Sunday, 19 May 2013

Saint Helena


The first experience of “Clearing In”… obviously vastly different from air travel! Flying our “Q” quarantine flag, and the courtesy Saint Helena Country flag, (and of course our NZ flag) we arrived at Saint Helena - we were notified by Port Control to pick up mooring number 15.  We were then told to wait and Customs would come to us.  Shortly afterward, two people arrived via passenger ferry, we filled in forms and were then given permission to go ashore, where we were required to go to Port Office and pay fees, then to Immigration which was at the Police station, where we filled in more forms and had our passports stamped – we were then free to explore Saint Helena.


The people of Saint Helena are incredibly friendly… everyone acknowledges you when you walk past them – a big smile, a wave or a “Hi”.  We had a late lunch with a very welcome cold beer.  Later in the afternoon, we were walking up a hill when we came across a lady carrying her groceries… I asked her if she needed a hand – this was how we met “Mildred”, a delightful 82 year old, with a twinkle in her eye – she had been to meet friends for drinkies and was on her way home.  She was thrilled to be given the our arms to steady her and we all carried her groceries.  When we arrived at the entrance to her home, there were 48 very steep stairs – Mildred negotiates these every time she goes out – this is probably why she was still so agile!  Use it or lose it!  



She insisted we meet her the next day, which we did.  We ended up back at Mildred home Friday for late afternoon drinkies – what a lovely interlude.

Richard and Mark walked up (and down) Jacobs Ladder – 699 steps (900metres)


Friday we hired a car ($20 for the day) and explored the island.  It was where Napoleon died, therefore we went to see Napoleons grave (though he was exhumed and taken back to France some time ago). 


We looked through his house he was exiled to before his death. 

We went and met Jonathan, 182 year old Tortoise, who lives at the Govenors residence.

The roads were incredibly steep, with very varied scenery (lush to baren).  We couldn’t believe how many NZ Flax bushes were here – actually more concentrated than anywhere we had ever seen.

Flax - covers as far as the eye can see!
Friday morning, before heading off in the car, we cleared out again.  As they are closed on the weekends, you clear out on Friday, then leave when you are ready before Monday.  The reverse of clearing in – Immigration (police station), then port control, then customs.


Saturday 0630 we watched Saint Helena and the very friendly hospitable people fade into the distance.



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