21 Post Box Walks and a flight out to Uni
St Helenians Adam and Scott, both 19, are typical Islander adrenaline junkies. They filled their days around work with lance fishing, diving, kayaking or camping.
In the months before they both set out to University in the United Kingdom they made a pact to complete the 21 post box walks challenge.
Adam Fowler had been on a third of the walks prior and Scott George, a few more than that, but decidedly their mission before embarking on the path to become Engineers was to first become Post Box Walks Certified.
The 21 post box walks are one of St Helena’s most popular destination offerings. Designed by St Helena Nature Conservation Group who formed in 1993, the walks are mapped out over a wide variety of landscapes with varying levels of difficulty. All signposted with direction markers on route, the paths are regularly maintained and in most places the pathway is easily identified.
The guys set themselves a time line of ten weeks (countdown to Uni) and hit the treks, dividing the walks by intensity level and conquering 2 – 3 of the easier hikes in a single day. Weather and energy levels factored into their schedule but they saved the top walks “to end on a high” says Adam.
“For us it was fun to get someone to go with us” Adam says. Another good friend of the two undertook many of the walks with them, and various friends and family were roped in to join them where time commitments allowed.
Collecting every stamp, on a special T shirt, the guys created their own little challenge memoire, adding to as they went. A visitor book and bespoke stamp can be found in a covered ‘post box’ at the end of each walk hence the name. The stamp and log stand as evidence of having reached the end or summit.
The boys accomplished all 21 walks as intended. They started on 26th June with the Manati Bay walk and finished ten weeks later on the 7th September with Thompsons Valley. It took them only 16 days in total, with rest days taken between.
Manati Bay is rated one of the tougher walks for effort and a little less tough for terrain. Interestingly Thompsons Valley is rated equally as tough, so they started out as they had meant to go on.
Both agree that the walks are a great way to see parts of the Island that are less explored. “To see how thrillingly beautiful St Helena is the only way to do it is on foot” says Adam, “but take old shoes!” he jests.
Having recently departed St Helena faced with a whole new challenge, and a whole new Island the boys will no doubt take their sence of adventure with them – returning to St Helena in a few years ready to test the Post Box Walks all over again.
Photo credits: Adam Fowler and Scott George