Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday 8th September


21 08.317 S
175 10.867 W

Another slow start to the day – everything is very laid back here, no one seems to be in a hurry and everything starts in “island time”. After breakfast we had planned to go and look around the museum and then go on to the flea market just a bit further up the road. The road was quite congested around the whole area from the museum to the market and as we got to the museum gates we found that they were locked – the place was closed even thought the signs said that they were open on Saturday mornings! Our first stop was a washout, so we went a little further to the flea market where hundreds of people were trying to park, cross the road or get by, Gerry parked the car whilst Abigail and I began to make our way into the market – at around the same time that it began to rain. The stalls were full of stuff we didn’t need or want – it was more like a car boot sale and I feel sure that most of the clothing for sale was second hand. There wasn’t a single craft item for sale and no food what so ever. We walked every isle to be sure we didn’t miss anything and then headed back to the car in disappointment. So what next? – lunch of course at a different café with equally good food and service (incase you are ever here the 2 cafes are Friends and café Escape). Following lunch we thought we would try to find the blow holes on the west coast road. We followed the map as best we could; at this point I think that I need to explain that the map is a tourist map of the place with very few roads marked and nothing in perspective, it is the only map available whereas all the locals know where they are going! It seemed simple enough and we thought there would be enough road signs to get by. Road signs? What road signs? We found ourselves on what we would consider farm tracks or outback roads with potholes and craters to drop into and allotments lining the sides of them. We kept going; after all, the island is only about 22 miles long and we must, by reason of it being an island, end up back where we started eventually. The gods must have taken pity on us as we suddenly chanced upon a sign that said blow holes; a quick turn and of we went down another rocky road. Success! We arrived at a clearing above the blowholes, parked the car and took in the experience.
The wind was blowing quite a bit so the “blows” were quite spectacular. We took a few photos and watched for a while before making our way back to town via the Mormon Tabernacle road. We knew when we had arrived there as everything suddenly looked very westernized, clean, tidy and organized. The whole area, houses, school, church, admin buildings etc look like they have just been transported there from the USA; they make all the local dwellings around them look like unkempt dumps. Anyway we found the right roads to get us back to the boat and after a short nap we elected to try and find a Chinese restaurant for dinner; we had been told of 2 but one of these no longer existed so we were going to find the only remaining one. From the outside it looked terrible but the food was OK – not brilliant but quite edible. We ate our fill and then thought we would repeat last night’s coffee and dessert at the café, only to be thwarted as the café closes early on Saturday! We made our way slowly back to the boat and on the way noticed that there was a small café on the wharf, a quick detour followed and we found Café Reef which was open and had delicious coffee and cake. Once we were done with coffee it was time to return to the boat for the night.



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