Tuesday, 29 January 2013

On top of the world

Last Friday was our 10th wedding anniversary. To celebrate we ditched the Smalls and went for a walk, a proper unSmallfriendly, up a hill kind of walk. Actually up three hills - the three you can see here to the right of the ridge, two topped by Norfolk Pines and in between the highest point on the island: Diana's Peak

The walk starts up the charmingly named Cabbage Tree Road, actually a rather lovely, if steep, path towards the first of the peaks.

The first peak is called Cuckold's Point.

Between the peaks the path runs along the top of a very narrow ridge.

The flax you can see here either side of the path is growing from below the level of the path down the slope each side.

Next came Diana's Peak - the highest point on st Helena.

It really felt like we were on top of the world. If you look carefully at the next eight pics you will see that each one overlaps the edge of the last and you can get a sense if the geography of the whole island. (Directions are very approximate)

North towards Flagstaff and the Barn. We live on the ridge half way to the Barn.

North East towards Prosperous Bay Plain where they are building the airport.

East to the third peak: Mount Actaeon.

 South East towards Sandy Bay.

South over Fairyland.

West back to Cuckold's Point.

North West towards Jamestown.

North again.

You can really see the line dividing the top of the ridge, which is actively managed and where lots of endemic species have been replanted, and lower down which is dominated by flax.

This is a Black Cabbage Tree, endemic to St Helena and seriously cool.

These are amazing Tree Ferns, also endemic.

Even the moss is cool.

There are also some familiar faces that have escaped from gardens.

The only place I've ever been where you can walk through a forest of Tree Ferns.

This picture shows you the amazing variety of landscapes on St Helena all at once: endemic cloud forest in the foreground, pasture in the middle, desert beyond that and volcanic cliffs down to the sea.

Cabbage Tree dripping in lichen in a sea of Tree Ferns.

This is my favourite ever Tree Fern.

And my favourite Cabbage Tree.



  1. thanks for sharing such a lovely island with us. The vegetation is so lush, beautiful, never seen a cabbage tree before.

  2. Such beautiful pictures. My sis in law Julie David told us about your lovely blog. Brilliant to have another way of seeing this amazing place.

  3. Congratulations on your 10th wedding anniversary. You said you went for a walk, wow, that's some walk. The island looks so lush, greenery all around. I've never heard of a Cabbage Tree before.

  4. It looks beautiful there. Congratulations on your anniversary.

  5. What a beautiful place, and such a lovely destination to land in for your anniversary! :) x