Sand, Sea, Mountains, and My Poor Toenail

The last time I caught you all up on my adventures was back in August and since then a good few things have happened, including losing a lot of photos so what remains is below.

We took a cruise around Manila Bay, one Friday evening. Whilst we headed up the bay, we ate a tasty rice based meal and were treated to an aural accompaniment by a musical duo.  This ranged from ballads to the Spice Girls, because that is what happens if you ask for requests from tone-deaf people with no sense of atmosphere.

As we made our way back down the bay, the sun had finally set and all the lights started to flicker on, which made Manila look surprisingly beautiful.  Although I do hold to the opinion that it is a beautiful city, it just depends on how tenuous about the word beautiful, or romantic you are about it.  We had prime seats for the regular Friday night firework show, which was another bonus.

It was great to see the city from another angle, one less seething with people, and free from the traffic and the noise.  Watching the planes coming into land every couple of minutes, encouraged me to muse on the people arriving. They would soon enter the fray, and fight through the chaos to wherever they are going.  I hoped they were prepared.

In November, it was All Souls Day which is a bit like Mexico’s Day of the Dead but with less make up.  We went to the cemetery, with its party atmosphere –  complete with fantastic barbecue smells and balloons for sale – and had a big family picnic, before planning an impromptu trip to the beach the next day.

It was beautifully and sunny, with good food and plenty of swimming.  I spent a few hours floating on my back, watching the occasional plane fly over thousands of feet above, before the odd rogue wave would wake me from my musings.  It wasn’t a busy beach and as the sun set, there were some gorgeous photos ops to be had.

Mount Marami was my 18th Filipino mountain of last year (my other peak of the year was in Bali, and (for completion sake)  my other Filipino climb was Mount Pulag from 2017).  There aren’t many photos for this but we hiked to the top of the mountain in the background, which was an easy climb despite its looks and when we finally reached the top…

Naturally it fogged over for the big photo-op.  To complete the day’s bad luck, I split my toenail descending which still hasn’t completely grown back after five months.  Although it was an easy climb, it was a long walk and after returning to the drop off point, one of the locals kindly let us use her shower so we circumvented the queue of sweaty bodies and were home and tucked up in bed for a reasonable time.


24 Replies to “Sand, Sea, Mountains, and My Poor Toenail”

  1. Lovely scenery, thanks for the photos! Take care of that toenail, toenails lost or damaged in hiking or walking marathons have a tricky way of not coming back in properly. My Mom is still nursing a bad toenail that she got about ten or fifteen years ago on a Walk for Hunger. Of course, it didn’t help her case (I THINK it’s the same toenail, anyway) that she dropped a log on it while loading up firewood at my brother’s. She soaks her toes and trims it as it grows out, and that, apparently, is supposed eventually to return it to its former good state–so be warned and prepared! And have fun on your hikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will certainly be taking care of the other nine, whilst the other slowly grows back. The last time I lost a toenail, possibly the same one, it grew back quickly, so I am surprised with the time its taking to sort itself out. There will be more photos in the coming weeks, I am finally starting to catch up on things!


    1. We like to mix up our adventures. I actually forgot that we have more from last year, it’s amazing that I forget about all these things. I’ll endeavour to keep up with the posting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am happy to see you exploring the Philippines. Some of these places look so exotic that I am surprised I never heard nor read about them. The pictures are captivating, especially the one with the purple skyline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love to get out and about, there are so many places that look great and I’ve barely scratched the surface. There is something about the colours of a sunset, always unique, sometimes melancholy, always inspiring.


      1. I too love sunsets for the same reason. It is as though they are trying to hold on, and not leave yet. I love the places you visit. My friend once stayed on the islands for 5 years and after returning she said, all the places she traveled, no two felt the same.


        1. I like that line: It is as though they are trying to hold on, and not leave yet. I always wonder if any place is really the same, in time, in weather, in experience, no place is ever truly the same from one minute to the next. Except when in a traffic jam of course, then the crushing banality of life rears its ugly head.


    1. Of course, I love giving virtual tours. Towards the back end of the year we didn’t go to as many new places but we are up for more exploring this year. Crissy has a new phone and her camera is brilliant so the quality should go up a bit as well.


  3. Boo for your toenail. I can sympathise – I lost several of mine when running the London Marathon years ago (I had to stop at 25m because they were causing too much pain to carry on). My recollection is that mine took a long time to recover but got there in the end, so fingers (and toes!) crossed for yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch, I feel for you, losing one is bad enough but several, and stopping with only a mile to run as well. That’s a double blow. Mine is slowly getting there although has seemed to stop with the last mile in sight. It hasn’t put me off hiking though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly was. The walk got the old heart pumping and it was good to be out on a quiet mountain meeting new people and enjoying a cool coconut drink, and watching how they chopped the coconut fresh off the tree as well!


  4. Lovely sunset! My toenails take an incredibly long time to grow out compared to my fingernails. I have several things to share with you when you have the time. Did you get my blog post link last week? It’s nearly my birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sent you an email my friend, and looking forward to your response. Toenails are a strange thing, you would think it would be a universal growing speed but fingernails seem to rush headlong whilst toes seem to take a long time. I wonder what science has to say on the matter.


  5. You are living an interesting life! The split toenail makes me shudder. However, it will grow back…. soon.
    What happened that you lost your photos. Anyway, you still have posted some beauties! Take care Ste J!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t too noticeable to begin with, just a little painful, it was a gradual losing, sorry for the info! Crissy has a really good phone camera but the screen got smashed and we think some of the data wasn’t transferred before it got the dreaded factory reset during repair. We will take more to make up for this though.


  6. Great stuff! I think it is also good to share photos with you in it sir. Let your friends know that you didn’t just get these beautiful photos from your wife’s phone (or the internet) like Searching’s fish_n_chips. Make yourself a watermark.

    Liked by 1 person

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