St. Helena Island

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

September, 2008

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Husband

Reasons for trip

Just browsing through Silvertraveler, I cam across an advert from Jules Verne about the cruise they are offering to St. Helena Island. If we never go anywhere else – we have been so priviledged to share a moment in time [2 years actually teachjing at the local schools] on this the remotest island in the world, lying out there in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and – at present – only accessible by the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena.2016 sees the introduction of the island’s long awaited airport. Come with me as I travel once again over and around this magical place.
Ship arrives just before dawn and first views are of a solitary, forbidding rock rising out of the morn ing mists – Napoleon must have felt so despondent when he first viewed was to be his home for the rest of his days!
From the wharf a quaint,narrow, tarred road leads to Jamestown – the isdland’s capital. Road forks at the Hanging Tree – remant of long-ago slave days – left leads to the interior and the right up Ladder Hill Road – taken by road or you can climb the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder! Shops, pubs and hotels line the main street. Step back in time here as shops are as in an era gone by – grocer, hardware, fishmonger etc – complete with wooden counters and goods stacked behind. The South African ‘Spar’ has arrived complete with trolleys! The most popular pub is Donny’s down by the seaside where you can see and experience the waves crashing against the rocks – not a grain of sand in sight!!
This island is a walker’s paradise. The variety of breathtaking scenery in such a small a small area is hard to beat. The lava cliffs surround the island like a natural fortress – layer upon layer of colours glinting in the sun with here and there a glimpse of the stunning green interior. The sea is crystal clear and colour ranges from deep indigo to navt and turquoise closer to the land. there arre cave-like eerosions round the island where tiny stretches of green snake down to the shore, guarded on each side byrocks and caverns where waves swirl, sending up ‘geyser’ like sprays. Within the sea roam pink and silver Tuna fish, Dolphins by the hundreds, small golden brown octopus scamper over the surrounding ‘rock’ islands – and – if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the whale shark as he patrols around.
The interior boasts luxuriant undergrowth nestling amongst the craggy volcanic matter. Late afternoon the setting sun changes the the different layers into sparkling gems. Full moon will bring to the same landscape an eerie wonderland, filled with shadows and silvery moonlight.
There are quaint swimming spots at Lemon Valley and Sandy Bay – no lemons or sand so no sun tanning here but glorious swimming bays. The golf course is a little ‘barren’ – decorated with trees at 90 degree angles bent that way by the prevailing wind. Jamestown museum is a must. Stunning woodwork decorates this ‘living’ museum – with buttons to press and a dress-up corner complete with little flax shoes from age old time.
So – if you enjoy challenging walks – visit this tiny gem! Stout walking shoes, thick socks and a light rain jacket are a must – it will rain at somne point – it is a tropical island – but the sunsets and marvellous rainbows will be just reward.
Haven’t mentioned Napoleon’s house or Tomb, Plantation House [home of the Governor and 150 year old tortoise], wonderful Cathedral, High Knoll Fort ……….. but you must have something to discover for yourseves!!!!!!

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