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Saint Helena "The World's Most Useless Airport"

Saint Helena "The World's Most Useless Airport"

Old Jan 15, 20, 6:00 pm
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Saint Helena "The World's Most Useless Airport"

Inspired by Talesfromtheroad report from a trip to The Falklands I thought I best get my pictures from a trip to another British Overseas Territory posted.

Background

My Mum had wanted to go to St Helena for years after seeing it on a TV programme about the Royal Mail Ship that used to serve the island. A medical condition ruled out spending 5 days on a boat so when the airport finally opened it was time to start planning. A bit more about the airport from Wikipedia here
This trip was in April 2018.

Planning

Mum doesn't do economy and a through ticket in business from LHR on SA was the price of a small house so I booked an ex-EU BA ticket AMS-LGW/LHR-CPT-JNB-LHR/LGW-AMS and a seperate JNB-HLE return with the only airline that flies the route, once a week, South African Airlink. We had a week in Cape Town on the way out and a few days in J'Burg on the way back.
I booked The Consulate Hotel in Jamestown for our week in St Helena. All done online via email. There was a better, Government owned, hotel but Mum preferred the colonial syle of The Consulate and I think it was the right choice.

After a fabulous time in Cape Town we headed to JNB and stayed overnight in an airport hotel. Check in the next morning was straightforward and we made our way to the SA lounge. I noticed a creeping delay on the screens but the desk couldn't shed any light and suggested we ask at the gate. Long story short we ended up being delayed for two days due to weather at HLE. Most of the first day was spent waiting to be reunited with our luggage. When it became clear on the second day that we weren't going I hired a car and went exploring.

This is going to be mostly photos but if anyone would like to know more feel free to ask.


Finally on our way



On the way out there was a tech stop at WDH to top up the tanks in case we couldn't land at HLE






Landing cards were handed out prior to landing



First glimpse of St Helena





View while waiting for luggage

The Consulate Hotel










Napoleon's House
Just pictures of the outside as no pictures are allowed to be taken inside.






Plantation House







Jonathon and Frederika the giant tortoise
Jonathon is believed to be 187 years old




Jacobs Ladder
The steps built by The Royal Engineers that go from Jamestown up to the fort






Loads of great 70's and 80's cars to see






Jamestown Prison
Right in the centre of town


Our hire car


Some views around the island






Leaving
There was a business class check in but we just waited with everyone else. Same with the lounge, they offered to open it up but it seemed a bit much for just us. They also provide a food and drink voucher for business class pax.





One final pic
Browsing a book in the library at our hotel I found a page amended probably by a French National, if you can't see it the original text says "Longwood New House especially constructed for the tyrant Boneparte and his entourage" Someone has crossed and tyrant and written Emperor.


Conclusion
It was like nowhere else I'd been before. We got to know most of the people from the flight on the way out, including the St Helena Commenwealth Games team who were on their way back from Australia. A friendly place, when you're walking around everyone will say hello and when you're driving every passing car will wave. It reminded me of my days growing up in the Kent countryside.

Spike

Last edited by Funky Spike; Jan 15, 20 at 6:03 pm Reason: Shot spolling
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Old Jan 15, 20, 6:29 pm
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A very cool report!
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Old Jan 16, 20, 4:09 am
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Report

Excellent Report! I'd love to get across there sometime! I was involved with the building of the airport and know all of the problems the aircraft face as they approach- the 1000ft cliff wasn't taken into consideration when they planned the airport and now is causing all sorts of problems.

TFTR
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Old Jan 16, 20, 4:26 am
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Cool TR. I'd love to go.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
A very cool report!
Thank you. I've been meaning to post the photos for a long time.

Originally Posted by Talesfromtheroad View Post
Excellent Report! I'd love to get across there sometime! I was involved with the building of the airport and know all of the problems the aircraft face as they approach- the 1000ft cliff wasn't taken into consideration when they planned the airport and now is causing all sorts of problems.

TFTR
Thank you. Its a shame that the flights aren't bringing the number of tourists they hoped for. We were the only ones at The Consulate during our stay and at a guess there were only 15 or so tourists on our flights.

Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Cool TR. I'd love to go.
Thank you. I was talking about St Helena with Mum last week. We both agreed that we'd like to go back.

Spike
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Old Jan 16, 20, 6:37 am
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I love these trip reports to British overseas rocks.

Anyone have one from Ascension or Tristan?
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Old Jan 16, 20, 8:20 am
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Thanks for the report, looks to be a place to spend a couple of place especially it looks like it remained untouched with all modernity these days. Will have to keep this in mind when I next visit South Africa.

Cheers!
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Old Jan 17, 20, 9:12 am
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Many thanks for this unusual TR!
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Old Jan 17, 20, 10:52 am
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Very cool!

Did you get to try any of the local coffee?

https://www.st-helena-coffee.com/english
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Old Jan 17, 20, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
Thanks for the report, looks to be a place to spend a couple of place especially it looks like it remained untouched with all modernity these days. Will have to keep this in mind when I next visit South Africa.

Cheers!
It is a time warp. Mobile phones have only arrived in the last few years and data is very expensive. There is no roaming so a local SIM card is needed.

Originally Posted by 1P View Post
Many thanks for this unusual TR!
Pleasure. Been meaning to post something for ages.

Originally Posted by as219 View Post
Very cool!

Did you get to try any of the local coffee?

https://www.st-helena-coffee.com/english
I did buy a cup but for all I know about coffee it could have been Nescafe

Spike
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Old Jan 21, 20, 9:28 am
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A refreshing Trip Report!

Nice to find little gems around the world.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 11:44 pm
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Fantastic trip report! Too bad we can't get an FT Charter for an adventure like this!
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Old Jan 26, 20, 5:05 am
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What a unique TR. Thanks for posting.
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Old Jan 28, 20, 6:21 am
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HLE/St. Helena Airport documentary

Not useless, in fact literally a life saver:
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Old Jan 28, 20, 1:14 pm
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Fantastic documentary

Thanks malbarda for sharing that video. ANY traveler interested in aviation and airports will love that documentary!
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