Why I wrote a poem about Tristan…

Tristan is not a person that I wrote about in my poem. In fact, Tristan is a volcanic island and what is called the remotest island in the world. The island officially is called Tristan da Cunha. I sometimes get views from a little island called “Isle of Man” on my blog so I was researching and looking at pictures of Isle of Man yesterday when I stumbled across an article about the most remote island in the world.

My fascination for remote locations around the world and the people who live there has always captured my attention since I was very young. I too feel very comfortable in isolated places such as sand dunes, beaches, isolated towns in the middle of the jungle etc. Usually in these place, you are able to let your cerebral intellect run wild whilst taking in the sounds of nature, the authenticity of old traditions of people and ability to be far away from any modern day stresses. I think that’s why I have always felt so free in such places; these places quench my spirit and allow me to purify my mind, body and soul. Let’s find out a little more about Tristan, shall we?

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Tristan is part of a group of volcanic islands, but is the main island where the citizens of Tristan live. Tristan is a British overseas territory but governed by Saint Helena.

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The view approaching Tristan from a boat. There are no airports on Tristan.

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There’s a population less than 300 people who live on the island. There are 80 families with names like Glass, Green, Swain, Lavarello, Repetto, Rogers and Hagan.

A man sets aside his best potatoes for planting.
A man sets aside his best potatoes for planting.

Currency was not available until recently. Before, potatoes were the main form of currency with the families all bartering with each other. There is a location called “The Patches” 3 miles away from town where everyone goes on the weekend to pick potatoes. In this community, if you needed flowers to put on your loved ones graves, all you would have to do is to ask your neighbors if you could pick some of their flowers in their yard. There isn’t a floral shop, people share here. If someone hunts and catches food, he will share with the community. Here, people talk to one another when they pass their neighbor; to walk by one another with an acknowledgment is considered rude. This is a very tight knit community who love the fact they are isolated from the rest of the world. Many citizens never knew what a television looked like or many of the modern day things we have today. The citizens value their way of life and want to continue with their ways with the next generation of Tristans.

Watch the video below and see if you see what I saw. I saw a group of happy, hard working and charming people who happen to live in the world’s most isolated island. This looks like an amazing place to call home. I wouldn’t mind visiting there as not having much to do than walk around, hike, explore the ponds and interacting with the people would make me just as happy. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, I love simplicity. I know in the past, the citizens of Tristan would only receive mail once a year! But the last I heard, they have internet, so I’m sure communication is much faster now.


Video credit: David MacKenzie

There is another well done documentary that I will add below.
Tristan da Cunha Part 1

Tristan da Cunha Part 2

Now, when you reread my poem about “Tristan”, you’ll understand I was talking about the island the entire time. 🙂

xoxo

Sunday with my bestfriend….

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This past Sunday took my bestfriend and I to explore Breckenridge and Frisco (Colorado). The trip took two hours to get to Breckenridge from Colorado Springs, but on our way there, we ran into three storms. During one of those storm breaks, we stopped at a place where you could see miles and miles of land before you. I mean, it was one of those moments that takes your breath away. As far as the eye could see, you saw mountains and a big valley below. There was this skinny road that passed through the valley and I asked my bestfriend, “Is that the road we’ll be taking which leads straight into those big mountains?”. In my mind, I felt like I was heading into some Lord of the Rings journey.

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The answer was yes. The ledge where we were standing was full of wild flowers and you know how crazy I get about wild flowers. If there is one thing on my bucket list that I really want to do is to lay in a huge field of wild flowers. I’ve never done that. Not just any field of wild flowers, but a mountain field of wild flowers. Well, here, there were wild flowers, but not enough.

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We passed through South Park. Yeah, that South Park in Colorado. I’ve never been here before and it was interesting to see what it was like. For starters, it seemed to be a town where time stood still. The town seemed quiet and unassuming. There seemed to be just one main road there as most mountain town have in Colorado.

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Once in Breckenridge, we stopped and had lunch. I had made a nice picnic and we munched on our sandwiches as we took in the beauty of the town. Most of the day was cloudy, so I’m sorry if the pictures seem dull. There weren’t many blue skies the day we went. It didn’t stop the towns from looking beautiful though. Breckenridge is a ski resort town, so you could see all the ski trails up in the mountains.

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We were surrounded by these flowers as we ate our lunch. So pretty…

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Gondolas! They looked so peaceful as they made their way up the mountain. Then this is what followed my thoughts.
Bestfriend: But do you see how high they go?
Me: No.
Me: They seem to go over a certain point and then you can’t see how high they go.
Me: (After much thought and self control of excitement) Will you please, please go on it with me?
Bestfriend: What? Are you kidding me? That looks scary! I’m not going on that thing, nuh uh!
Me: Aw, come on!
Bestfriend: No way. (Their face appeared determined to not go)
Me: Come on! We’ll have fun! I promise not to rock the gondola.
Bestfriend: Look how they sway! Is that normal? They are swaying too much! No way am I going on that!
Me: Uhhh. Maybe the people are rocking it on purpose. I highly doubt it would be the gondola itself.

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A miracle happened that day. I was able to convince my bestfriend to come with me to find out how high it went from the ticket booth guy. Luckily, it was a free 12 minute ride and it only went to a certain point. That’s good. We could survive that. I was so proud of my bestfriend because they agreed to get on. I was beyond excited! It was a nice ride and I got some good shots. I video taped most of the ride, but the windows were scratched up, so I only used a few clips that didn’t show the scratches.

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We finally arrived in Frisco and checked out the marina. The first time I came here back in October, it was night and I wasn’t able to see all the mountains. Frisco Bay is a place where I want to come back and kayak, but today we were just exploring it.

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Some may already know I love marinas! I love any form of water be it lakes, rivers, waterfalls, oceans or even small streams. I love being out in the water and feeling the wind in my face as I ride sailboats, boats or even kayaks. There is something so pure and natural to be so close to water. I just feel so at home by water. I’m working on getting my Safety Boating Certificate so I can legally operate a boat out in the lakes. Maybe one day I’ll get my own boat.

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I love using the tilt shift on my camera. It makes the boats look miniature.

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This dog was so cute! His owners were throwing a stick for him to go after and he seemed so happy just to be running around.

Here is the video of our day. Unfortunately, my Windows Movie Maker was not working tonight, so I had to use YouTube for my editing. Hope you like the video! Until next time!

Carrying only a lantern through a cave!

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Feeling a sense of adventure once again, we went to check out Cave of the Winds this past Sunday. We did not know what to expect, except that one of the tours we bought was the Lantern Tour. The Lantern Tour is a tour through the cave holding only a metal bucket with a candle inside it for less than two hours in complete darkness. We were told it would be rugged terrain and to wear comfortable shoes. Little did I know that it was also a complete workout by walking up steep steps, bending down in 4 feet tall tunnels, squeezing through smaller tunnel walls and having our hearts literally pop out of our chests from being scared by the tour guide.

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The ride up was a little hairy and I had a few white knuckle moments when driving to the cave. There are no barriers from the drop off cliffs, so my heart was pumping a little extra hard. After parking our car and proceeding to walk down to the main area to buy tickets in the gift store, we saw this sign. Bears? Rattlesnakes? Up here? Bears?? Where would I run too? I began to see myself being chased down the hill by a big brown bear. Until I saw this…

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Luckily, it was the only bear I saw outside. Hence, we moved along to the safety of our destination.
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Once the tour began with a group of 10 or so, we were brought into a big area where there were lights lighting up the cave and ceiling. Our tour guide provided some information about the room and what to expect from the near 2 hour tour. Before we knew it, we were all walking in a fast pace up very steep stairs, gingerly walking down dirt trails and bending down for a few yards in a 4 foot tunnel. The first few minutes of walking were lit by lights and there were strategic lights lighting our way. However, soon we were all given a metal bucket and a candle to proceed into the dark cave. From here on, we were told, there was only one way out from where we were going and to stay close because the cave is enormous and it’s easy to get lost. We even were trained in “code words” to say to each other such as “bend down”, “steps” “duck”. This way of code talking came in handy as we were all walking in a single row since the pathways were incredibly small. It was all so Lord of the Ring! Anyways, our little lanterns were the only lights we would be seeing for the rest of the tour and it would be lighting our pathway (except of the occasional flashlight from the tour guide to point out things).

The said ladder above was pointed out to us as where a man was “pushed” to his death. He was one of the owner’s friends. He later died in the hospital, but the man claimed there was something in the cave that allegedly pushed him off the ladder and said the cave was haunted by something. Something or some things that did not want people exploring or working in the cave.

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Wait, are those business cards inside this cave? Why? Legend has it that if you leave your business card in there, it will bring you good luck. I think. Don’t quote me on that. Yes, I did leave my business card in there. It is now forever inside that cave and if you know my first and last name, good luck finding it. It’s pretty easy to find if I go in there with you, but you’ll be there quite some time looking for it. I then realized, oops. I don’t work at my old job anymore from my business card. Back in the day, during the early tours, people would leave their business cards under the State initials written on the walls of the cave. This would help people to find potential business or employers under that particular State. That area of the cave was just immersed in complete darkness. At one point, were told to blow our candles out to experience complete darkness. I imagined what it would have been like to be a miner in this cave and not finding my way out. That is a very scary thought!

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Here I am trying to squeeze through a small tunnel and taking it for the team to lead the group to our next trail. Just kidding. It’s not me. Just a demonstration of how tiny the tunnels actually were when the cave was discovered.

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These tools were found in the cave to show us what the miners used back then.

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It was around this time that my camera died, but not before I took this picture. We were told we would be able to see the ghost of the owner of the cave up in that hole.

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If you go to Cave of the Winds, I highly recommend this particular tour “The Lantern Tour” because it is more rugged and adventurous than the other two tours. I won’t spoil what you will see or hear during the tour, but I guarantee you’ll have a fun and informative time. If you happen to come visit us in Colorado Springs, I’ll be more than happy to take this tour with you!