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Sailng on Windwanderer.
26th Jan 2016
St Helena the last few days Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th January 2016

St Helena the last few days Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th January 2016


Well as we are leaving this week we decided that we should explore some more of this island.
We have wanted to do this for awhile now, but as usual our plans never go the way we want.

So today was the day, we had arrange for a hire car the day before, and was told we were lucky to get one as they are limited.
Well I don't think we were so lucky, this car was a shocker, serious it had dents, things falling off it, no air conditioning, the gauges were not working, the back door would not open, you could not lock it at all, it was embarrassing to say the least.

After we fiddled around some, and having to talk The Captain out of trying to exchange the car several times we eventually got on our way.
We took the opportunity to drop of some laundry, and stop at the many stores to buy in bulk the bits and pieces that we will need on the trip.

I should mention the first thing we actually looked at was St James church we actually looked at this yesterday as we walked past it every day.
It's a lovely old church and they claim it's the oldest Anglican Church South of the Equator.
It's quite something to see and has a lot of memorial tablets here and there, depicting the varied history of the island, it was built in 1659, and has a clock tower, it is wound by hand every week and has two bells that chime all the time.

Next on the list was a visit to Ladder Hill fort and Battery, there was not much to see, as most is in ruins, but the views were amazing and we had fun climbing in and around the old WW1 guns we later found out you are not allowed in here as its too dangerous as the whole area is unsafe.
Of course then there is Jacobs Ladder, it's very much a iconic landmark for St Helena and we had every intention of climbing it from the moment we set foot on the island, but just never got around to it.
I think our bodies may have thanked us for not doing it, it has 699 steps, stretching 600ft high.
It was built in 1829 and was used to haul manure and send goods down, apparently the local youth have a way of getting down, by hooking their arms and legs around the rail, and laying on their backs and sliding down, Yeap they can have that too...haha

The next was High Knoll Fort it was built as a stronghold for the Islands population in the event of an invasion in 1798.
Most was still intact and you could actually walk Inside around all the dark passages it was like a maze and I'm sure would be very interesting to walk through but without a torch I could see us getting lost in here for days.

Then onto Plantation House, it was built in 1792 and it's a Country residence for the Islands Governor.
Its also the home of the islands oldest inhabitant and the worlds oldest reptile, Jonathan the Tortoise, who is over 150years old.
Now we could see three tortoises and have no idea which one was Jonathan, they all looked very old to me, they have the run of the place and it was so peaceful standing there watching them, I want one now, how cool would it be to have a pet tortoise like these.

Now a visit to a country is not complete without me getting some sand from the beach, so our next stop was, Sandy Bay Beach...haha ( good name)
It just so happens this is the only beach on the island on the way we went past a prominent geological feature call Lot and Lots wives.
They are exposed dykes and were formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity.

Then we get to the beach, it's about a mile walk down to the water, with a very rough
 road that only 4wd should go, well I started to walk down and than The Captain decided that the car was so bad anyway what harm would it do, so down he goes with the car.
It was a very nice little bay with beautiful black sand, while I was busy collecting my sand, The Captain was busy looking around another fort and various bits and pieces.
As we are walking back to the car we notice a sign that no swimming is allowed, are they kidding the only beach on the whole island and you can't swim in it.

We drove to a place where there was The Bellstone, this amazed us when you hit it with a rock it actually rings like a bell, it is a trachyandesite boulder, The Captain had fun here trying to make music and apparently there are several along a path that all produce a different tone.

Of cause the next stop was Napoleons last place of residence, although it was all locked up for the day, we managed to see some of it, Napoleon was exiled to St Helena in 1815 and had basically a free reign of the island although always under guard.
On one of his many walks he came across a valley, he chose this valley as his burial place and died in 1821.
So of cause we had to go find his tomb next, although he was buried here, his remains were later returned to France.
So we get to the tomb almost across the other side of the island and the sign says 700mts walk, well 700 my arse I knew it was going to take awhile as we just kept going past sign post after sign post and it took forever, but it was so worth it, what a beautiful valley.
Although you could not get right down to the tomb,  you could see enough, it's kinda sad in a way, as there is no headstone, just a cement slab with a fence around it.
Than the climb back to the car, let's just say it was all up hill, we were tired and hot and I just wanted to sit down and cry.

The last for the day was the Boer Cemetery, this graveyard is of the Boer POW's who arrived and were imprisoned here between 1900 and 1902 during the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa.
It was a bit scary going in here as we had to open an old wooden gate and drive down through creepy woods and it was late in the afternoon, add all that to an old cemetery and you get the drift.

A old friend of The Captains, well his Grandfather was sent here and he sent a message to ask us if we could locate the area.
When we checked the message the next day it was actually the Deadwood   plain he was after the actually sight of the Boer War camp where they were held.

As we had kept the car for another half day we decided to go find it, there is nothing there anymore just hills and land and it's turned into a wind farm, we took some pics for him anyway.

We also visited The Briars Pavilion which was Napoleons first residence while Longwood house was being built, we had to laugh when we saw a tree with a sign on it saying this is where Napoleon talked to the Malay Slave, I so hope there was more to this or is it just tourism gone mad.

The last on the list was Heart Shape Water Fall, although there was no water running, it sure was a sight.
It's a spectacular natural wonder, the waterfall is actually a heart shape cliff face and the water cascades through the middle of the cliff face.

Most people would go on one of the many tours around the island, but us being us decided to do it by ourselves armed with a map and a list of things to see, we drove around the island several times back tracking and sometimes going in circles.
We drove through arid areas where nothing grows except a few cactus, than lush green country side although hilly, through the Millennium Forest where 10,000 Gumwood trees have been planted.
To rocky outcrops and discovering little community's dotted here and there, on the steepest, narrowest little roads, and sharp bends like you would not believe, you have to actually sound your horn before you go around, many times we had to back up so the other vehicle could past.
This place really is a diamond in the rough, it was just amazing to explore it all.

Well tomorrow is another day.



Next: St Helena Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th January 2016
Previous: St Helena Sunday 24th January 2016


Diary Photos
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26th Jan 2016  Goveners House
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26th Jan 2016  Lot and his wives
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26th Jan 2016  Sandy bay beach
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26th Jan 2016  Can you see the dragon head?
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26th Jan 2016  The church
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26th Jan 2016  The church
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26th Jan 2016  The bell rock
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26th Jan 2016  Napoleon's house
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26th Jan 2016  Napoleon's house
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26th Jan 2016  Napoleon's tomb
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26th Jan 2016  Napoleon's tomb
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26th Jan 2016  Jacobs ladder from the bottom
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26th Jan 2016  A view of the Main Street.
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26th Jan 2016  A cotton bush.
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26th Jan 2016  Napoleon's first house
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26th Jan 2016  The bay
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26th Jan 2016  WW
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26th Jan 2016  Jacobs ladder
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26th Jan 2016  Ladder Fort
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26th Jan 2016  Ladder Fort.
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26th Jan 2016  Harbour view
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26th Jan 2016  Boer war camp spot.
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26th Jan 2016  Knot hill fort.
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26th Jan 2016  Knot Hill fort.
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26th Jan 2016  Knot hill Fort
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