PADDLE, PEDDLE AND SAIL POWER | Darrin Henry
Have you ever counted how many different modes of transportation you’ve used in a year? Try it, you may be surprised, especially if you live in ‘the big world’ as we islanders like to say.
Looking through 2015’s photography hard drive for What The Saints Did Next, the different methods of travel we’ve used begin to stand out. From the ocean to the sky, along motorways, railways and waterways and even underground – it’s been an interesting year getting from A to B.
Here are 13 different modes of transport we’ve used in 2015.
13. The London Underground – Mind the gap
In London the locals often complain about the service on the Underground, or the Tube as it’s also known. But compared to many other countries the historic London Tube is pretty awesome as a public transport system (IMHO) and is very convenient for getting all around the city. It can get quite crowded at rush hour but it is quite safe and we would regularly be using it late at night without any worries. There’s a good selection of different modes of transport in London but you can’t beat the tube.
12. RMS St Helena – St Helena’s ship is in her final year
The RMS St Helena, has faithfully served the Island of St Helena for 26 years. She has been the only scheduled, physical link to the outside world for the island and its inhabitants, but in 2016 the ship is due to be decommissioned when the brand new airport comes online. At the moment, everyone who comes in or out of St Helena travels on the RMS St Helena, including us.
11. HMS Lancaster – The Royal Navy’s fighting frigate
HMS Lancaster – Strictly speaking this one shouldn’t really be on the different modes of transport list as we only toured the ship, we didn’t sail on her. But we have to make an exception, how often do you get to go on board a Royal Navy Frigate and spend a few hours on a personalised tour? HMS Lancaster called at St Helena in October 2015 to help the island mark the bicentenary of Napoleon’s arrival.
10. Air Asia – Air miles around Southeast Asia
Travelling around Southeast Asia we flew between countries on the region’s low-budget airline, Air Asia. Convenient and efficient, no complaints from us.
9. Toronto Streetcar – 100 million people can’t be wrong
Listing different modes of transport for 2015, we can’t forget the Toronto Streetcars, part of the Canadian city’s public transport network. We made good use of this during our five days in Toronto; it is quick, cheap and safe and goes right into the downtown and waterfront areas of the city. An estimated 100 million people rode on the Toronto Streetcar system in 2013 – so very popular then!
8. The Hornblower – Getting up close to Niagara Falls
The Hornblower – we boarded this tourist boat for a very short, slow ride to view the mighty Niagara Falls up close. The Hornblower operates from the Canadian side of the Falls. Needless to say we got very wet, but it was great fun.
7. Kayak – Paddling in Vietnam’s world famous Halong Bay
Kayaks are great fun and we did this on a few occasions during 2015. This is kayaking among the limestone pillars and tiny islets of Vietnam’s Halong Bay after we had visited the Surprising Sung Sot caves. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Tuk Tuk – The best way to see Southeast Asia
Tuk tuks and scooters are the camels of Southeast Asia. In Thailand and Cambodia especially we rode tuk tuk taxis nearly every day. The tuk tuks in Cambodia are different; a scooter pulling a trailer. In Bangkok the scooter is more built in to the tuk tuk, as shown in this picture. This is probably one of the most memorable different modes of transport for us from 2015.
5. Long Tail Boats – Exploring Bangkok’s canals and waterways
The colourful (and noisy) long tail boats in Bangkok, Thailand. We took a tour on one of these to see the canals, or Klongs, which weave their way through the western side of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. It was a memorable day for a few reasons, not least because we ended up having a little ‘disagreement’ along the way!
4. Boris Bikes – Pedal power through London’s Hyde Park
Most major cities in the world seem to have different modes of transport for public use and this includes bicycle rentals that can be taken out in half and hour segments or longer. This is Sharon in Hyde Park on one of the London bicycles, affectionately called ‘Boris bikes’ after the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson. Although these were good fun in the park we would not feel confident taking them onto the streets and sharing space with London’s intense traffic.
3. Double Bed on the Bus – Cambodia’s Night Bus from Siem Reap
This is the Giant Ibis night bus in Cambodia which we took from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. The journey took about 6 hours, departing at 10.30pm. Instead of seats, passengers book beds! There are double and single beds, arranged in a two-level bunk system. This was definitely a new experience for us, but a great way to travel through the night.
2. KIA Soul – Our hire car that took us around the US
Riding in the humble car wouldn’t normally make it onto this different modes of transport list, however, we had to include our KIA Soul hire car which took us on our seven week road trip through the USA. This little car served us well, clocking up 4,266 miles without any fuss.
1. Banjo – Sailing at 18 knots in a race winning yacht
Our day out sailing on Banjo with skipper Kevin Webb and his wife Diane was probably one of the most thrilling ‘travel’ experiences of the year that we had. Having never, ever sailed before, as in the wind powered variety, to suddenly racing across the waves in South Africa at 18 knots was breathtaking in every sense. Banjo is a three hull yacht and has twice won line honours in St Helena’s Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.