It’s a bit of a lazy morning and, when the afternoon arrives, Farmer Jane and I venture out to enjoy some of the fresh air of Lord Howe Island. We head off on the easy Transit Hill hike which takes us through the jungle (yet actually on a trail and not through the jungle where the trees were conspiring to trip me as in Kids Say the Darndest Things). The trail periodically opens up to beautiful views of Mount Lydgbird, Mount Gower, and the turquoise Tasman Sea. LHI is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in the world.
We hike down from Transit Hill and take a seat on various benches which are placed in strategic locations around the island in order for visitors and locals to simply enjoy the spectacular views and each other’s company. Lord Howe Island is a place where you can awake with absolutely no plan and enjoy a day just going for a walk.
We’d planned to go to one of the island’s lodges for dinner but, as Kongy has had a horrible day at work and will be late, we decide to drink a lot of wine and cook some pasta with fresh vegetables. Yup, a full day going for a simple walk, enjoying the beautiful views, and drinking wine. Lord Howe is full of simple pleasures.
We awake the next morning and I pack up my bags as, for the next two nights, I’ll be staying at Leanda Lei Apartments, a lodge where Farmer Jane works and which I’ve decided to try on to see how visitors to Lord Howe Island normally live. While Farmer Jane and Kongy have been most hospitable, it’s time to leave them in their house to do what young (and old) couples do.
Bags packed and ready to go, Farmer Jane and I ride our bikes down to the jetty to take a look at the Island Trader, the semi-weekly supply ship which is anxiously awaited by residents as, besides bringing supplies for local businesses, most residents order food, clothing and other supplies off the internet, which are delivered via the Island Trader. Farmer Jane normally earns some extra money unloading the supplies but, as she’s working through a pinched nerve in her back, we simply watch the small trucks come and go.
We ride over to Thompsons Store where we enjoy a burger on the front porch and take advantage of the warmth of the sunshine, hidden from the winds along the coast. Afterwards, we stop back at the house for a change of clothes. We’re going golfing today! With the exception of Putt-Putt, neither Farmer Jane nor I have ever golfed. It might be a hoot. And, we’ve decided to dress the part, so we create some makeshift knickers and don caps so, if our golf game sucks, we can at least offer comic relief to anyone who might be watching. We ride to The Pines Lodge where Kongy is working hard installing brick walkways and landscaping, grab the keys to the “Ute” (utility trucks which are used by many on the island) and head over to the Lord Howe Island Golf Club, with a quick stop at the liquor store in order to pick up a few small bottles of champagne to quench our thirst on the course.
We place our envelope with our greens fees in the self-pay honor-system box, grab some clubs and a golf-bag carrier from out back, and head off to the first tee. Kongy has given us a few notes on which clubs to use where and we grab the big, fat driver from the bag after placing our tee on the green. We can’t see the flag marking the hole, but have an idea that it might be far down the fairway and up into a hill between some trees. Farmer Jane swings first and is, well, not too impressive. In fact, she completely misses the ball. Her second attempt is nearly as good as she takes a large chuck of grass and dirt out of the ground. Try number three is slightly more successful as the ball moves forward about forty meters. Unfortunately, the distance of this hole is three hundred twenty eight-meters.
It’s my turn next and I bend down and confidently place my ball on the tee. It takes me four tries to get my ball moving forward and, both Farmer Jane and I go slightly above the par four, as she hits a seventeen and I top her with a twenty-two. Knowing that this will be a long game, we crack open our individual champagne bottles and enjoy the spectacular view.
The next hole goes much better as I’ve decided the problem with our game is that we haven’t named our balls. I name mine Harry and Farmer Jane names hers Blue (yeh, we know). The naming of the balls seems to help and Farmer Jane shoots an eight and I hit a nine, only three-times the par three. Hole number three nearly has me down on my knees laughing as Farmer Jane seems to be using a trick-ball as she keeps hitting it but it only travels about five meters each time. The F-word tumbles out of her mouth countless times as I lean over my club laughing in hysterics. Still, it doesn’t go much better for me as I lose my ball and have to continue on with Harry-2. The par is three and we both hit fourteen.
Holes four, five and six have similar success rates as the first three and, by hole six, I’m hitting Harry-4 and she’s moved on to Blue-4. Moving from hole five to six has us walking down the hill and through the jungle to finally reach the tee-off location. (I have no idea of the official term for it.) It’s taken us two hours to play six holes. We decide to call it a day as Farmer Jane has hit a seventy-six and it appears I’ve won with a seventy-five. The total par for these six-holes is twenty so maybe neither of us actually wins. We each drank two small bottles of champagne and I’ve not laughed that hard in a long time so perhaps, we both win.
We head on back to the house, pick up my bags, and head over to Leanda Lei where I enjoy an evening in my lovely room with great kitchen facilities. I have a four-burner stove on which to cook, along with a microwave, refrigerator, small appliances and dishes. I simply enjoy some bread and brie accompanied by a nice glass of wine.
Coming next, Lord Howe I’ll Miss You.
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