The most remote island in the world – Tristan da Cunha is located in the south Atlantic. The nearest mainland town is 2,800 kilometers east – Cape Town in South Africa, the nearest island to it – of 2,575 km west of Saint Helena. To get there you have to sail seven days by boat. You may ask “Why not to go there by plane?” – There is no such option as the island has no airport. The island is oval and its diameter is 10 kilometers. It was formed by a volcanic eruption, and its peak is permanently covered with white clouds.
The island Tristan da Cunha is not a typical island to visit. There are no hotels and restaurants. The known credit cards are not accepted as means of payment. Shores are not safe for swimming, but are rich in fish, which serves as the main export of the island. Each month is accompanied by rains between 17 and 26 days.
But there are many modern amenities. There is a small museum, a swimming pool and a radio station, but not TV. There is a grocery store, but orders must be made months in advance, so that goods can be loaded on regular vessels and delivered. There is a hospital and dentistry, surgery and emergency room caring for the health problems of the local population, but patients requiring specialized treatment must be evacuated to South Africa or the UK. Electricity is supplied by diesel generators.
The island was discovered in 1506 by Portuguese explorer Tristao da Cunha. However, Tristao failed to reach the land on the island because of rough seas. Nevertheless, the island was named after him at a later date. In 1816 Britain joined the island as a defense against France. A little later in 1817 Corporal William Glass settled the island with his wife and two children. Occasionally sailors decided to stay on the island. Several years later, five women of St. Helena moved to the island and became the wives of local bachelors.
The island is quiet unless the volcano erupts. This was the case in 1961 when earthquakes, landslides and eruption sent the entire population of the lone island in England through Cape Town. Two years later, after it was safe for the residents to return to the island.
There are 269 people living onthe island, based on the last time the population was counted. There are people with English, American, Italian and African origin. English is their native language, although it is slightly strange because it is based on an old dialect.
The residents sell souvenirs and rare stamps, recognized worldwide for living. You may even see some of them to sell online. Among the most distinctive souvenirs are traditional the “love socks” knitted by local women. The number of stripes of each pair of socks has a particular meaning – from “friends forever” to “crazy love”.
Tristan da Cunha offers something no one place can ecreate: the biggest union. Its motto is “Our faith is our strength.”