the other half of the island

Notice board says that it might be a good seal watching day.
That means I’ll circle the other half of the island.
The seal sanctuary area is a no-go zone except on the wooden path to the hide. On the way to Sälnudde is Las Palmas beach. The name is not irony but was carried here by a ship that sank. In the middle of the beach stands staircase for tourists to go on the ferry and come down when the wind is favorable. Yesterday sea shook rocks back and forth, today it throws out waves with white foam.
From the holes in seal hide I can see cormorants drying their wings and a surfing eider duck family. For seal watching four binoculars are ready but no seals in sight. A man comes, scares off all cormorants and says that he has once seen 17 seals here.
By the seals starts another trail that moves to the beach at the end of the sanctuary. It’s a sandy beach with a lot of colorful stones. Wind blows in my back until the beach turns off right. At the turning point is Kyrkudden lighthouse.
Then wind stays behind the corner and the most beautiful beach of the island starts according to advertisements. Franska bukten. Waves unfold diagonally and splash then against the sand. Sky is now blue with sun shining in it. I do some yoga, soak myself a bit in the milky blue water and examine the stones. Very cool stones but the rules say that these should not be taken home.
Until Tärnudde it is possible to stroll on the sand with a detour to look at the Russian canons and graveyard. All from a shipwreck of a ship called Wsadnick. Water has eroded sand into a steep step at places. Arctic terns holler something. No people, just one boot and one empty bottle. Honest Russian vodka, made in Moscow, explanation in German. From Tärnudde again back across the island.
In camp everybody is cooking. So I go to shower. Hot water comes with a bucket from kitchen, cold from the tap in the shower. It appears that half a bucket is enough. The other half I just pour over me.
When I manage to get in the kitchen I cook too much. It does not fit on one plate. I take two plates pretending that I’m a normal Eastern European family where woman cooks for the mam. No eating space is the kitchen, everyone eats in their dens. This lessens a clear overview of the eaters. Behind my tent two new tents have erected. One contains a screaming child, the other is just blue.
Church bell interrupts my tea drinking. Every evening at eight is evening prayer and I wanted to see this one day. Like today. Tea can wait. On the door everybody is greeted with a handshake. Service is held by two ladies, one of them has bright pink running shoes. A story of the island, a song, a story about the composer. I find the correct place in the songbook but don’t understand much else. Candles reflect on window panes as if oaks had lanterns attached. Suddenly everyone rushes forward and does something near the altar. People are encouraged to join the congregation. Lord’s prayer, then outside, one more song. And time to continue with tea.
I finish the book from Lajos Kassak. Very witty of Lauri to give me a travel story. Start with Musil’s Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Already the kind of introduction forces to ask how do people translate such a text?
circling half the island
long way in dunes

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