Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 18 Jun 2013 22:47
King Maputeoa’s Tomb Jaunt – Too Far To Be Called A Bimble
Bear wanted to walk up the hill to see the kings tomb, don’t ask, I didn’t. First he wanted to go to the Post Office to change dollars to local money to pay for diesel. He wants to fill the jerry cans, cash ready, for when the supply boat comes in. No sooner than we left the post office than the usual gang of boys welcomed us with a good wash and much tail wagging. Light brown boy doesn’t come with us, shy boy drops out as soon as he sees another dog but the other two stalwarts led the way, off I went but looked back to see Bear. Scratching his head and walking very slowly, it was clear the captain was troubled. I got a thousand Francs to the dollar this time, I only got eight hundred the first time. Quick thinking put him right – “that’s an average of nine hundred, just like the internet quotes.” Oh OK. Smiles, a pat for the boys and a quicker step.
I took the low road, optimistic me, passing one of the schools but came to a dead end, no pun intended. This tiny chapel – not in use, small cemetery and grotto, is that it, no the proper cemetery is up there, he said pointing to the clouds, silly me, couldn’t have been that lucky. Oh well, smile cheerfully, act as if this is the most important thing in life to achieve and put the best foot forward.
These teeny plant had found root in a crack in the cement. A one careful owner, still had lovely flowers out the front.
The boys led the way up the hill. Bear stopped to admire a dongle in a hedge made up of yucca with the odd banana plant.
Plenty of flowers and well kept gardens with views along the way.
As we got higher we could see the anchorage, boats gathering in readiness for the supply boat.
The cemetery, is that it can we go back now. No, I want to go further to see if we can see the next island. OK I managed feebly.
At the top we saw the island opposite, is that it. No if we go further we should see the big island. OK. The building is one of several belonging to France Meteo. There was a funny, stumpy thing that we recognised as a tsunami warning monitor, we had seen one before on Anegada in the BVI’s.
The road became track, then we entered woodland, not something I had ever expected on a South Pacific Island. Mmmm. Lots of new sniffing and hunting for the boys though.
Pretty little well-kept houses up here, exquisite flowers and a delightful garden feature.
A house with solar panels, a view of Mount Duff and a house not quite finished yet.
A couple of one careful owners.
We walked until things got muddy and very wooded, I found myself saying we hadn’t come across the King’s tomb yet. Oh he’s in the cemetery we passed ages ago. See Pepe snarl out of sight of the skipper, manage a smile and suggested we perhaps go and see it. OK said all too brightly. We can’t go too much further as the track comes to a dead end on the map. Hurrah for maps. When we do the near full circuit of the island we go over the hill from the bakery to the other side and toddle back round the top end, takes all day and we can take a picnic. Waiting with short pants and baited breath.........cannot wait, my right heel is throbbing now. I smile and suggest we could perhaps do that when we come back after exploring the other two islands we are going to visit on Beez. Praise the Lord when I hear, that’s a good idea.
Further laughter from himself when he sees a chicken picking over a chicken bone and the boys scare another into a tree. I didn’t know chickens can fly. No dear, pigs can swim we’ve seen that and we’ve seen goats in trees too. Time to find the king. Before Bear could utter the words best not let the boys into the cemetery than they were through the gate and sniffing the bushes right at the far end.
The tomb of King Maputeoa, Gregoire after his Catholic conversion.
After a good look round, Bear stood by a tiny grave. I whistled for the boys who came at top speed. They have no idea what I’m saying when we meet other dogs and I tell them to play nicely, or come, but they manage to know what I want from them. It’s nice to have them temporarily but with our lifestyle it’s clear we couldn’t do this full time.
On our way back we stopped to admire the cathedral and one of the schools, this one is for seniors. Beyond we could see the remains of one of the disused pearl farms.
The boys waited quietly on the road as we sat and had an ice cream, then came with us to the dock. Bear climbed into Baby Beez. The boys settled tight up to me as I sat down to get into launching position. On our previous bimble they had left us in town, here I was sat with two eager chaps ready to go. I leapt in and pushed off, they ran up and down the jetty crying, very distressing to see. Off we went, they galloped round to the slope, ran in the water and began to swim after us. Oh dear. They soon gave up but later as we had a game of backgammon we could hear them howling on the quayside. Perhaps if we do the cliff walk we better sneak in and not take them with us.............
Looking from Beez, our jaunt took us behind the cathedral, up the road past the higher level houses, to the top of the road which was about half way. A good few hours.........
ALL IN ALL A GOOD TIME OTHER THAN THE BOYS GETTING UPSET
LOVELY WANDER INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE