Friday, 30 August 2013

Heart Shaped Waterfall

One of the top sites on St Helena is the Heart Shaped Waterfall. You can see it very clearly from the road out of Jamestown towards Longwood, where we live. After having it pointed out when we first got here, we have pretty much ignored it because although we have been here 10 months now, we have never seen the water falling - until this week. The reservoirs are all full again and the stream is flowing nicely. 
Quite by chance, a bunch of us Mums had arranged a walk to the bottom of the water fall for Tuesday morning. We have all done this walk before, except that it is usually a walk to the bottom of a cliff. Fun, but a bit of an anti-climax when you actually get there. This time we found an exhilarating, grin-making torrent.

There is even a brilliant viewing platform just perfect for a snacky picnic.

Although it is a bit disconcerting when the wind gets up and the water comes at you sideways...


Thursday, 29 August 2013

A walk on the wild side

With the Smalls off school my blogging time is much diminished but I have lots of things I want to tell you and show you. Not sure how I am going to fit it all in...
Anyway, firstly we have been back to the Millennium Forest to make more footprints. This time with the help of some friends. The girls did this one with the most wonderful wire bird painted by Tall Girl.

And here's the boys...

Next I want to tell you about a walk we did at the weekend: three families together. We went down the track beyond the bell stone and out into the wilderness.

You pop out of the eucalyptus forest into a weird scrub land. In the summer the ground here is dust, almost ash, but now, when there has been quite a lot of rain, it is sticky slime covered in low growing plants.

As always the ocean is only a shear-drop-over-a-cliff away.

The middle of the island was shrouded in mist but we stayed dry all afternoon.

The Smalls had a great time getting very muddy.

 This is known as creaper

and has the most beautiful flowers.

Sadly a lot has died back in the recent drought (now mercifully over) but it is producing tiny green shoots again.

And some red ones.

This is a St Helena indigenous plant (not unique to here but has been here since before people interfered). It is called the ice plant and has the weirdest texture.

The leaves are covered in moisture and it feels a bit like a tongue, except it is cold.

Quite gross really!

Awesome lichen...


and worrying wildlife. This beastie is about 10cm long.
 These two peaks are where the track goes. The nearer one is called Little Stone Top, and the farther is Great Stone Top. They were too far for a bank holiday stroll.

But we found a great vantage point on top of a little hill and admired the views: back towards the barn and flagstaff.

 And towards the central peaks.

Then we had a picnic snack. Always welcome!

And contemplated the walk back - uphill almost all the way...

Ooo I do like a good walk.


Thursday, 22 August 2013

A fine adventure for the weekend

Thank you for all your kind words about my new look, and about my trials and tribulations with the Smalls, all very much appreciated. It is only a couple of weeks until we head back to Englandshire for our hols, so I thought it was high time I showed you some more of our amazing temporary home.
At the weekend I 'persuaded' the troops that a walk was in order. I had heard that Peak Dale was a nice easy path and it sounded just the thing.

It started well - a nice wide grassy path.

Fabulous views down towards Sandy Bay.

and over the desert to Lot's Wife.

Fabulous wild flowers, both garden escapees

and endemic species.

Then the path became very steep and all but disappeared. We spent nearly an hour pushing our way through the scrub towards another path we could see below us and we knew we were supposed to be on. Mutiny looked inevitable and I was beginning to wonder how we were going to get everyone home when we popped out of the scrub and back to civilisation.

Or at least, a wide track with more interesting things to see. As my father in law would say: some kind of prunus.

A cottage accessed only along this track.

Lots of sticks for boys.

And the coolest hollow trees. They are known as both flame trees (for their bright orange flowers) and thorn trees (the smaller branches are covered in the wickedest thorns you can imagine).


And more brilliant arum lilies!

The path came out above Fairyland.

We later discovered that there is another sign post further along the road which I am guessing is to the easier path...

A fine adventure nevertheless.