Thursday, June 03, 2010

8:08 Special

So I rode the train into work today!  No seriously!  You might well wonder how that is possible. 

Running parallel to the road to Abdul's house is a small gauge railway track.  It is used by the miniature locomotives that haul the miniature flatbed cars loaded with sugarcane stalks to the mill in Lautoka.  Probably close to par with tourism on the west side of Viti Levu, the sugar refinery is often a bane to cruisers who anchor in front of it to check into Fiji.  The fine black soot from the chimney makes for very messy decks.  

But this morning as I stumbled bleary eyed and coffee less out the front door of Abdul's house at 8:05, running behind my usual scheduled 7AM departure, I found what looked like a caboose with open benches on both sides and the engineer controlling it by a large lever in the center, working its way slowly down the track.  Eyeing an opportunity too good to be missed and thinking how much sooner I could get that long black coffee to go, I waved and gave them the Bula Bula greeting common in Fiji.  I was soon aboard and clickety clacking my way down the track with only one stop and a quick reverse of the engines….to pick up some coconuts that had fallen by the wayside!  These four friendly fellows were a maintenance crew and were examining the track in readiness for the sugar cane harvest that would start later this month and run through to September.  Jumping off at the marina entrance with a friendly wave, I scored my coffee and made my way around to find the crew getting set up for another day on Toketie's decks.  The day went well, lots of sanding and filling and I slipped away in the afternoon for a dip in the pool at the resort, having to buy a cold Fiji Bitter to justify my transgression.

1 comment:

arl-n-rik said...

G'day Charlie,

Doubtless a challenge so I offer these clues...good to know that Rose will be joining you soon, and, reading the blog conjured images of Charlie repairing his boat in the middle of the jungle

It's said that travel broadens the mind, but apparently it's during the interregna that the breadth develops substance. We soon forget the steps; the stepping stones on which we stop, considering the next leap, are ever engraved in our memories. Whoever said a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Still no sign of summer here - Samuel

P.S. a picture of the train would be nice.