We took a guided tour around St. Helena with local guide, Robert Peters. We saw almost everything there was to see and really enjoyed the local flavour he brought to the tour. We could not find a car to rent on the whole of St.
Helena, so we could only explore on our own the areas close to Jamestown.
Longwood House, home of Napoleon while in exile on St. Helena
The whole family at Napoleon’s house.
The bent Oak Tree, said to date from Napoleon’s time.
The Lily Pond.
The Wire Bird:
It is the only endemic vertebrate remaining on the island. Franci spotted this one from our tourbus. The guide was duly impressed. They are not easy to see.
Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on St. Helena on 5th May 1821.
In his will Napoleon asked to be buried on the banks of the Seine, but the British Governor, Hudson Lowe, insisted he should be buried on St. Helena, in the Valley of the Willows (now Sane Valley).
Lowe said the inscription should read “Napoleon Bonaparte”; Napoleon’s friends, Montholon and Bertrand, wanted the Imperial title “Napoleon” – by convention royalty were signed by their first names only. Unable to resolve the dispute the tomb was left nameless.
Napoleon’s body is no longer there – it was collected in 1840 by the Prince de Joinville, loaded onto the frigate Belle-Poule, which had been painted black for the occasion, taken back to France and re-buried in Les Invalides.
Karin at High Knoll Fort. This Fort stands 584 metres (1,916 ft) above sea level overlooking Jamestown and is the largest, most prominent and most complete of the forts and military installations on the island.
Frans taking a photo of Franci taking a photo.
Marike, Frans and I at High Knoll Fort
Flax. At one stage the island’s only export product.They exported it to England for the string used in the mailbags. Then they changed to nylon strings….
All the fairies on their way to Fairyland
From High Peak. The second highest place on the Island.
The walk we did on our own is called the Heart shape Waterfall walk. We started in Jamestown and walked for 2km’s in the broiling sun to reach the beginning of the walk. The walk itself was very pleasant with lots of shade.
The Heart Shaped Waterfall. The waterfall runs down the middle during the rainy season
Walking from Jamestown, all along the “Run”
Jamestown from the top
We enjoyed the cooler, shadowy parts
Resting …. we did this a lot
The Hobbit hole
At the waterfall itself, we found very little water, but it was lovely and cool, with beautiful Fairy Terns nesting in the trees.
Graham also kindly took us to a few places on the island. He owns a small car. This meant that Frans would sit in the passenger seat, Marike, Franci and I on the backseat and Karin jnr. and Sophia in the boot. We are still impressed that Graham could coach that heavy little car up those steep turns. He reckons that he still hasn’t used his 4th gear yet, and 3rd gear only seldom.
On our way to Sandy Bay. Some Island Defences.
I think Karin is tired?
Sandy Bay beach on
St. Helena. You can’t swim here because of the strong currents. Nowhere on the Island will you find white sandy beaches.
We also managed to do a few scuba dives while anchored at St. Helena.
Karin before the dive, feeling very apprehensive
Sophia, feeling comfortable
Marike hovering over the wreck
Ah.. This amazing shell was found by Franci. She then gave it to Frans to keep. This whole dive Frans did not do anything except to try and keep the shell from breaking. Glad to say, he succeeded!! Jay!! Now we anly have to get it safely around the world.
The whole family. The dive operator wanted to have a photo as he has never taken an entire family diving before.
The girls huddling onto someone else’ ‘donut’ for warmth as we wait for the ferry to take us back to Shang Du after diving.
We always used our own dinghy Shampoo, to take us to land – even if the weather was a bit bumpy. This was because the St. Helena ferry costs 2 English Pound per person per round trip. This would mean a total amount of R240,00 for our family each time we went ashore! When diving, though, we would never be able to fit ourselves and our gear onto Shampoo. Fortunately for us, the same man that ran the ferry service, also ran the dives and we got a free ferry round trip out of every dive.
Annie´s Place, where we had traditional St. Helena fishcakes – really yummy!
We thought that the St. Helena Museum was very well laid out.
One of the remaining cannon once used to protect the Island
Sunset as seen from Shang Du, anchored in James Bay St. Helena.
These fish were caught after dark. This was right from the yacht at our anchorage. There were 16 fish in total. Frans couldn’t keep up with the cleaning. As soon as you dangle the lures, there is a tug. Of course, each girl had to have at least a few tries.
The very able Yachty couple, BIll and Cathy Norrie with us on the St. Helena docks.
Entrance gate to St. Helena
The RMS St. Helena (RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship, and shows that she is a seagoing vessel that carries mail under contract by Royal Mail. The RMS is the residents’ lifeline. The ship is the only way to get to Cape Town when islanders need treatment beyond the capabilities of the island’s small hospital.
It transports them to the outside world for education, training and employment.
It brings them back for family celebrations and when they decide to return home for good.
It brings everything needed for daily life – food, household goods, cars, tools.
St. Helenian life as we have come to love, wil not remain the same for long. The airport is slowly but surely reaching completion and the days for the RMS St. Helena are numbered. Good Bye St. Helena! May God shine His face upon you and bring you His Salvation.