Backpacking Burro: Cowell, Part 2

Once over the bridge, I headed for a strangely incongruous green newsstand and chairs set out by a small shop…

I relaxed with a free (and admittedly early) beer whilst I read an free newspaper that informed me of the fate of Rodeo forest. It seemed that Salazar Jack, the owner of this area, had planted this forest on the very site his great grandfather had tended another, even larger forest, years before something called The Great Erase. There was a reproduction of an old map and the news story said that the original was currently undergoing tests in the nearby city of Nova Albion as there was some text in need of further analysis. Apparently, from what Salazar had already discovered he had decided to change the name of Rodeo Forest back to the much older name of The Forest of Kahruvel. One thing was for sure, I had to find out more about this map and whatever The Great Erase was. Once I had finished exploring the forest, I had to go to Nova Albion.

Mulling over that news, I moved on following the path parallel to the canal rather than heading up behind the buildings towards step that led into the forest. I headed towards an attractive fountain only to be stopped by the sight of yet more octagonal designs, both in what turned out to be the community hall and the art gallery across from it. I stood for a while, admiring the beauty of the community hall…

…before entering and finding myself presented with a wonderful short film explaining a little more about the history of the creators of this wonderful place. It didn’t all make sense to me, but it seemed to indicate that they hailed from this world and the other world at the same time. I resolved to find out more and not for the first time that day, I made a mental note to contact the owner.

From the community centre, I crossed over to the gallery and took another beautiful brass lift up the (again, octagonal) tower where I stood and drank in the serene beauty of the village beneath me.

Over in the distance, past the lighthouse, I could see what looked like a steam-powered crane so I headed off for a better look. A short walk through stone streets and I stood beneath the arm of the crane and what turned out to be an amazing shop selling all manner of impressive flying machines!

I took a trip up and examined the mechanics of the crane’s engine and was amazed to find a gorgeous little garden there too.

Walking back, I used the higher paths and found what looked like signs of a recent collapse next to a small amphitheatre – luckily the fountain had been spared. I pressed on…

…until I found myself at the base of the final set of steps leading upward to the forest of Kahruvel…

… the entrance to which was adorned with the most gorgeous tapestry I have ever seen.

My tour of Cowell over, I gazed down the path and into Kahruvel’s cool, dark interior. The last time I have been in these woods I was running in a blind panic. Now I entered them again, I felt a small knot of trepidation deep in my stomach. That and a growing need for a cup of tea.

To Be Continued…

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