population of 5,000 with 10 pubs in its heyday. Now it has a population of 40 people, 5 Donkeys, 2,250 Goats and lots of Roos.

After a very yummy country lunch in the one remaining pub, we borrowed the DVD for Mad Max 2 from the pub and watched it as it was filmed just outside of Silverton. Great to see the local landmarks in the movie.

Just on sunset we made our way back to Mundi Mundi lookout for the sunset and stayed on for a few hours to see all the stars come out. It was truly magnificent to see all the stars out with no light pollution from civilization.

Saturday 16th December:

Did you know that the original BHP was founded in Silverton on July 16th 1885. There were seven founding members who formed the new company BHP. Five of these men became very rich as shareholders of BHP.

Left Silverton for Menindee (150km). A quick stop in Broken Hill as we went through to get Internet to update email and Facebook.

Made it to Menindee in time for lunch at the pub. As it was a scorcher outside we settled in the room for the afternoon and managed a nice siesta.

Once things cooled down a bit in the evening we went exploring some of the lakes. Beautiful lakes and rivers with lots of camping facilities.

Sunday 17th December:

After a bit of a sleep-in (and before the heat of the day) it was off to Kinchega national park to see the old Wool shed (20km away & dirt road). With my dad being a sheep farmer I spent many a day working in the shearing shed. Not as big a shed as this one but nonetheless, it brought back fond memories of days gone by.

On the way back to Menindee we followed the Darling River track to the main road. Dirt road all the way but the mighty Mazda handled it well, corrugations, potholes, washaways and all.

Lunch at the pub and settled in the room under the aircon for the afternoon siesta as it is another scorcher out there today.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 177 of retirement

December 10, 2017

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Hi All

Tuesday 5th December:

Quick trip into Adelaide to gather some info on Wilpena Pound and Broken Hill, our next stops.

Called into Chinatown as Guy was looking for her chili crab dish. But alas the restaurant that served it only opens at 5:00pm. So had to settle for Peking duck instead. Still very nice since no chili crab.

Called in to see Sandy (Sister) and Brian (Brolaw) for a quick catch-up before we hit the road on Thursday. Back to Port Willunga in time for an afternoon siesta and some clothes washing.

Wednesday 6th December:

Last day of rest before we hit the road tomorrow. Gave the mighty Mazda a wash and vacuum today. Might be the last one for a while.

Both Guy and I repacked our bags. After 5 months on the road we have been able to cull a little more stuff that we thought we would use but haven’t. Basically we both are living out of a standard suitcase each that holds all our clothes, shoes and toiletries.

It is rather nice living a very simple life out of the car.

Thursday 7th December:

Left Port Willunga for Wilpena Pound (500km). It rained all the way to Port Augusta (350km) then cleared up in the Pound. I was here 42 years ago but don’t remember much. Staying in the resort this time. Camped out last time I was here with a group on motorbikes.

Friday 8th December:

Off wandering round Wilpena Pound today which consisted of a 4×4 tour, visited the Cazneaux tree and hiked into the Arkaroo Rock art site.

Jimmy our local guide on the 4×4 tour was a wealth of information on the history of the area and its people. We learnt why the Emu has three toes and how the Crow and Magpie were created.

After a very yummy lunch we hopped into the car and made our way to the Cazneaux tree (300 years plus old).

Photographer Harold Cazneaux photographed this tree back in 1937 and it is one of his most famous images. A very majestic tree with such character.

Next stop was the Arkaroo Rock paintings. Bit of hike in but well worth it. The paintings are different to the ones at Cooktown (QLD) which are different to the ones at Kakadu (NT) which are different to the ones at Arkaroo (SA). All very unique and beautiful.

Home to a hot shower and rest up for tomorrow’s activities.

Saturday 9th December:

Hiking day today. After a hearty breakfast we hiked to the old Hills Homestead then up to the Wangara Lookout before it got too hot. About 8km / 3 hours all up.

The old Hills Homestead was originally built in 1888 when the area was opened up as a sheep farm. The original structure was wooden. In the early 1900’s the stone house was constructed. It is currently being restored.

The Wangara lookout climb was 600m vertical and in the sun. We got a little bit warm going up but the view was well worth it.

After lunch we had a siesta and then planned to head to Stokes Lookout to watch the sunset, but decided that tomorrow might be a better day for it.

Sunday 10th December:

After another hearty breakfast we headed north on a road trip to Blinman. Had a few stops along the way to view local attractions and wild life. Confirmed that the Stokes lookout will be a great spot to watch the sunset tonight.

Blinman is an old copper mining town that in its heyday had 2,000 people in it. Today there are 17 residents. They have a very active progress association that with help from outsiders has opened up part of the mine for tours to show the hard life of a miner in the early 1900s.

Cornish miners were imported to operate the mine because of their mining skills. They worked in atrocious conditions. Boys entered the mine at age 14 and worked alongside brothers, fathers, grand fathers and other family relations.

Each family worked a vein of ore bearing material and were paid on how much copper ore they extracted.

Finished off the day at one of the lookouts watching a beautiful sunset over the pound.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 171 of retirement

December 4, 2017

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Hi All

Wednesday 29th November:

Time to pull out all our gear and load up the mighty Mazda once again for living on the road. Gave the Mazda a wash and vacuum as not sure when the next one will be.

We hit the local Victory Heritage Hotel for lunch and enjoyed the views over Aldinga Beach.

Kind of excited that we’re back on the road again. Getting itchy feet.

Thursday 30th November:

Up early (6:00am) to head down for Cape Jervis to catch the Sealink Ferry to Kangaroo Island. And of course we were early.

After a nice smooth 45 minutes ferry crossing we arrived at 10:15am on KI. As it was too early to check into our cabin, we went for a leisurely drive west to the Flinders Chase NP (200km round trip). But wouldn’t you know it, just as we arrived the heavens opened up big time (pouring rain) so we abandoned the visit and headed back to Kingscote.

Stopped for lunch at the Seal Bay Café on the main road and had some very nice local King George Whiting for lunch. Back to Kingscote for a few supplies from the supermarket and checked into our cabin.

Friday 1st December:

Drizzled most of the day but we still went out exploring anyway and managed to dodge most of the rain.

We visited Emu Bay, Stokes Bay and Cape Borda Lighthouse (300km round trip) plus a few lookouts. Got to drive on good old corrugated gravel roads once again. Haven’t had that pleasure for many years, but all good.

Kangaroo Island is a beautiful place with its many different rugged coastlines and some isolated attractions as well.

We had an awesome lunch at The Rockpool Café in Stokes Bay. The Garfish and local prawns were outstanding. The prawns were that good we ordered a dozen more with salad.

Saturday 2nd December:

It rained off and on all night. Still showery this morning till 11:00am ish. After a quick trip into town to get some new windscreen wipers for the mighty Mazda (had a wiper blowout) we headed east to Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks (280km round trip). A light shower along the way but at both venues no rain while we were exploring.

Admirals Arch is a very impressive huge arch in the limestone rock. Seals live all round it as well and we watched them frolic in the wild seas, squabble with each other and then slumming it on the warm rocks. It was very entertaining.

Remarkable Rocks is equally impressive. A mini version of Ayers Rock (Uluru) with huge rocks on top. We wandered round them in the howling winds. At times almost getting blown off our feet.

On the way back to the cabin we called into Seal Bay and had a chat to the NP staff re guided tours amongst the seals. We booked in for the 9:00am tour tomorrow morning.

Sunday 3rd December:

Weather looking a little better today. The sun is trying to come out from behind the clouds so with crossed fingers, we’re going to see what we can see.

First stop today was at Seal Bay. We did the 9:00am tour and as we were the only ones on the tour we got the full story of the life and love of sea lions from Suzanna, our great guide.

Next stop was the Kelly Hill caves. A small complex of caves but nonetheless very spectacular.

Then it was off to American River to The Oyster Farm Shop for an awesome seafood lunch consisting of 12 Oysters Kilpatrick, 6 Whiting bites and 12 mini abalone. Very yummy.

Last stop was Penneshaw (we arrived here) where we fueled up and after a drive round the township went for a walk along the white sandy beach. Back to the cabin after a 325km round trip.

Monday 4th December:

Goodbye Kangaroo Island. We will miss your tree-lined roads, corrugations, gravel corners, sandy tracks and the one-finger wave (Country thing) to passing motorists.

We left Kingscote for Penneshaw to catch the 11:30am ferry back to the mainland. We arrived an hour early just as the 10:30am ferry was loading. As it turned out there was a single car space available on the 10:30am ferry so we were loaded. Made it back to the mainland an hour earlier, which was nice.

Stopped at the good old Victory Hotel for a nice big steak lunch as it is just up the road from Port Willunga.

Guy had an issue with her iPhone 6 Plus this morning whereby it would give a black screen and exit to the login screen every minute or so. Tried the usual reboot procedures but to no avail. Once we were back at Port Willunga (with good NBN internet) I was able to Google it and discovered it was a known issue and the fix was to download 11.2 being the latest update.

After half an hour of tense waiting the iPhone was back good as new. No more issues.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 164 of retirement

November 28, 2017

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Hi All

Monday 20th November:

Off on a Macau tour today, which turned out to be the weirdest tour we have done so far. Firstly we had to get across town to another hotel to meet the tour bus (Wouldn’t pickup at our hotel. There we were met but a Chinese man that spoke very quickly in broken English.

He informed us that he would drop us off at the ferry terminal (like an airport terminal) and we would have to find our own way through immigration and customs and get to gate 12 for the Turbo Cat fast ferry to Macau.

Luckily Guy understood enough of his instructions that we made it to the fast cat on time.

Once we hit Macau and cleared immigration we were told that our guide would meet us at the exit. Well there were half a dozen other tours arriving at the same time so it was chaos trying to sort us all out. Luckily our guide Patrick (AKA Jackie Chan – looked like, acted like and spoke like) herded us all up and onto the bus.

At one of our morning stops he asked us all to be at the meeting place by 12:05pm and NOT to be late. Well two Indonesian ladies didn’t turn up at the allotted time. “Jackie” gave them 10 minutes then we left without the ladies.

Luckily they were able to join another group who dropped them off at the lunch stop so they could rejoin us. Needless to say NOBODY was late at any check point for the rest of the day.

Guy and I tried our luck at the Lisboa casino but lost the lot ($50 Hong Kong ($9 AUS)).

Then on the way back to Hong Kong we had to find our way through immigration and customs on our own once again. All good and they at least dropped us off at our hotel. “Jackie Chan” was very amusing I must say.

Tuesday 21st November:

Off on a Hong Kong Island tour today. Little challenge at the start whereby luckily Guy rang them 10 minutes after pick up time only to discover they had us booked in for tomorrow (we definitely booked today). So they had a van pick us up and drop us off at the tour bus.

We visited The Aberdeen fishing village (or once was) that has almost been swallowed by “progress”. Bit sad really to see what was a quaint fishing village disappear.

Next stops were:

~ A jewellery factory / outlet. Interesting but no sale to the cheap Aussies.

~ Stanley market.

~ Victoria Peak for a panoramic view of Hong Kong and its 7 million people.

After the tour, the bus dropped us off at the “Ladies Market” as Guy was wanting to have a look see. We had lunch there and then back to the Hotel.

I am still suffering from the Delhi belly so got to be careful what I eat and when. Back at the hotel mid afternoon and we crashed for an afternoon siesta. Hard work this sightseeing.

Wednesday 22nd November:

With the sun finally coming out this morning, we ventured out to the Star Ferry terminal to cross to Hong Kong Island by boat, HK$3 (upper deck seating, $2 for lower deck) and 7 minutes later, we’re across to HK Central. Over a century old, this way of crossing is still the most picturesque and relaxed way to cross Victoria harbour.

Then it was off to The Gobo Restaurant (thanks Rob Kuijsters for the tip) for Guy’s Chili Crab that she has been hanging out for. And she wasn’t disappointed.

Back to the room for our afternoon siesta after being all crabbed out. Early evening we wandered to the shopping complex just down from our hotel. Found a very nice local noodles with pork dish for dinner.

Thursday 23rd November:

Last day in Hong Kong as we leave tonight 7:00pm. Checkout was 12:00 noon, which was nice and enabled us to sleep-in.

Checked out at our Harbour Club Lounge and left our bags with them. Back to Gobo once again so Guy could try the Ginger & spring onion crab. She wasn’t disappointed again. Awesome crab meal.

Back to the Harbour Club Lounge where we chilled out till our ride to the airport arrived at 4:00pm.

A 1-hour flight delay held us sitting on the tarmac. Finally we got airborne and on the way to AUS.

Friday 24th November:

Guy had a bit of an incident in the early hours of the morning. She felt very unwell and had a fainting incident in her seat followed by vomiting.

The crew were great in checking on her and making sure she was okay. We were also informed that Australia has strict quarantine procedures for sick passengers. Luckily she recovered enough to avoid being quarantined on arrival.

We arrived at 7:00am and retrieved the mighty Mazda for the trip back to Port Willunga with a quick stop for a few groceries. After a quick shower we hit the sack and slept for 4 hours straight.

We both felt much better after our siesta. Guy is still a little woozy but is on the road to recovery. Time to relax for a few days before we hit the road again.

Saturday 25th November:

Spent a leisurely day at Port Willunga. Guy helped (broadest sense) Sandy with some gardening and Brian and I did some plumbing (unblocking a partially blocked drain.

And for dinner we had the Loffler traditional offering of fish and chips from Jimmie’s round the corner.

Sunday 26th November:

Off to the city to do lunch with Rik, Jas and Mike. After a great lunch we made our way to the Adelaide Central Market. Now the market was closed but we parked in its car park, as it is right next door to Chinatown. At 5:00pm we meet up with Doug, Bec and their two kids for some Chinese for dinner. Had a great catch up with them before heading back to Port Willunga.

Monday 27th November:

Bit of a sleep in as we had our first meeting with our super fund at 1:30pm. All went well with the super lady and we managed to get all our business completed in 30 minutes.

Then off to the Apple Store as I am finally upgrading my old iPhone 4S to the 8 Plus. Also switching from Vodafone to Telstra on my new phone as Telstra gives much better coverage in remote areas.

It took them a while (2 hours) but all done and my new phone and provider all working tonight.

The Apple Store in Rundle mall did the whole job for me (swapped carriers, setup new phone from my backup and gave me a run through). Awesome service. Back to square one once again with learning the new gestures.

Tuesday 28th November:

Back into the city again to catch up with Pam, an old friend who visited us in the Philippines when we lived there.

Quick call into our super provider as Guy had to sign one more form to transfer her super.

Last relaxing day as tomorrow we pack up and leave on Thursday for the continuation of our road trip.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

Day 155 of retirement

November 20, 2017

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Hi All

Thursday 9th November:

After 19 hours of planes and Manila traffic we have arrived safe and sound with our entire luggage. Bedtime after a nice HOT shower.

Friday 10th November

Both feeling a bit shabby this morning after yesterday’s travel with the flu. But had a good sleep in as Manila is 2.5 hours behind Adelaide.
First stop was the beauty parlour for a pedicure / foot spa and manicure / hand spa. 2.3 hours each and our hands and feet feel like new. Pity the poor lady that did my old crusty feet but she was amazing. New feet.
Then after lunch I had a haircut / head & back massage. Haven’t had it cut for 5 months so it was a bit messy. Loved the massages with the cut.
Feeling very pampered and like new again.

Saturday 11th November

Both feeling much better this morning.

Guy off for a facial and hair cut this morning while I wonder round the Greenbelt shopping complex in Makati.

Midday we meet up with Guy’s old batch mates (school friends) for lunch just round the corner from the hotel.

Sunday 12th November:

Guy off to the beauty salon in the am to get pampered with having her makeup done for her mum’s 85th birthday party at midday.

We caught a cab from the city heading across town and the traffic wasn’t too bad.

Had a great party with lots of relatives there along with some awesome good old Pilipino food. After the party, a vanload of us went to the cemetery and visited Guy’s dad.

Back at Guy’s mum’s place and we caught a cab to get back to Makati. Now the cab driver warned us that certain parts of the city are restricted traffic due to the Donald Trump visit and all the government meetings hence causing gridlock.

So on his advice, he dropped us of at the LRT station that dropped us off two blocks from our hotel. Home within an hour.

Time to pack once again as we head to Marinduque tomorrow.

Monday 13th November:

After 11 hours of taxi, RORO (Rollon roll off Ferry) & Jeepney (local “bus”) rides we arrived in Marinduque, our adopted home (here till Friday).

First person we saw was my good friend Gil (owns the hotel we are in) who very kindly loaned us a car for our stay.

Then we saw the local beggar we “sponsored” each Tuesday at the town market. We offered him the usual 5 pesos but he now wants 20. Begging has gone up over the last few years. He’s a very polite nice guy.

Next stop was Guy’s mahjong house to see the gang and Guy let them know she is “available” for a game. Final stop was the local restaurant for some yummy local food. Jeremy the waiter was still there and excited to see us. Time for shower and bed.

Guy and I have succumbed to a bit of local Delhi Belly. Nothing too serious (yet) just need to watch what we eat and when we eat it.

We are eating the local food and drink the local water so not surprising. But all good.

Tuesday 14th November:

Bit of a sleep in then off to the Gasan market as it is market day today. The normal market swells 3 fold as vendors from all over the island come along with their wares.

We caught up with our old fruit lady who used to supply us with great fresh fruit when we lived here for 3 years. Hopefully she will still be here when we get back in a year or so.

Next stop was our block of land. It has become very overgrown (which is good as it keeps the squatters out) so going to be a bit of work required before our house goes up. A daunting project in itself.

There is a new house going up on our northern boundary so checked they were on “their” land which they are, so all good.

After the block we called in to see Gerald (expat Pom) my old hiking partner. He has slowed down a bit just like us all but still very active breeding Labrador puppies and pigs. Keeps him busy. Great to see him again.

Late lunch and rest up in the heat of the day. Guy played mah-jong last night till midnight and is playing again tonight.

Guy managed to track down our masseuse Ailyn so we are both booked in for a massage on Thursday, our last day in town.

Caught up with Gil later in the afternoon for a 2-hour chat to discus life, love, the universe, religion, politics and world peace and we are still great mates.

Wednesday 15th November:

Off to see Ron (the Yank) today who is 82 years young. When we arrived here in Marinduque (7 years ago) Ron and Vicky (his wife) were great in helping us get a start. And from those of you who visited us you know what a mischievous great guy he is.

He is doing well. He can’t drive any more but he hasn’t lost his spark. It was great to see them both and catch up on island news (Gossip).

Thursday 16th November:

Last day on our “home” island today (going to miss this place). After dropping of Gil’s car and catching up with him for a chat it was back to the room for Guy’s massage and both our manicures and pedicures.

After the pampering, it was off to see John the Pom. It was his wife’s (deceased) beach house we rented for the three years we were here. John had a very nasty fall four weeks ago so good to see him up and about.

Found another old friend today. This guy lives about 2.5 km out of town and gets round in an old beat up wheelchair. When we lived here I used to walk past him on the way into town and he always had a beaming smile and a hello for me. I would give him 20 Pesos and he always had a thank you by way of a nod and smile.

Friday 17th November:

Gil has very kindly lent us his driver and vehicle to take us to the Balanacan Port to catch the RoRo. So with a 6:00am pickup and then an hour’s drive, we made the port to catch the 8:00am RoRo to the mainland (3 hour crossing).

Saturday 18th November:

Up at 6:15am and off to Manila airport for our trip to Hong Kong. Nice smooth flight and arrived at 2:00pm. Our driver was ready for us and delivered us to the Harbour Grand Hotel in Kowloon.

We have lashed out on this leg and are staying on the 20th floor with a stunning view of Hong Kong harbour. This gives us access to the Harbour Club Lounge (19th floor) with free breakfast, afternoon tea and evening refreshments (Guy had a wine and I had a Coke with lemon). The food is awesome so this became our “free” meal for the evening.

Feeling a bit bushed so a stroll along the promenade finished off the day nicely.

Sunday 19th November:

Off exploring on our own today. Braving the underground railway system of Hong Kong (aka MTR) we made our way to Lantau and took the scenic cable car to see the big Buddha. Everybody and their dogs have the same idea though as it took us 45 minutes to get on the cable car. It was very foggy and eerie as there were times when we cannot see anything as we’re enveloped by mist. What a triumphant day.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy