Jamestown, St. HelenaApril 13, 2015 in Saint Helena
We are now truly in the middle of nowhere. St. Helena Island is a British territory where Napoleon was exiled after he was defeated by the British. He spent his last few years here before his death and now the island has about 3800 people that live there for otherwise no good reason. It is incredibly small and is like going back in time. They have no airport (or not until the one they are building is finished next year). They have no cell phone service although they are going to be putting a tower up soon we are told. The internet is slow and expensive so they have no ATM or credit card use on the island. It is kind of pretty but much of it is just rock with the central part being fairly lush. The port is not protected and it the waves are very high you actually can't land ashore. They get a boat that makes a circuit between Capetown, Ascension Island and St. Helena every three weeks so other then taking one of the 3 or so cruise ships that stop by every year that is the only way to get on the island.
The people are incredible friendly though and it was a very pleasant place to be. There is an old stairway with 699 steps that goes from the town to an old fort on the hill along the lines of an old funicular. The thing that everyone has to do is try to climb the stairs which Nancy and I did with several stops to rest along the way. We were very proud until we met a 66 year old women at the top who did it everyday as part of her exercise routine. :-) We strolled back down on the winding road that led back to town. There were about 10 cruising boats in the mooring area and we saw some folks around town that looked like they were cruisers so at least they get a few visitors from passing sailboats too.Read more