A Year In Nadada: Week One - Into The Cave

‘Ten years ago we were still trying to clone wooly mammoths. Now you can feed them butterscotch, and be back in time for the buffet.’

That was how they sold me they trip on The Kandinsky. A year long residency on a cruise ship didn’t exactly enthral me, even in Nadada. If the cliental don’t like you in the first week, hate you in fact, then week fifty-two is a long slog away. But I love wooly mammoths, and I love butterscotch even more. 

And, it’s Nadada. I don’t want to be the act on the circuit that missed out on a paid trip to the hottest destination on the globe.  

Or rather, not on the globe. 

Plus there is the chance for gigs at the stop-offs en-route, and expanding my blog into interviews. And you know, the tenancy on my flat ran out. 

So here we are, the cave getting closer, the water green glass underneath a boat not much bigger than a Land Rover. I hold Butter Mouse close to me. Her fur is ragged enough already, and a dip in the ocean would spell the end of our routine forever. 


There are two others in the ship. A dreadlocked Nadadian driver who hasn't said a word, and a gap year student standing at the front with her arms outstretched. Neither look like are keen on ventriloquism, but there will be others on The Kandinsky.

The cave is only twenty minutes from the shore. I still can’t believe Nadada took so long to discover. We vanish through the overhanging rock, and despite my initial reluctance to take on this journey, my stomach flutters.

How big is the island? Twenty feet across before the sea returns? Yet thirty feet in we are still ploughing into darkness. And if you wondered if the rumours were true, it does sound like a piano playing the same note again and again, and the smell of oil paint overtakes the herbs and saltwater. The last hint of light from our world vanishes, and our driver flicks on his torch.

The first flakes of confetti catch the light of his beam. I grip the Butter Mouse, and know we are close.