The Tour

The Tour

We made a drive, down the old jalopy road. The road circles most of the island. It goes through small settlements, or towns if you like. It goes over bridges at island streams and rivers already grown in with trees.

We stopped off at a cafe, an open-walled affair at the side of the road in one of the localities. The proprietor there had a particular menu of sandwiches and creations. Roast pork figured often. And rice.

We talked with the proprietor about our tour around the realm, not an uncommon excursion when one has some free time. He asked us to tell him if we found anything new. We agreed.

We kicked back on the patio in the middle of the day with some aperitifs. Dogs are known to roam some of these places, which is curious because these things have teeth and could be considered our competitors.

Then we wandered out, somewhat woozily, to our four-wheeled machine to once again menace the various paved and unpaved roads.

We stopped off at a break in the trees along the shoreline. There was plenty of sand and rocks and breezing palmtops.

Some of us went for a swim. Others did some body surfing.

It was, in fact, a more remote place with no one else there at the moment. The whole road trip is somewhere around 80 miles long.

Then we were away to the roads that grow more remote, less maintained, really considered rural on this outlying corner of the island.

Later, on a particularly bumpy stretch of dirt and trees, we found an elevated part of the roadway on pylons through the forest. And, of course, the concept was vague, as if it were some kind of experiment apart, in an out-flung region.

Smooth and curving, it went through unpopulated forest and was covered by an arching roof of glass, section after section of clear half cylinders going under the trees. The curious part was that, at every section, there was a break of some ten feet exposed to open air. The uncertain purpose of all this seemed to propose a maintained habitat somehow, as if to separate those in-passing from the environment. If it was intended to protect from the outside it did an incomplete job.

Then we were back out and onto dirt and bumps and even rougher terrain for a number of miles.

The machine roared and ground away. We met a small stream that had created a washout. We piled rocks over it and then rumbled onward.

More open road followed and then houses, sparse at first, and later on some small communities that must have only been reached by water.

In fact, neighboring islands could be seen from here, hazy at a distance and, by now, showing in the lower light of afternoon.

We carried on, afternoon to evening, isolated houses with lights on.

The sun, setting across the water in brilliant orange and yellow, sent a spray of light across the sky, spare clouds caught in the glow.

Soon, the road became so rough and tumble and, in fact, nonexistent that we dropped the vehicle off at the side.

At a single house in the trees, set up from the shore with one light on in a window, giving it the aspect of a last sentinel, we climbed on, on foot, where the trail seemed at least slightly evident.

We tramped on in the forest, night sounds beginning around us. Into night, we followed the sound of surf to the side of us, across steep descents and climbs, over rocks and fallen trees.

We found a sharp drop with only a waterfall by which to go down.

Making no attempt at investigation and flinging ourselves foolishly into complete chance and open darkness, possibly full of anything from a shallow riverbed to sticks and rocks below, everyone fell into deep water at the bottom and was carried down stream.

This took us to the ocean shore, which was forested to the edge. We followed the shore again, till we started to see more lights of houses. We found signs of a roadway leading to the edges of a settlement.

Eventually, we walked into the areas of our town and strolled in the evening to our neighborhood.

Most everyone was preparing to go to sleep.

We found our house, the front light on, crickets reverberating in the night and flying bugs flitting about the light bulb.

Tomorrow, we would need to take another car and do it again so we could bring our four-wheeler back with us.

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