Jamestown wandering

The RMS St Helena can’t dock at Jamestown wharf, St Helena, so we were ferried ashore in tender boats.

   
 
Jamestown wharf looked interesting, but first we had to be bussed a hundred metres to be processed by customs and immigration. Even with a population of only 4000, this is a separate country with the usual border restrictions.

   
 
Finally we were through and were met by our landlords, Peter and Jean Fowler and taken to our self-catering accommodation, a stone courtyard house nestled into the side of the cliff. It is just right for the three of us.

   

  

This is our front door and flat roof with solar heating for the shower. The white house is the one behind us. Shy Road  is to the right and runs above the roof! Such is the steepness of the cliffs above Jamestown 

 
We eat meals on a round table under the little verandah. There’s another table in the kitchen and a third in the open courtyard, but we prefer eating in the shade with a view of the fairy terns soaring round the cliffs.

After negotiating the bread slicing machine in the Star supermarket ( there is on bakery and bread is delivered around 10am and sells out before midday), we had a lunch of the starter pack left by the Fowlers and met Basil George for a walking tour of the town.
   
 
This included a demonstration of the local kids’ technique for descending the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder.

   

 

Basil demonstrating Ladder descending 101. Don’t try this yourself !
He then took us into the Executive meeting chamber in the Castle which is the government headquarters and through the cool Castle Gardens to St James church.

   
   
We finished with afternoon tea in the Consulate hotel (where David posed with Napoleon) then photographed the RMS in the lowering sunlight. Dinner was Asian food at the Orange Tree, light and fresh. We are enjoying being part of this remote Georgian town.

   
 

Natural gardens in the rain and Hippo Rock

Today it has rained seriously from morn till night. Despite this, we walked to Hippo rock, a short distance from the camping ground at Wave Rock. The track was wet.

We drove past soggy emerald green wheat fields and stopped for lunch at Pallarup Nature Reserve. After beef and noodle soup with cheese toastie, the rain abated briefly leaving great conditions for a photo shoot, with raindrops dripping from wildflowers and creeklets flowing over the granite rocks. We saw our first orchid – sorry the photo is on an unconventional angle – as it was I had to lean over double to avoid damaging it or its neighbours.

  

The picture below is Hippo Rock, Hyden, this morning.  

Here are two random photos of mallee plants in the rain.

   
 

We are now at the southern port of Hopetoun. To reward ourselves for spending a day in the rain, we decided to have dinner at the pub. The meal was fantastic, but it took us 20 minutes to find our way out of the caravan park, which is an absolute maze!

Wildflower madness today in southwest of WA

We’re following the Indian Ocean Drive from just south of Port Dennison (after I uploaded yesterday’s blog via the free wifi on the foreshore). Coffee stop was at Cliff Head, where I photographed a clematis flower while David chatted with campers.

  
The coastal drive is really interesting and apparently only recently sealed, so we had to stop briefly at Leeman, or Snag Island as it was called until 1972. It’s a quiet little seaside town with a cormorant-covered island just off the end of the jetty.

Then to Point Louise just north of Green Head for lunch and a rock clamber in the sunshine, gazing across to the next little holiday settlement.

I had read about the Lesueur National Park and was keen to visit it, which we did. It was a wonderland of wildflowers, with over 900 species. I found and photographed about forty in bloom today.

My favourite was the Djanda, which has lovely pinky flowers and the sun behind the leaves shows the grains.

  
This is a zamia, an ancient form of plant called a cycad.

  
I loved the banksia that looked like an acorn.

  
There was a healthy early nancy, showing that spring isn’t far away. It is often called the ‘harbinger of spring’.

  
The kingia is an interesting tree-like grass.

  
I’ll finish with this feathery flower.

  

Tree surfing – it’s amazing!

Today we went tree-surfing at The Enchanted Maze, Arthurs Seat, Australia.
The older children and my daughter did the adult course, while the younger ones and I did the Nippers version. First we were harnessed up, then started on the aerial obstacle course. It was an adrenalin rush for us all, with careful stepping at heights. Seven-year-old Lily completed the third, most difficult level alone, as it was children only.

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As well as tree-surfing, there was a tyre slide, traditional mazes, a 3D maze and an intriguing mirror maze. We had a picnic lunch on the grass before exploring these other features. It was a great day and we were ready for a cooling swim afterwards.

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Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta

We spent four enjoyable hours at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta, South Australia, looking from the Matthew Flinders Lookout, sipping coffee, walking the Regional and Cliff trails, watching the tide swirl under the railway bridge, lunching on locally-inspired food and finally buying quandong jam at the gift shop. As well as unspoiled chenopod plains, it has sample garden layouts and plants that are helpfully labelled. The iron sculptures were eye-catching.

This afternoon we visited the Wadlata Outback Centre and finally had a chilly walk along the old wharf, a possible location for Monochrome Madness, which Leanne Cole is running on her blog.

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Strolling on the North Downs Way and appreciating an English country garden

Today we took a walk on part of the North Downs Way which goes through Surrey. As it is a weekend, we met others enjoying the sunny spring weather. I also did a shoot of David’s cousin and his wife’s garden in Farnham. It reminded me of the song “How many flowers grow in a row in an English country garden? ….”. A grey squirrel stole the crumbs left out for the wood pigeons.

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