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

A Norfolk Sunday

NORFOLK ISLAND | Sunday, 24 August 2014 | Views [507]

As in most places, Sunday is Norfolk’s quietest day. It’s not as quiet as Sundays on many other Pacific Islands; there’s the weekly flight from Auckland, the Sunday market, and people are out and about catching up and going to the beach. My day would be full of those sorts of activities. Up early I was on this beautiful day. My feet were sort after a three-hour walk barefoot through the national park yesterday. Bindi had her bananas and I had my homemade gluten-free zucchini bread ready for sale. It was beautiful albeit windy and slightly chilly this morning. Five of the 10 slices of my bread sold, and the bananas, oranges, and avocadoes were flying off the table after the buses dropped a load of elderly visitors from Sydney.

Sausages with onions were for sale, in which I had two. Sometime whilst on Norfolk I’m going to challenge myself to go raw for a day or two; I’ve been eating far too much junk food lately. Also for sale were postcards, magnets, and the usual tourist kitsch. My zucchini bread sold well today, and I gave one to a local lady and then wrapped up the rest to take to the McRitchies’ home. It’s surprising how many people asked where the fruit and veggies come from but it’s all grown locally. Avocadoes are humungous at this time of year and the bananas are especially tasty. If you’re eating a salad or anything packed with fruit and veggies on Norfolk, chances are it wasn’t grown more than a couple of kilometres from your plate. A local lady also selling at the market dropped me on the road leading to the home of Cristina, Teddy, J.J., Sienna, and Brandt. Cristina and her kids were excited enough last week that they met me at the airport to give me a hug. They were delighted to have some zucchini bread with a cuppa as we soaked up the sun with high cirrus clouds out on the back veranda.

If I could get things to work out with Racheal I would love to live here! Many Norfolk Islanders don’t realize how special their island is. Cristina had to get to a rehearsal for a play set for next week, and I had her drop me across the school so I could walk to Bindi’s grandmother’s house. She was getting ready to leave and offered me a lift down to Quality Row. From there I was honing my climbing skills on many of the old buildings. It may not be the smartest move but today I was up for it. As I sat on top of the old hospital soaking up the sun, I hear Emily yell out “Chris, what are you doing up there?” She and one of her friends shot a photo of me up there.

They parked the car and we went for a stroll down to the pier. When I saw a boat readying for a fishing trip I immediately asked if they were going to Philip Island but they were only going to Nepean Island. It would have been nice but the disadvantage of going to Nepean is that I’d have to swim from the boat to the island and the swells are heavy today; not to mention the fact I can’t swim with my camera, so I couldn’t get any photos. They told me they often go when the weather is nice and I gave my number so they could call me if they’re going to either island. Several of Emily’s friends joined us and we all strolled slowly toward Emily Bay. I had to climb an old chimney for a photo.

Then it was on some sharp rocks. Emily Bay was busy with people out windsurfing, sunbathing, kayaking, and swimming, though it’ll never be busy like Bondi Beach or the Gold Coast. My dream photo with Racheal shall be at Emily Bay. She was going to take me for a drive today but her daughter Cheyenne has a severe ear infection. When I submit “Emily Bay Magic” to the tourism bureau I’m going to dedicate it to Racheal. After soaking my feet in Emily Bay’s magical waters, I climbed the wall of the old gaol for another spectacular “I’m nuts” photo.

As a lofty mission, I should try to find a way to the top of the entrance to the gaol without using a ladder. That wouldn’t happen today, but perhaps one of these days. Emily had to head home, so one of her friends dropped me back in town. I was pretty beat by then so I called in at the Blue Bull Café for a delicious coconut pie. Norfolk is known for its blue cattle that are almost unique to the island. Their steak is said to be legendary though I was slightly disappointed with the local steak I had the other night. It was 4:30 and I was pretty beat by then but made my way home slowly, visiting with Candida (the yoga instructor) and Troy on the way home. Shari is heading to the mainland soon to have her baby. It was chilly this evening, and I was curious to read about the “Norfolk effect.” Bindi said her eyes hurt when she returns to the island from abroad due to the brightness of the sun. Natural radiation levels are considerably higher than many other places and the soil is a very unique colour. Bindi has some very unique theories, and overall she’s an interesting character. She has mentioned a “bed tax” levied whenever someone stays anywhere on Norfolk, whether at paid accommodation or at your own home, and even if it’s a friend or family member. Bindi has described she and Gotty as “dissidents” and how the local government has spent $3,000 fighting them over $82 owed by them. Troy and I even chatted earlier, agreeing that tourism isn’t being used properly as a revenue source. I’ve said a million times before: Norfolk desperately needs a backpacker hostel or some sort of budget accommodation. Often I’m told I’m brilliant and extremely smart, yet when I give advice of any sort it often goes straight out the opposite ear. Enough with that talk though; these past couple of days have been busy and exciting! Up until yesterday I felt like I really haven’t seen anything since I’d been here; I’d been doing some work in the morning, spending time with Racheal, and saying “Wutawieh” and catching up with people. Yesterday I spent nearly three hours walking on the national park, did some geocaching, and made it to both Mt. Pitt and Mt. Bates. “Fix-it-Dave” is going to show me some of his favourite parts of the island tomorrow, and I also eagerly await Racheal to show me her favourite place! A chilled bottle of kiwifruit wine awaits for the two of us. For tea tonight I tucked into some curry with rice and fresh avocado. Les gave me an avocado larger than my hand the other day. As I dream of Racheal and I at Emily Bay, I quietly drift off to see us on an island meant for eagles and angels. 

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