Saturday, October 10, 2015

53. Tower Head

Alan got this one done pretty quickly.


Later that morning they arrived at Tower head, and found a spot on the beach with a good view of the old tower. Alan got curious...

"Say Chloe, what is this tower all about?"

"Well, it was built by the Old People about 1500 years ago, I think. The stone work is incredibly tight, so it's held up against the weather and all. It's one of many stone ruins left by these people."

"Oh, like Hazelhurst? That was my first assignment, and it's only a mile or so from where I'm staying."

"Yep. They left ruins all over the island." 

Alan set up his watercolor set once again, and proceeded to sketch the bluffs and the tower.

Their food supplies were low, and Chloe thought she might try casting a line in the surf to see what might bite. She rigged a sinker with a lure on a long line that she laid loosely on the sand, its other end tied to a stake. She could then literally throw the leader out into the surf, and then pull it in again hand over hand. The waves threatened to tangle it but she managed to hurl a few casts. She was lucky - a pilch (an Australian yellow eye mullet) bit on it and she was able to pull him in after a spell. Her hands were red in places where the line had bit in, but it was worth it! She cooked it over a fire on the beach and they had a nice main course. (Alan was once again amazed at Chloe's resourcefulness.)

It was growing cooler today, with clouds gathering, so after lunch Alan quickly finished up his sketch. Luckily the sun was still out when he started it. After he finished, they decided they would keep walking for a few miles before setting up camp. 

The path followed the bluff-tops over well-cropped grazing land, with some sheep visible in the distance. There were no fences, and Alan noticed nothing man-made except a shepherd's wagon. At Cape Fury, they passed another of New Island's few lighthouses, a squat metal structure accompanied by a low stone keeper's house. They were both built by the Soviet Navy in the 1930s, and maintained by New Island's own Coast Guard, says Chloe. Soon they were crossing a broad grassy slope overlooking Beastey Bay.

As the daylight began to fade, they arrived at the Bailey Ruins, another Old People site that looked quite like a ruined castle. "Indeed," said Chloe, "the place looks a bit like London's Old Bailey, hence the name..." 

Once they had set up their camp, Alan studied the map that Adrian had marked up for him, and then got out his train schedule. "I think I'm through walking for a while, so I'll catch the train in Stonebill, here, just across the bay. I see there is a ferry at this place called Bayview, so we'll have to get up early to catch it!"

Chloe looked over his shoulder. "Yeah, I think you're right. And maybe we can catch a bus from Beastey to the Stonebill station. I'll come with you!"

"On the train?" 

"No, silly. I'll come with you to the train, and then I think I'll take this path out of Stonebill to the south. I want to see Roaring Cape!"

They had pitched both tents, and after a dinner of packaged dried soup and hard crackers, they stored their packs into one of them. They then huddled into the other one, just as a wind-whipped drizzle began. They both fell asleep almost instantly, to the intermittent splattering of light rain and mist.