Bohol - tarsier and chocolate hills

Still on travels.  Last entry was hoping the bus didnt crash off the mountain - which it didnt but was pretty hairy.  Road would definitely have been closed in NZ!!! Been interesting trip.  Sagada a very small place in the mountains where interesting old burial sites - "hanging coffins" some hundreds of years old. Area nice for walking (not really for us RA sufferers though).  Moved on to another famous site, world heritage status - Banuae rice terraces.  Had day to fill and no ATM so limited funds.  Ended up negotiating with 20 year entrepreneur to do hour long trip each way on narrow dirt road to a traditional village called Baanang as pillion on his little motor bike!  I did insist on him finding me a helmet but it did occur to me that the prednisone weakened bones might not fare too well if we came off!  And it was so hot.  Had to hike down into the valley (while youthful person stayed at top!) and then back up!! Certainly completed in record time (slowness that is...asked spritely geriatric who overtook me how much further...not far he said - about 100 steps only - it was 137...)
Very good at managing local transport now and lots of women talk to me because I am on my own (unlike my youth when it was the chatting up males...) Just on Bohol an island I didnt think I could get to where famous geographical formation called "chocolate hills" a range of humps which get their name from their dry summer colour (now green in the wet).  Even better it is home to the tarsier monkey found only here and endangered.  So cute.  They fit in palm of your hand (not allowed to touch though) and have huge eyes.  Can move fast and quite a distance in one leap. 
Before that on Palawan called locally 'the last frontier" where people really do live in "grass" huts.  Well nipa palm matting huts.  It lasts about 20 years I am told and is then replaced.  I nearly worked there as a teacher 30 odd years ago but then got given option of China just as it was opening up.  Think it would have been quite a spot then as still so different now.  No one owns cars and people and goods rely on local jeepneys and buses and to some extent ferries and outriggers.  Met up with couple of NZ friends for a few days and one day we got left even though we had "booked" place on local bus/jeepney.  It sailed past us crammed in every possible spot including roof with people....We got an outrigger and then negotiated ride in local mini bus with very happy man seeing our "no alternative" predicament to main road where we could get bus to place called El Nido which is a bit of a tourist trap though full of local atmosphere and colour.
Here the Beast decided to remind me who I was thumbing my nose at.  Horrible and unbearable pain in previously relatively unaffected left hand.  In middle of night and had no bandage.  Grabbed a blouse and wrapped as tightly as I could and next day bought bandage.  Luckily flare related to nasty weather front that materialised next day so pain gone in two days.  Just a reminder as to Who Is Boss...
Found myself marooned at one point when missed a connection to Sabang where headed to see underground river but a jeepney turned up after some hours just when I thought I'd have to go on to the capital and do a tour back (Against My Principles).  Crammed full of packages and rice sacks and we stopped so often I was in a permanent back and forth rock motion..  These vehicles are like old jeeps only longer and painted interesting colours and tend to have religious slogans such as "In the Lord I trust" or names of famous songs - often Bob Marley related. No windows (helps cram in more passengers...) and get a bit hot..
Still worrying about dengue fever - had it elsewhere years ago and hear second time worse.  Have six bites in spite of repellent.  Some mozzies think deet is a health food (or maybe like us RA sufferers doing that which not good for us in spite of the consequences).
Well I head to Cebu tomorrow - have to get early ferry so will grab what they call a trike (this is basically a motor bike with sidecar..I will try to get one without bald tyres but not easy).
Back to New Zealand in a week and know the Beast will flatten me.  This hot humid weather seeps into the joints.  Of course I expect it is all a sense of false security but cant help wanting to believe that if only I lived permanently in this sort of climate I could function so much better... Anyone up for an RA DS member retreat somewhere warm and wonderful??



Yes, I\'m in. We had a big frost last night - so 8 months of winter is starting. I thought you would be moving into summer, already. You really are a bold adventurer. I figure riding my bike on the road is about my limit. Stairs are not my thing. Glad to hear you are doing well, and fighting back to have a good life.

I\'ve canceled my proposed trip to Costa Rica. Too much uncertainty with this med change. Till the Rituxan kicks in, and I find out how long it lasts. I don\'t want to go all the way there, and find out that is when I needed the next infusion. Always something, isn\'t there?

Nice to hear your news Suzi. It is fantastic that you feel well enough to embark on these trips & I wish you a great time to come. SYD weather fine for me but I would like 3 months (June - Sept) up north - Cairns maybe! There\'s a big hospital there, I am a bit of a grandma & feel I need to be near big hospital. Glad yr wrist got better. Things are calming down here, what\'s that motto in Her Maj\'s print \'be calm - stay strong\' ?? Take care, Anna