Day Five and Six

Friday 1st May, 2009

Drop Cap his morning it rained. It drizzled, and poured and dripped and looked as if it was setting in. So we lazed around the cottage until 11:30 when we had tea and biscuits. Mac decided to take the tea out on to the deck and, coming in again he closed the screen. Then he proceeded to walk through it, thinking it was open, and knocked the door off its runner and the screen out of its frame. Luckily there were no tears and he was able to manoeuvre it back and tighten the screws with his Swiss army knife. Looks OK.

Town photograph

Burnt Pine Township after Rain

Drop Cap t 12:30 and still raining we put on our raincoats and went in to town. We had booked a tour of the Convict Settlement for the afternoon. Miraculously, in the half hour that we were there, the wind changed or something and the sky cleared to blue with the sun shining brightly.

Ruins photograph

Barracks Gate, Kingston

Drop Cap e went down to Kingston where we inspected the old Military Barracks, the new Military Barracks (now used for government offices), some of the houses in Quality Row and the Cemetery.

Ruins photograph

Penitentiary Entrance,Kingston

House photograph

No.9 Quality Row

Drop Cap e first saw All Saints Church, adapted by the Pitcairners from the Commissariat, when their own church was destroyed.
We saw several of the old buildings and went through No. 9 Quality Row, which has been restored. It has something of the quality of grandfather's axe (three new handles and a new head but still the same old axe your grandfather used) since it has been destroyed by fire twice and rebuilt to existing plans.

Beach photograph

Emily Bay Beach

Drop Cap e had coffee and cake provided by the driver on the beachfront at Emily Bay and it looked a picture, as if it had never heard of rain!

Gravestone photograph

The Oldest Gravestone

Gravestone photograph

Christian Descendant Graves

Drop Cap he cemetery was interesting, with graves from this year down to the very first convict settlements. Lots of babies and infants and adults carried off very young. And one convict who had been sentenced to NI when he was 98 and lived to 105! A very interesting day.

Drop Cap e had a nice meal at the Garrison Restaurant, a would-be sophisticated place in Burnt Pine. It was a very attractive room, quite full with only two waitstaff. We ordered ciabatta bread with 3 dips to start but it never came, our mains were lamb rump for Mac and steak for me, both good, and since we didn't get the bread we had dessert. Chocolate decadence for me and frangipane tart for Mac - not too heavy and very nice. With a glass each of a NZ sauvignon blanc it came to $95. Not too bad.

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Saturday 2nd May, 2009

Bay photograph

Ball's Bay

Drop Cap oday we decided to cover a couple of roads and points we had not yet driven.
Our first stop was Ball's Bay, a picturesque rocky beach (very large shingle!) where the depots for LPGas and oil are situated. Apparently the tanker boat anchors offshore and a pipeline is put ashore which fills the tanks. The LPG depot had a very strange notice board. Among the "No Smoking" and "No Naked Flames" etc was a prohibition against chewing betel nuts! We have been trying to figure out why.

Later Bookie told us that the notice boards are the same throughout the Pacific region, particularly in New Guinea where the population does chew betel nut and the company does not want the mess. They spit the bright red gunk all over.

Bridge photograph

The Bloody Bridge

Drop Cap hen we went down to Kingston again, (because it was between the two points we were aiming at). We drove over the "Bloody Bridge" a convict built affair on which they murdered their overseer and then mutinied, hence the name.

House photograph

No.10 Quality Row

Drop Cap e drove along Quality Row and went into No. 10, an open house museum, restored very much as it would have been. It was quite fascinating and very attractive.

Garden photograph

Garden at No.10 Quality Row

Drop Cap here was only one bedroom, so it must have been pretty crowded when the Christian family with 15 kids were given it when they arrived from Pitcairn Island. Apparently there were several additional timber lean to rooms at that time which were removed for the restoration, so they might have had more room. The kids may well have slept in hammocks on the verandah.

Boat photograph

Lighter on the Shore

Drop Cap e went down to the pier as we were hoping to pick up a sandwich at the REO cafe, but it was shut and there is nothing else there at all.

Sea photograph

Crystal Pool Area, Point Ross

Drop Cap o we continued on our way to Point Ross and the Crystal Pool. This area contained very little in the way of sign-posting so we don't know if we actually found the pool, but it was another lovely view (of many, many, lots)

Drop Cap e returned to Burnt Pine where we had lunch in a cafe, picked up some milk at the supermarket and returned home. Tonight we are going to "Wonderland by Night", a recommended show in the bush so we will pick up a takeaway before that. More later.


Drop Cap he "Wonderland by Night" excursion was very enjoyable, if a trifle corny. Most of the group walked but another arthritic lady and I took advantage of their "Moon Buggy", a tractor pulled seating thingy. We met the poet, Archie Bigg, who took us along a prepared track to several illuminated scenes which illustrated his bush poems. The poems were enjoyable, in the style of Banjo Patterson and Robert W Service, and some were in the Norfolk language, a blend of Tahitian and 18th century English devised and developed on Pitcairn. When he recited it was not hard to understand but in normal speech it was faster and more difficult. The last scenes were in a grotto hung with thousands of fairy lights, where there were witches flying, fairies on toadstools and a children's poem.

We finished with a cuppa and cake at Archie's shed, a structure so large that Mac wanted it for a model railway. It was an enjoyable, different sort of night out.

Drop Cap e got home by 22:00, just in time for "The Bill" owing to the two and a half hour time difference. By the time we watched it and "Foyle's War" which followed it was nearly 02:00!

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