Island Adventures; Part III

Goodness, I don't like being a tourist, and I've realized that I'm in danger of becoming a snob. You know, one of those unbearable people who is all, 'ick! Tourism!' It's as if my hermit streak shows up with undue strength when I find myself in a new place. I crave solitude, an escape from the beaten path. Not to mention the fact that I'm an utter cheapskate.

ANYWHO, it has come to my attention that my last two posts have been rather too full of complaints about tourism. I'll try to be a bit more positive from now on, because I truly am enjoying it here.

It's so nice to take pictures of something that isn't my house!

And the ocean is lovely.

And the people are some of the friendliest I've ever encountered.

And there are lighthouses. Lots and lots of them - predominately red and white.
Today was lighthouse day (and, incidentally, a chance for me to indulge my non-touristy/hermit/beaten-path-shunning tendencies to the full).


Our map is severely lacking in helpful details, and apparently the Islanders don't consider lighthouses important enough to rank a place on their signage. We did lots of turning around on narrow dirt roads, and probably ended up in a few places we weren't actually supposed to be. We began to interpret 'no trespassing' signs to mean 'please leave your car behind and proceed on foot'. Whether or not this was an accurate interpretation, I'll never know. We stuck to the roads, and if we were, indeed trespassing, at least we were discreet about it.

Red sand beaches, littered with shells, bits of sandstone, tumbled fragments of sea stones and sea glass...caressed by gentle breakers and rimmed by protective red cliffs.

'Prim' is the best description I can offer for my impression of these little red and white lighthouses. Crisp, clean, bastions of order and safety in the wildly rollicking world of wind and sand and vast ocean waves. 

The wind blew briskly along the shore, whipping the sand into little ripples, erasing our footprints, hissing, moaning, and whistling through the scrubby trees that grow along the dunes. The beach grass whirled in the breeze, describing perfect arcs in the sand. 

Richmond and I opted to walk along the coast between two of the lighthouses. We had a smashingly good time blowing along with the wind, singing snatches of all the sea shanties that seem a bit out of place in our little landlocked Missouri farm. I attempted to recite John Masefield's 'Sea Fever', but bogged down miserably.

"I must go down to the sea again...uh...oh, crud! Um, something, something, and something the wind...oh, crud!"

The brother exhibited a saintly patience for my endless photo-taking, and in my turn, I attempted to do a larger amount of walking in proportion to my photography. I did not succeed very well at this.

Eventually, we ran out of beach and scrambled up a convenient low place in the cliffs to continue our way along the top. We started out on a nice, broad pathway, which eventually dwindled until it became an elusive little wisp of a trail that disappeared and reappeared at odd places.  

Lighthouse in a field - though I'm not sure if it's a 'proper' lighthouse. The
top seemed too enclosed.
Islanders seem to regard their lighthouses in about the same light as the British regard many of their ancient ruins - just another part of life. We found lighthouses standing casually at the edges of fields, or, in one case, squarely in the middle of a field. This blending of the nautical and agricultural seemed, in a way, rather beautiful and symbolic.
Home again, home again, jiggity jig, to wash the wind tangles out of my hair, the sand off the rest of me, consume pork chops, and afterwards, s'mores crafted with digestive biscuits, marshmallow creme, a fire pit, a cookie sheet, and a little ingenuity.