This is the last major stop of our ‘round the world adventure, and it was not without fanfare! The island colony’s British appointed Governor, Lisa Honan, met us on the tarmac, and news photographers captured greetings and group shots. The next morning we visited the local press office where we were interviewed for a feel-good story about making history as the first single propeller plane to land in St. Helena.
The $300M airport is extremely controversial, not the least being the challenging wind shear conditions, which had been predicted but never abated. (Jack and Josh witnessed the commercial flight make two go-around passes before landing on the third attempt.) The politics of the airport are equally fraught...previously, St. Helena was subsidized by the British government, but the airport was built under the theory of if-you-build-it-they-will-come and all those tourists mean no more subsidy.
|Our arrival means three flights in one week!|
Other minor impediments to creating the next Tourist Mecca include a cash-only economy where there are no ATM machines, no roaming cell phone coverage, and very slow internet that you pay for in 30-minute increments. Plus, inconsistent food deliveries which can leave stores and restaurants with limited choices, no air conditioning, and a tropical locale with no beaches. Oh, and the only airport with flights to St. Helena is in notorious Johannesburg.
|Counting cash at Briar House in the room where Napoleon lived for two months|
|Main Street, Jamestown, looking toward the wharf|
|Stone walls and gate at the wharf|
|Flax from New Zealand was used to make twine until the 1960's when the entire industry fell to plastic|
|High Knoll Fort, overlooking Jamestown, built in 1799|
|Millennium forest project restoring endemic gum trees|
|The desolate coast belies the lush interior|
|Plantation House where the Governor lives|
|Sheep farm with Speery Island just off shore|
|Garden at Briar House, where Napoleon waited for Longwood House to be refurbished|
|Napoleon's tomb (before he was moved to Les Invalides in Paris)|
|Longwood House, where Napoleon lived in exile until his death in 1821|
|The Consulate Hotel|
|Covered courtyard and bar|
|Green Drawing Room|
|Blue Drawing Room|
Our second day began with a nice leg-stretch climbing up the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder...and back down again. The guys went to the airport to refuel the plane and I wandered thru the compact New Museum (very well done!) and checked out the LIMITED gift stores around town.
|Looking up Jacob's Ladder|
|And looking down at Jamestown below|
|None of the famous prisoners stayed here|
|'Round the World 3.0 crew with airport in the distance|