We heave the kayaks up the shore, set the bags under a shady patch beneath a cluster of palm trees and (necks burning) head back to the water. I wade out further, breaking and entering, moving closer toward an undercrop of rugged cliff as the tide moves around indecisively; swimming in the shallows as the waves rush hard into their base, dancing round shards of basalt as the tide sucks them all away. Flux and flow, react and go.
Im glad to be alone in my efforts. There’s a precipice calling a few metres up and I answer with my hands and feet, moving cautiously up the cliff edge, mind to matter, attending closely to the sharp encirclements of rock, etched by the strong tide. I turn inland, crawling through a rift beneath a mammoth slant, back arched, careful over patches of algae, leaving the midday sun and sea, entering the sweetspot.
A gentle cobbled stairway weaves between grooves of rock a few metres above, tree roots lurk from little cracks, slip down the face in long thin tendrils and quickly disappear into caverns beneath my feet. An enormous tree looms in the space above me, touches of sunlight finding ways across the soft bark, spreading down the roots as they split and dangle from the trunk base mid air and join the rest in the shadows below. How does nature win out like this? I’m 10 years old again… seeking secret spaces, following only curiosity.
Another clamber up the cliff sees me up to the stairway. Following it flush to the mountainside, I can hear the purr and flicker of delicate wings – a family of birds perhaps, or possibly fruit bats… Shiny, wooden handle rails appear either side of the path, and soon a shiny wooden hut appears too. Nestled in a great wedge of rock ahead, circular, open plan, glazed mahogany, with matching wooden furniture strewn about the floor. A quality build, recently neglected. As I near the entrance, I can see dense rows of straw lain neatly into inlets of the roof, and the source of the purring sound is made apparent.. Little, quippy sparrows dart across the imposium, hovering, cleansing their feathers against overhangs of roof straw and dart out again. Wow. I enter the frollicking and the birds continue around me, unperturbed, surrounding me.
There’s a view out over the bay to the left and a huge wooden dresser, top draw ajar, to the right, which I take toward immediately.. Underneath a veil of dust which I fracture on haul, I pry the riches from the tomb: teddy bear, gasoline, lobo’s greatest hits cd, laminated ‘work peak’ from June 2012 and a few items of curiously crafted phillipino crockery. I spend a moment with the treasure, imagining possible uses for the odd shaped bowls, envisioning the last cuddle imparted on old mr ted, considering whereabouts the residents might have sung and danced to Mr Lobo. The last question has me out the other side, up a narrow cobbled path to another smaller hut above. This one’s housing a toilet, sat precariously over sharp ridged rock – no dancing in here.. Down a flight of steps to the left and around a narrow bend appears the largest hut, this one locked, windowless from my vantage point – the sleeping quarters. Maybe Mr Lobo played in here.. Or maybe they danced on the sand below.
Time to return.
Return to the beach.
Return to the boys.
Return to December 10th 2017.
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