The Homestead on Middle Percy
We were about half way up to the homestead when a truck stopped, a lady jumped out and said “Hello, I’m Kate, Andy Martin’s cousin”. She bade us make ourselves welcome on the verandah, help ourselves to water and she would be back as soon as she had tidied the A-frame after the campers had left. We chatted for fifteen minutes or so, Kate told us that after the ‘baddie’ had tricked Andy into changing his will, things went from bad to worse as the seven years he was on the island things went to rack and ruin. It cost Kate and her husband John six hundred thousand dollars to repair, clear, clean and sort the island. Each year they have to pay four thousand in rent and insurance for visitors. There is no tourist shop with tee shirts and memorabilia, just the sale of honey, jam, chutney and the odd yachty willing to pay one hundred and fifty dollars for yacht club membership or thirty two dollars for a cd history of the island. Tough going but we wished them every success and on we went.
Off the truck went and we took the track to Refuge Bay. We turned back when we realised the path would be a steep downhill, and back up again..........
Kate reassured Bear that the snakes on the island were all friendly, with that he paced alongside me rather than have me take point. Today we saw a worm becoming lunch for the ants. Funniest of all was watching this beetle, every time we cast a shadow over him he pointed his bottom at us.
At the top of the track we were at Andy’s Lookout.
Back in the trees we walked through clouds of thousands of blue tiger butterflies.
Finally, we reach the gate, pass some goats and an ancient wall.
Poinsettia in cream and red. An old piece of machinery.
A welcoming peacock, Bear at the gate of the Homestead.
No sooner than we had gone up the stairs passing a flour grinding machine, through the kitchen to the verandah, than Kate and John came home. Cold juice was served just as Val and Richard (Kereru) came in. We enjoyed listening about the history of the island and then Kate made us freshly pulped soursop and home made cake. All too soon it was time to bid a fond farewell to these very special people who care take this equally special island.
We went via the gravestone dedicated to the Armitage family and Leslie Brake, also Henry Bevis White. A final look at the homestead and down the steeper but shorter track.
A happy little chap in the garden.
No sooner than we had got started – colour me happy – a one careful owner, a Bristol-Taurus.
We surprised a goat at his munching.
The track looking up, the trucks engage in low gear sign had us laughing. Bear and Val following Richard’s lead.
At the bottom we had to cross the salt flats.
Passing the sign telling us we had just done one and a half miles in quick order. Back on the beach and a quick dash home for BBQ stuff for tonight in the A-frame meeting the yachties in the bay.
ALL IN ALL A SPLENDID AFTERNOON