Further news from St helena


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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena
July 16th 2011
Published: July 16th 2011
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Friday July 14th
Well, three days in to our work project at St Helena and we are all building up different responses to being here. I am deliberately pacing my judgement of this wonderful island – I know that first impressions can be tempered by later experience.

What can I be clear about? Well, obviously the island is spectacularly beautiful – and so varied. You can be travelling along and move so quickly from landscape a little like a tropical Shropshire that changes rapidly to spectacular and open countryside which is clearly sub-tropical in its vegetation and bird life.

Today I saw a donkey grabbing fruit from a tree with a strange wooden saddle. Anyone know about this saddle – are donkeys used for transport here?

The people who we have met seem very open, communicative and welcome. Work starts with a vengeance on Monday so I’ll enjoy the weekend whilst it’s here.

Started off with G & Ts at the harbor bar, watching the sunset, the disappearing RMS and waiting for the ‘green/blue’ spark that sometime’s occurs as the sun sets – nothing obvious tonight except that wonderful lilac blue of a gin and tonic! Meeting so many people, wonderful atmosphere. A good start to the weekend.

Saturday July 15th
First of all an apology for not acknowledging the wonderful messages and comments on the webpage. Those of you that know ne well will not be surprised to hear that technology is sometimes a mystery to me. But I found this page and will be pleased to hear from you. Enjoy your last few days at work Nuala! Well, David, maybe one year a team from the Town and Country stable will win a game!

Sometimes it’s useful to be the granddad of the group and today I played my first ‘joker’. There was talk that we were going to walk to ‘Lot’s Wife’ on the southern coast of the island. Well, looking at my Postbox Walks (more of this later) I realized that this is one of the more challenging of the walks. I pointed out the small print in the book, and reminded team mates of advice given at home, and we all agreed that we should have a go at ‘Diana’s Peak’ which had a 5 out of 10 grade for hazards and challenge. Thank goodness for that! Your correspondent found himself sufficiently challenged by this route but was admirably supported by team members who obviously were worried at losing me without matron from the old folks’ home to sort me out!

But seriously, the walk was wonderful with St Helena revealing its secrets at every turn. Once again the ever-changing landscape is a constant surprise, with the views so beautiful. You know, this is the middle of winter apparently – if only our UK summers could be as good. I’m sure that things must change eventually but we have had lovely weather ever since we landed in Cape Town 10 days ago.

Tomorrow is ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ – 699 steps leading from James Town to the top of Ladder Hill. I’m sure there must have been 700 steps at one time and I guess that some clever clot out there will have pleasure telling us about the one that is missing. Apparently the record climb is just under 6 minutes. People we meet talk about 30 minutes, 40 minutes and 1 hour 10 minutes. I may (or may not) tell you how long it takes me!


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