Location: St Helena
Everyone was up bright and early today so that we could get the most out of our last full day in St Helena. Thanks to head chef Shane, we ate some tasty breakfast sandwiches that supplied us with the energy we needed to get moving. After breakfast, we all packed lunch to take with us on our hike.
We piled onto the bus that would take us to the other side of the island. The roads were extremely narrow, curvy, and steep. I think we were all a little nervous, but the driver had noticeable experience with the route. He blasted some upbeat throwback songs on the speakers, which got all of us excited for the hike. We didn’t have a tour guide, so our driver tried to give us some directions to the destination we were trying to reach. We confidently headed up a trail that hugged the sides of a massive hill. After about 15 minutes of climbing, we heard a shout from someone down below. It was the bus driver telling us that we had gone the wrong way. One by one, we turned around and marched up the only other visible trail. It was steeper and more intimidating than the first. It was only after another 15 minutes or so that we made the realization that the driver was wrong and we were right. Once again, we turned around, hiked down, and then back up the other trail.
Finally, we started to make progress in the right direction. Rather than giving up after half an hour of going in circles, our group was determined to reach the Lot’s Wife’s Pond. In a single-file line, we climbed up and over the hill. Everyone’s exhaustion was overcome by the incredible views. On our right were mountains with different colored sediments that made a rainbow of their own along with indescribable rock formations. On our left was the ocean. It looked so vast and blue, reminding us all of our passage accomplishments so far and the ones to come. As we got closer and closer to the water, our energy levels raised back up. People started making airplanes with their arms as they glided down the hill. As soon as there was white sand under our feet, we started to run with joy. With caution and help from one another, we used a rope to slowly inch down a cliff that led to the swimming ponds. It began to lightly rain, soothing our hot and tired bodies.
We threw our bags down on the rocks, got our swimsuits on, and jumped into the refreshing water. The pond was like a large tide pool, with a tall range of rocks in between us and the open ocean, protecting us from the waves. Some of us swam along with the little fish, while others simply floated on their backs and relaxed. After exploring the interconnected tide pools, we munched on our lunch.
The time flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to hike back to the bus. Our legs were sore, the sun was scorching, and we were all getting thirstier. We had to push and encourage one another to push through all of this. With teamwork, we made it up and down, up and down, up and down safely. The feeling once we reached the ending was well worth being tired.
When we got back to town, we had a couple of hours of free time before heading back onto Argo. A group of us went to our favorite restaurant, Anne’s Place, one last time. We got some wifi to say goodbye to our families before leaving for the next long passage. We also got to enjoy the luxury of brownies with ice cream one more time. Everyone headed back to Argo, satisfied with our time here on this unique island.