St Helena - Inland
Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 12 Apr 2014 18:09
A tour of St Helena was arranged, but unfortunately it wasn't one of the best days. It's interesting that until coming here, when thinking of St Helena and Ascension Island, I thought of cold rocky outcrops in the Atlantic. I didn't think of them as tropical Islands. But, obviously they are islands, and they are both in the tropics, so tropical islands they most definitely are. Ascension is only 8 degrees from the Equator, so closer to the Equator than all the Caribbean Islands, but there's not a coconut palm to be seen! The south east trades keep the island quite a bit cooler than you would think. Ascension, being 700 miles further north, is definitely warmer. Today it was over 30 degrees and at 22.30 it's still 28, But still no coconut palms.
The long and winding road - out of the Jamestown valley.
The view from the top of the valley looking down on the visitors' moorings -
not a lot of protection from the ocean (actually none at all!).
Jamestown squeezed in the steep-sided valley.
All the roads were narrow and windy - like the West Country. 4th gear rarely gets used!
...............the views round each bend were quite spectacular!
The not so green hills in the distance are evidence of more recent volcanic action.
Above and below - beautiful Hobbiton-like scenery.
Dave feeding the donkeys with carrot tops. A local along the way had given him a bunch of
freshly dug carrots for his next passage. The donkeys much preferred them to the grass!
More stunning views. That's New Zealand flax the foreground. Apparently the Island
used to be covered in it as it was the main crop and producing products from it (like hemp
for the production of sacks) was the main money earner for the Island.
The Governor's Residence - the Queen's representative on the
Island. Not a bad little place!
Our Guide and driver - Robert - doesn't look 78 does he. It must be a healthy climate!
High Knoll Fort - the main fort perched high up one a hill overlooking Jamestown. It was
big enough for the entire population of the Island (around 5,000) to take refuge in if the
Island came under attack. The walls are supposed to be 6ft thick to withstand cannon
ball attack from ships in the bay.
Unfortunately they had a land slide under one of the walls and it's
considered too dangerous to allow people in. So all we could do was
peer though the locked gate.
When we returned to Jamestown we found the locals had been having a fishing competition as part
of their 'Marine Awareness Week' festivities.
As part of the festivities the rescue boat put in an appearance, as .........
........the local children used the ropes normally used for getting ashore from boats, as swings
to swing and jump into the sea. The water is beautifully clear and it's one of the few safe
places to swim (when there's little swell). The island is very rocky all around the coast
and the currents are generally too strong to swim.