October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 1 on Pitcairn - Wednesday

OMG we are here on Pitcairn Island … woo hoo!
As I said previously we got up at 6am and the lovely Jane had made Pancakes and I had 2 big ones with maple syrup and UHT cream (which is actually quite nice!).  After brekky we just hung around waiting for sunrise here is Neil who I think is the most excited off us all … he was just bouncing of the walls!

It felt like ages before this damn sunrise to occur.  But it was worth the wait … waiting out on the ship we had plenty of time to take photos and I took 3 individual photos of the island, used Windows Live photo gallery and managed to take the 3 photos and make them into a panorama of the island … here is Pitcairn Island …

I must admit while waiting it was hard not to well up with tears when seeing this island .. I never thought I would ever get to this place … as a child it was a place that had very few ships going there and the chances of getting stuck there was extremely high so it wasn’t exactly on my to do list!  And when the plans to go here formulated and the cheaper option of the 2 week voyage on the ship was suggested we just had to do it!
Still waiting for the first long boat to come and get us I took photos of the island
Christians cave

Ships Landing point

Homes – the top is Pommey Ridge where Brenda lives

Group photo

And finally we see the first long boat with the quarantine and police officer on board

After being processed and our passports stamped with our arrival and also prestamped and dated with our departure … yep I already have my departure stamp in my passport and I haven’t even left yet … only on Pitcairn!
After getting in the long boat which had all our luggage we set off so this was the perfect opportunity to take a photo of the MV Claymore II

We set out of Bounty Bay where the landing is and you are greeted with this sign

That man securing the rope is actually my Uncle Steve … Mums brother
It was a little emotional scrambling up onto the jetty but great to see Mum and Steve embracing.  It has been 52 years since Mum was last on this Island.  We were greeted with necklaces and a small information pack of Pitcairn, lots of hugging and kissing and introducing ourselves and a lot of ‘who’s you’ (Pitcairn way of saying who are you … I am slowly picking up the lingo but I am hoping that I don’t pick up the Pitcairn habit of cursing which is VERY common!)
We were all piled onto quad bikes in two’s and then taken up the ‘hill of difficulty’ which is incredibly steep but fortunately sealed (the only road sealed on the entire island) and up to Pommey Ridge – I tell you it is a hairy ride and so glad that it hadn’t rained as the entire island is just like a red clay – not as compact as Australian clay but still slippery when wet.
So we hung around Brendas place which is where Mum, Dad and Sharon are staying.  Every now and then Brenda would come up on her Quad bike and trailer with some of our luggage and food supplies and boxes!  Once we got our luggage we went up the road (about 150m) to the chalet where Neil and I and Lea Ann and Uschi are staying.  The chalet is a 2 bedroom and a study or small bedroom house with a sensational view of the ocean … in fact everyone has a sensational view of the ocean.  All houses face north as Bounty Bay is on the north side
of the island and I suppose so they can see the ships and boats coming.
The 4 of us quickly settled and decided to kill time by taking a walk down to the town square.  Now since it is ‘supply’ day the entire island is working, with the exception of the elderly, so there are quad bikes with boxes of food, bags of tatties (potatoes) and onions, whiteware, anything really all hanging or procariously sitting on the quad bikes!
The walk down is fine and the weather is cloudy with a little sun and breeze so a litte humid.  The road down is unsealed and is a red compacted dirt.  The sides of the roads has heaps of bushes, some hibiscus

Some morning glory, some bananas, some pet goats!  There are alot of wild goats on the island.
We get to the main road which is sealed and come across this …

The local taxi!  Apparently it is Steve and Olives (my Uncle and Aunt)
Like I said previously the ship we came on is the Supply ship (every 3 months) so the goods supplies from Countdown, NZ (Woolworths) came in 2 containers (not much ordered this trip!) so we come across the local store and there are bikes, people, food and boxes everywhere!

Just on from that is the town square, church and hall.  The town square is covered and is the place where they have community meals and Christmas.  The church is Seventh Day Adventist (so Saturday is the Sabbath), there is no Pastor on the island as there are not to many parishners so I am not sure if they will replace the Pastor.  They still do meet  on Saturdays and have a reading.
Situated in the town square is the anchor from the Bounty

Further on from the square we head towards the Cemetary and on the corner is the house of Len Brown who is the oldest man on the island, he is 87 and is a master carver.  Although for the last 6 years he has had his main meal with Brenda and Mike he still has a garden - like every house here it is impressive

Just down the road is the cemetary so Len has some quiet neighbours!

We pay our respects to Grandad, Grandma and Pa and have a look around at all the names on the graves.
We then walk up to John Adams Grave (John Adams was the last remaining mutineer and is said to be the founder of structure and order of the community when it first established itself).  The grave of him, his wife and daughter are not in the cemetary but up the road and hill a bit in a different area.

By now Uschi and Lea Ann are hot and beginning to tire and we still had to get back UP the steep hill!  So we head back and just outside Betty Christians house is the cannon from the bounty …

Lea Ann and Uschi make it back … just!
After lunch Neil and I decide that the ship has finished unloading and it is only the diesel cubes on the landing so we make our way to The Edge (in the hope that we can make it down to The Landing) we get down to the Edge and the view from there is just sensational of the Landing

The Edge is the place where the diesel cubes are kept and also has sheds where the containers not containing food are unpacked and redistributed to the islanders.
We stayed and chatted to Heather (Kerry, my cousins partner) and watched as the tractor and bulldozer come up with the cubes of diesel. 
We left there once they finished and then the looooooooooooooong walk up the hill … lucky we did all that walking in Australia so we coped quite well …

For dinner the family all bought a plate for dinner, they didn’t stay long as they were all tired from the busy day.
I tell you trying to get to sleep was incredibly hard as I was just too excited about being here!

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