For a year I have been following Two years in the Atlantic, a blog by Paul Tyson. This morning he stepped out of the screen and met us for St Helenian coffee at the wharf, as usual, when the RMS is in port, the place was buzzing. We enjoyed a good chat and arranged to catch up that evening at Tasty Bites restaurant up on Half Tree Hollow.
Naval officers were wandering in white garb, having returned from a service at Napoleon’s Tomb. Disappointly, a naval march through town had been cancelled. Something to do with the scouts being unavailable. Everybody seemed to know except us. The bush telegraph works well on St Helena but you need to keep updating info by talking to locals.
As this is our last full day on St Helena, David and I climbed Jacob’s Ladder. If we were stiff the next day it wouldn’t matter as we could rest on the ship. The day was still and we had good views of the two naval ships and RMS St Helena anchored offshore. I carefully (it’s so steep) sat on a step halfway up to take a photo and on the way down, even dared to bend down to retrieve a beer bottle that someone had left behind the night before. I put it in my little backpack and put it in the bin at the bottom.
We then drove up Ladder Hill for some more sightseeing at High Knoll Fort, one of the many historic defence set-ups on the island, perched high on the hilltop.
I wanted to buy a commemorative T-shirt from Longwood House, so we dropped by. The French were hanging out on the back terrace but the gift shop was shut. Michel saw me and miraculously, Angela, the shop manager appeared and opened specially.
We bought take-away hamburgers at Reggies and proceeded to Millenium Forest to meet Harry from the National Trust. We had agreed to help dig holes as the French were going to plant 200 endemic gumwoods for the Bicentenary. We managed quite a lot of holes and worked up a good sweat, when who should arrive but two minibuses of sailors from the naval ships to lend a hand. We retired to the visitors centre for a well-earned cuppa and the navy had almost finished planting by the time the French arrived!
That evening, Peter collected us as we’d returned the car, and drove us up Ladder Hill one last time. The gang of seven gathered for one last meal on the island. We met Paul Tyson and his family who were just leaving and had a cheery meal of island fish and chips.Peter and Bill left for the long drive to Farm Lodge and Philip drove we three from Fowlers plus Patsy back to his apartment, The Forge, where we chatted over coffee, sitting out on his verandah over.ooking a pretty moonlit garden where impatiens flourished.
Philip and Patsy walked us home as Philip does his emails after midnight at Patsy’s mother’s house. The internet is free after midnight for those with an account. It was the end of a good evening.