The Reluctant Traveller


The Reluctant Traveller

Rather be at Wheatsheaf

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Glen Iris January 30th 2013

Going through the security footage of the burglary that happened whilst I was still ibn Manila and found this . . . . . . It's footage of Max and Rory's reaction when I got home Wednesday Morning - a hero's Welcome Dogs are simply the best read more

Asia » Philippines » Metromanila » Makati January 29th 2013

The balance of my stay was pretty uneventful. Back is still sore so on the last day went to Wensha Spa . . . . . last time I was here was BRILLIANT - this time not so much. The common areas ALL have TV's blaring, some on different channels and so the sound just becomes a mish mash. Even the 'quiet room' where they do the foot massage now has TV screens on all seats and there was one woman who had hers blaring away. Must find somewhere new if I ever return. After the massage, Arthur and I are realxing over a pasta for him and a beers for me killing a little time before heading off to the airport. The phone rings and it's squish calling from Oz - WE'VE BEEN BURGLED . ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Manila » Malate January 28th 2013

Just some pics i thought were interesting - apologies if there's some repeats in here... read more
Local pool Hall in Tagaytay City

Asia » Philippines January 26th 2013

By this time I've had enough of Tagalog TV and not being able to go anywhere so it's back to manila where i can at least go for a stroll along the beach or through the massive Robinsons Mall on Pedro gil, watch a little TV in English (cable channels) and go to a pub at night and hopefully meet someone who speaks English. Given I didn't have much to do here - i've taken some misc shots of "The House That Squish Built" and surround to hopefully give you a feel for my stay here. One interesting observation on Tagalog TV - when watching ads, whilst the preamble dialogue of the actors is most often in Tagalog, the final SELL message is most often in English - go figure.... read more
The approach
Looking the other way
Round back

Asia » Philippines » Batangas » Taal January 23rd 2013

This blog will be out of sequence. "Here I sit lonely hearted . . . . . ." to coin a childhood poem. 7,000 km from anyone I know with 6 people who can hardly string a complete sentence together in English between them. (all but one have disappeared on their daily routines anyway). There's no (reliable) internet, 1 viewable TV channel and that's in TAGALOG, it's raining so I can't go outside and one of the dogs has just walked into the bedroom and pissed on my sandals. This "holiday" has hit a new low point. Might go and pay that penny now . . . . . . Later in the day, I went to Sonya's Secret Pleasures at Sonya's Garden and had a Hot Stone Massage. . . . They heat some largeish ... read more
View #2

Asia » Philippines » Manila » Malate January 21st 2013

AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY: It's an early start today. According to the advice of our sniveling Sycophant at PAL - I MUST go to the Australian Embassy in Makati. Whilst not that far away in terms of distance, in Monday morning traffic it takes almost 2 hours to get there and we arrive shortly after 8:00am. Car is checked at the driveway by armed guards with mirrors to look under the chassis and the interior of the car and luggage are given the once over by a sniffer dog. After being dropped off at the front entrance, i go through two security checks with pat downs and metal detectors etc. only to be told that the Australian Embassy does not open until 8:30 and that I need to leave the building. At 8:30 I tell the concierge downstairs ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Manila » Malate January 20th 2013

So it's Sunday morning and pretty much everything in the city is shut (except for the bars of course), so we head back to the airport to the Philippine Airlines (PAL) office to re-ticket. The guy behind the counter seems pleasant enough and asks how my day is (it's JUST after 9:00am). I tell him and explain why and he says "Well let's see if we can do anything to change that for you." It's at THIS point that the pleasantries cease and the sniveling little sycophant does absolutely nothing except stick to the rule book showing NO willingness whatsoever to budge one iota. His first solution was going to cost an additional AUD2,500 in air fares and airline penalties alone. it was until Squish started questioning and negotiating in Tagalog that we found there were ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Manila » Malate January 19th 2013

Well for starters, Charlie - I hope I spelled it correctly this time. (still prefer RAMITU PYURBUM). Secondly - some of you are already up to speed with this story - so you can simply skip this post. After several packing and repacking of suitcases, I'm ready to go home. Miss my doggies and i'm having serious Vegemite withdrawals. After the now obligatory visit to MoA to indulge squish's shopping addiction, we're off to the airport. Keeping 550pesos for Airport Tax and a couple of hundred for last minute SML's in case i got thirsty, I handed all the rest of my local currency to squish as she was staying another day. The checkin queue was pretty long (not FAR - although it would soon seem that way) already, but i got to check in without ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Laguna » Villa Escudero January 17th 2013

The day after Pagsanjan falls I'm told were going to have lunch under another waterfall and that I'll get wet like yesterday so i should take a change of clothes again. We all pile into the car and head off; destination Villa Escudero. Villa Escudero was one of the original Spanish plantations in the area and was founded back in the 1800's. Back then the main crop was sugarcane, but this was replaced with coconut plantations in the early 1900's. The estate has remained in the hands of the family and was opened up to the public in the 1980's. Hope I've got the dates approx correct, but I'm sure someone will be more than happy to correct me if they read this and disagree - leave your comments if you do. There's probably 4 main ... read more
This is the house that 'Rose' built
Nice backdrop but. . .
General grounds

Asia » Philippines » Laguna » Pagsanjan » Magdapo Falls January 16th 2013

OK - our last outing was Taal on the 6th and it's now the 17th (it's actually February when I'm writing this). The reason for the delay was not the pulled calf muscle from the Taal Trek - I got that tended to at "Sonya's Secret Pleasures" the next day and within two days was 99% OK. Rather; the delay was simply due to nothing having been planned so we sat around the house doing SFA. It was decided that this trip was to be an adult excursion so this time there was a much smaller entourage in the van and we headed off. The thing about Pagsanjan falls is that they're not really Pagsanjan Falls at all, rather - the boat ride originates in Pagsanjan. The indigenous name for them is/was actually Magdapio falls, but ... read more
The Train
Life on the River #1
Life on the River #2

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