Day 17 – Heaven on Earth

At sunrise Tristan Da Cunha was suddenly rearing up on the horizon and we were excited to radio in to harbor authorities to make arrangement for safe anchorage. At 0930, a small ferry arrived to pick us up, skippered by the sole policeman on the island. We stepped , with very shaky legs onto terra firma.

Dawn, from Tourism, was on the wharf to greet us and help us with passport formalities, and then she took us to the tourism office, which also acts as the local post office, gift shop, museum and café. She gave us a wealth of information about the island and before long she was serving us lobster sandwiches and excellent filter coffee. We had never expected such a warm generous welcome. Dawn organized  a tour of the lobster factory , which was fascinating as we realized that lobster is the economic blood of this tiny British enclave.

After that we wandered around the town, a throw back from a long gone era, greeted at every corner by a friendly sheepdog and a shy wave from a local resident.

The cottages were beautiful, all decorated in an array of summer flowers and the local church, pub and the little sign posts were a photographer’s dream.

We made our way to the 1961 eruption lava field where Uwe looked most at home in a geologist’s paradise.

Dawn offered Jane a most welcome fresh water shower at her home and Patrick and Uwe were soon in on the deal. The hospital kindly offered to do our washing for us, so appreciated. As we towelled off in the sun, Dawn’s husband brought out his home brew…. Life couldn’t have been better.

The scenery on Tristan is breathtaking , with 600m cliffs rising out of the ocean and albatross soaring above. The volcanic peak is at 1000m with deep ravines and waterfalls chiseling their path down to the cliffs . There cannot be a more special place on earth than this. We are deeply grateful to Larry Davis in Cape Town, a good friend of Rotary Scout, who, unbeknown to us, had already paid all of our boat, ferry and immigration fees. It was a very special, much appreciated gesture, that touched us all deeply. Thank you Larry.

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