It’s 0430, still dark out, and yet Queen Nefertiti of the Apartment, Nia, has decided in her infinite feline wisdom to be my alarm clock for the day, demanding her bipedal female pleb come turn her tap on for water sips and slurps. Try as I might, I’m unable to find a comfortable sleep position after the Elderbeast had drank her water. (She has incredibly long whiskers and is sensitive to them touching things like bowls, so we feed them on plates and she drinks from the tap to avoid contact with her delicate feeler machines. If your cat is finicky, you might want to try a low-rise plate/bowl, etc.)
I’m going to skip ahead to about four hours later, and a full cup of coffee to get my brain juice fully functional. I’m excited, because we’re finally going to head out on to the open road today, and discover Nevis. We drove around a bit when we first got the car back, but not too much. We decided today would be a good day to go for a very slow scenic drive to the grocery stores and check things out along the way.
At the corner where Rumours is to our left of the car, and the Lobster Shack is in front of us, I turned right, and we head away from Newcastle (where the Nevis International Airport is now in our rear view mirror), and we’re officially on the “highway”.
Let me explain this, so you’re not thinking “401” or “Autobahn” or “I-94”. The maximum speed in most areas is 40mph. 20mph in school zones and passing the Police Stations. Honestly, in most areas, especially with the sheep who cause more traffic jams than anything else, you’re driving that speed anyway because of the road twists and turns and width of road, blind corners… yeah, it’s going to take a bit for me to get used to these roads, but once I do, I’ll likely look like just a local who knows what a blinker is. Yup; even in Nevis, the discovery of a turn signal is a rare and blessed event. If you’re near a store, send blinker juice. Please.
I’m getting off track with my story already.
So whenever the fancy strikes, we are taking side roads and seeing where they lead. Our goal is to go as far up Mount Nevis as drivable, and well, we aren’t getting too far, but we are definitely making this a memorable occasion. Whooodoggies, this is a steep set of roads up in here! This lil Suzuki Swift already has the engine light perpetually on, and once every few minutes, brake light appears to remind us that life is fleeting apparently.
I drive up one section, and the road is fairly decent – not potholed, but just ragged and washed out in spots, so you really need an ATV or 4×4 if you’re going to do serious climbing. Remember, we have Swift. And it’s not living up to its name. AT ALL.
There’s a patch that looks really decent, and we soon learn why – I’m guessing they forgot they were making the road, ran out of materials, and just went home. I’m not even kidding. For those of you who know all about my fondness for hills (that was sarcasm, read my old #100days stuff because it explains multiple times about the hills near our place in Staten Island), you KNOW I know my hills. The boy jumped out of the car, and talked me back down the hill, in reverse, with that stupid engine light on, and the brake light flashing at me, taunting me, laughing at me, teasing me “ha ha, silly mortal, I can let go at anytime, and you can see if this car rivals Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
Let me back up. < Oh lol. Yeah, I just realised what I said… anyway – moving forward – stars, I can’t catch a ‘brake’ here right now! The road is all you can drive on. You don’t get a shoulder to pull over onto, nor do you have any flat areas. There are what I could easily class as microcliffs – they are absolutely sheer drop-offs on either side of the road, leading to a bed of jagged rocks and chunks of debris about four or five feet max below us on either side in many areas.
And there’s a lady, chomping on bread, standing at her gate watching from where it could be classed as a possible flat-ish-kinda area below, now shouting which way to turn the wheel. I could have zipped around in no time had I not been bombarded with the microcliff. The boy’s actual helpful directions and the yelling lady were slightly distracting, but it was the damn goat that added to the craziness. Every time the hubs would say something, the lady would yell out a counterintuitive direction, and then the goat would bleat loudly, as if it were adding a third option to my possibilities. I’m sure he was just being evil and saying “Drive off the side! Peer pressure, do it do it do it! I triple dog…err… goat dare you!”
I got turned around (obviously), and the boy asked if he could snap a pic of the lady with her goat. After that roughly five minutes of panic and craziness, laughing at the goat trying to steal the bread from the woman was a nice relief. Hopefully at a later date, I can get the pic put up here for you to see. It’s on black and white film, so it will be a bit before we can get it scanned and processed and uploaded.
Back on our way, we headed to the old Sugar Cane Mill. But that’s for another story.