Thursday, June 23, 2011

Julia's Paradise

On the beach at Julia's on a foggy morning.

On the Great East Coast Path just south of Bailey Beach lies Julia's Paradise. As you walk the Path, you'll almost miss the small sign by the path to her retreat. Once you walk in you'll find a virtual Paradise of tiny cabins and treehouses with ocean views, open hot pools, an inside bathhouse with steam rooms and sauna, a cold swimming pool, organic gardens and a beautiful lodge and resaurant.

Julia's cuisine and her magic cookies are known all over the island!

Which brings Julia to mind. She is a free spirit much into healing: a nutritionist and therapist. She'll set you up with the right food, massage (many disciplines), an exercise program, and even talk-therapy if you're really in need of someone. She takes clients for 3-day and one-week (or longer) stays at her gorgeous retreat, which is clothing optional, as is the beach out front.  For a reduced fee you can work in her gardens or on other projects...she is always fixing up her place!

If you go, ask Julia for the two-hour Heavenly Hands massage, then take in the baths, a vigorous swim in the ocean, and a nap. Then check out Julia's open kitchen and sample a cookie or two, or a glass of local riesling before supper. Ummmmmm.

For reservations, contact: Julia at Julia's Paradise, Bailey Beach Post, New Island.
Your mail might take a week to arrive, so plan ahead!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Eastern Coast

This is rumored to be Bird Point, but the locals won't say for sure...

Much of New Island's eastern coast is uninhabited or very sparsely so. The entire coast is accessed by only two roads, the P17 and the M25. The rest of this 200-mile-long coast is accessible only by walking the Great East Coast Path.

Several Japanese fishing families settled the rocky northern coast in the early 1800s, and they continue their traditional way of life. Walkers are invited to stay at several inns and spas in the old villages. Further south, a few towns have grown to supply the smaller tribes and settlements. Subsistance-farming and resort tribes are the rule on the southern coast. Many New Islanders trek along this coast to vacation at these tribal spas for weeks at a time.  Further south are a few secretive settlements, such as Covenmoor, which welcome visitors only during special annual festvals. Inquire locally if you're uncertain! 

Ahhh, the beaches cannot be surpassed! The Path keeps to the firm ground just above the most beautiful, swimmable, sunnable sand spits you can imagine, so walking and light haulage is comfortable. The surf is gentler than on the blustery South-West coasts and is ideal fro body surfing. Camping is allowed on the beaches and headlands, and swimsuits are optional nearly everywhere except the Ignatz Municipal Beach and Plunge.

A few people are building homes on the claimable common lands along this coast, but the beaches will always remain accessible.

Friday, April 29, 2011

New Island Houses

Imagine living in a comfortable house built with local materials, (see pictures) that costs very little and can biodegrade!

Housebuilding has been a do-it-yourself tradition on New Island, and is taught as one of the Seven Basic Skills. Individuals usually purchase (claim) an available site, and then build or design their own house or retreat. Houses tend to be small (about 1500 sqaure feet or less) and are built with clay or adobe brick, cement-sand brick, wattle-and-daub (mud covering woven branches) or straw bales-and-stucco; with wood-frame roofs, trim, windows and doors. Imported steel is used to reinforce clay and cement-sand walls. Locally-made glass is used extensively including fiberglass for insulation. Plastics have been limited to plumbing pipe and wiring insulation.

Typical houses on New Island.
This is the settlement of Brandonbeach, on the isolated
southwest coast.
It is on the Irian-Southwestern railway,
and the South-West Path, but no roads lead to it!

More typical houses.
This is the commons in Sapphire,

a tribe-settlement on the edge of the Sheffield Desert.
Art by Lee Mothes

Islanders enjoy building! They commonly camp out on their sites for a while to get the feel of how their house might best fit: Aesthetics, the slope, the views, sun-or-shade requirements, garden areas, neighbors and access are usually the biggest considerations. House-raising is often a community event, especially in tribes, where neighbors pitch in to build the foundation and framework, and then the owner usually finishes the details.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Wave Dance Festival Starts Tonight!

We all went and hid after all the show-and-tell hoopla of last September! Now that the promotional dust has settled we can come out again and share what New Island is we start with the Island's festivals.  

The new year always begins with the 
Wave Dance Festival 

 Practicing for the Wave Festival

New Islanders are gathering at the sacred Wave Dance sites this afternoon for the Wave Dance Festival. The highest tides of the season arrive at about 6 pm this evening, January 16, then return at 6:45 pm tomorrow evening, then 7:30 on Tuesday evening, before finally subsiding.

Three old stone platforms scattered at different beaches around the island are the stages for this festival. At the Wave Point site, on the island's eastern coast near Bella Shore, drummers have set up on the nearby bluff while people gather 'round the food and wine booths to tank up. As the tide comes in the dancing starts to old Gaelic tunes or to a wild African-Caribbean beat.

Wave dancers gather on the platform and move to the drums and the rhythm of the surf, losing themselves in the sensuality of nature's energy - and it's ALL energy! People get wet, but it's warm these nights in the Antipodes, it's midsummer here!

Here's the site of the Wave Point festival: