This amazing natural feature is a short distance from Jamestown. On the third Saturday, while spending most of it on work, I was very glad to take a couple of hours off to walk up to its base with Lucie, Paula and Eileen.
I met the girls at The Consulate Hotel, THE place for a Saturday morning rendezvous over coffee, before going in Eileen’s car up the valley to the point where the walk to the Heart-shaped waterfall begins. It had rained quite a bit over the previous few days so we were hopeful that there would be water falling. When looked at from the road, the rock formation around the waterfall does form a clear heart shape.
On the walk and close up, it is not possible to see the overall shape but the walk is very pretty through the narrow head of the gorge. The National Trust of St Helena has done an excellent job on making good the path with wooden walkways and stairs where necessary. The path starts with a 100m ‘balcony’ walk clinging to the steep slope before sixty wooden steps lead down to the valley floor. There is than a gradual rise to the bottom of the fall, passing through banana groves, bright nasturtium patches, dark tunnels through twisted tree trunks and branches, and crossing bridges over the stream that forms the beginning of The Run that bisects Jamestown.
In one spot, local endemic trees have recently been planted by young conservationists. Spiders webs frequently obstructed the path and were often only discovered as they stuck to the face of whoever was at the front of the line.
On arriving at the waterfall, we were
rewarded by the presence of falling water. There was not a large amount and the gusty wind was carrying it in all different directions – but it was a lovely sight. There is a viewing platform that used to give a spectacular view down the valley towards the ocean. Now the thorn trees with their vivid orange flowers and the local pines or larches are too high and the view has gone.
We sat up on the viewing platform for a while watching the fairy terns that swooped around, and one in particular that sat quietly in a branch cleft of a large thorn tree.
On the way back down the valley, we nibbled on nasturtium flowers and I picked some along with a few other local pretty weeds to have in the flat. I discovered along the way that my back was covered in little ants. Funnily enough, a few moments earlier I had commented that my back felt as though it had ants crawling over it!! Eileen did the honours and made sure I was ant free so I could complete the walk in comfort..