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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

National Park in "Norfolk Shoes"

NORFOLK ISLAND | Saturday, 23 August 2014 | Views [802]

As I worked at Bindi’s grandmother’s house this morning I picked out a beautiful hibiscus for Racheal. It was nippy, windy, and chilly this morning as I moved around various potted plants and raked dead plant matter. The garden is really starting to come to life here! Ahhh, the joys of being up early and getting my work done means I have the rest of the day to stroll, chat, soak up the sun, walk, chat, feel the fresh breeze, and visit Racheal. First I stopped at the Norfolk Islander office to see if there’s an article about me in the archives. With nobody at the office I made my way slowly toward King Tut’s Tomb. Racheal let out a big smile as I handed her the hibiscus to add to her daffodils. Racheal would be going home by early afternoon today and it was windy so I thought I’d get a sausage roll and a custard tart and make my way toward Norfolk Island National Park. In my two visits to Norfolk I’ve spent almost no time in the park. Cristina spotted me as I thought of a place to start my trek so she was kind enough to give me a lift up to J.E. Road. When I asked “would you like to go for a short walk?” she replied “there are no short walks in the national park, the shortest walk is about 40 minutes and possibly longer.” She said we could go for a picnic lunch sometime within the next week or so. Being barefoot is colloquially called “Norfolk shoes” so that’s how I’d go through the park. Some sections of the walk are very dense, remote, and steep but it’s merely a warm-up for when I climb Mt. Fuji next month. Undeterred I made my way to the lookout at Elephant and Bird Rocks.

Parts of the national park are very remote; it would have been possible for a convict to hide for many years in Norfolk’s bush. Racheal promised to take me to her favourite spot on the island and I hope I didn’t discover it by accident; this view is full of ocean and is absolutely magnificent.

It was sunny but very windy as I snapped photos and lay in the grass for a long while. Earlier I told Racheal I’d be back to give her a hug but I’d be exploring the national park and lying in the grass at one of Norfolk’s most gorgeous lookouts. The walk toward the islands two summits was, needless to say, all uphill. Mt. Bates is one metre higher than Mt. Pitt but the views aren’t nearly as spectacular. My clue for a geocache at Mt. Bates was “it’s rusty.” Hidden in an old WWII relic was an easy find.

Recording my name in the logbook I then made my way up Mt. Bates for the bragging rights of being on the highest point of Norfolk Island. Racheal would later tell me that very few locals visit either Mt. Pitt or Mt. Bates because they realize how tiny their island is, and that all they see is ocean as far as the eye can see. On the walk toward Mt. Pitt I encountered these beautiful red mushrooms.

Ten minutes of walking barefoot would lead me to Mt. Pitt where I had 360 degrees of wonder like last time. Nicki took me for a drive on my first day during my first visit and there are several places I haven’t visited since. Until today, Mt. Pitt was one of them, and I’ve added to my list several places I’ve visited for the first time! My feet were sore by then, and I got a lift halfway down the hill by an Australian couple (what other nationalities visit Norfolk?). Racheal went home by the time I was done and she couldn’t take me for a drive even though she said she’d try. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll go out. Tonight after returning to Bindi’s house I’d be busy in the kitchen making my award-winning zucchini bread for tomorrow’s Sunday market. It’d be leftovers tonight for dinner, with rice and spinach as a light tea before I headed out to the RSL club for a fundraiser. Last night was pretty quiet at the MiniBar yet the RSL was definitely busier. Some locals picked me up after I flashed the SOS signal at them. Several teachers from the school as well as Cristina, Louci, and Carli were there tonight. I’m going to start being a local and call Carli “Doosy” like Norfolkers do. It was a fun night as I had a few glasses of wine. A man nicknamed “Diesel” gave me a lift home. He’s from Niue and was stunned when I named several villages on the island. Sore feet and all, I’m completely content.

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