Sunday, March 8, 2015

18: To Roaring Cape

Roaring Cape from the train stop.

 Alan noticed no towns or houses for quite a while, only larger hills covered with deep green grass and low scrub, edged at the ocean by an undulating line of sand dunes. Then he noticed houses ahead.

In the Newport Station, Alan hopped out and bought a bottle of root beer at a kiosk. The train had paused here for ten minutes, and most everyone got off to stretch.The town of Newport rests on narrow sloping land between a huge and steep sand dune and the bay, offering a dramatic view of Newport Bay and the Hills of Blackstairs beyond. The dune shelters Newport from the often blustery Southern Indian Ocean winds, but encroaching sand has lately become a problem.

Soon they were on their way again, and within a short while Jeremy, proclaimed, "Ah, that would be Roaring Cape ahead, almost an island attached by a sandy isthmus."

"Yes, I can see that," Alan muttered.

The train stopped at a cement platform marked ROARING CAPE, a flag stop according to the schedule. A pair of backpack-laden women got off and Alan watched them head up the slope toward a scattering of  huts and tiny houses. "Aahhh, said Jeremy, "They would be members of the Hermits, who build their own shacks all around this cape, and never hold regular jobs. They just keep to themselves, scattered over these hills. No one bothers them, you know, because all this land is held in common - did you know that?  Their only way in or out of here is to ride this train, or to have a long walk."

Alan thought that he'd like to be a hermit and get off here right now.