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Ascension Island diary - December 29

Day 3 - December 29th


Wake up to another sunny morning, and breakfast on the veranda with RMS St. Helena readying it self for departure in the bay in front of us.


RMS St Helena


After a slow relaxing morning, and a dip in the Georgetown pool, it is time to venture forth again and Johnny suggests a mountain walk.


Ruperts and Cronks path


wild Banana plant on Ascension IslandAt the back garden of the cottage lies the start of Ruperts & Cronks path.

These are the two lowest paths round the North side on Green Mountain. The garden cottage appears in an engraving dated 1834 and may date back as early as 1817.

Ruperts path was the first to be built and according to Johnny the marine commander had it built so he could go for an evening horse ride.

Compared with barren landscape at sea-level, the vegetation up here is pretty lush, and to an uneducated eye seems to be a bizarre mixture of UK, such as wild raspberry and tropical plants, including banana.


wild raspberry on Ascension Island


Up here one is truly in the clouds and the views back to the coast are stunning.



Johnny being Johnny insists on a short cut back, via Banana Ravine, which to us seem only a few degrees off vertical and "mountain path surfing" on one's backside down some bits was almost mandatory. However the compensation was the unexpected such as this landcrab.


land crab on Ascension Island


This one is apparently said to be medium sized. They have to go down to the sea to spawn, a journey which must be a marathon effort for something this size and which has to walk sideways. 


Path cut through lava by marines Tunnel cut by marines


The mountain paths have been cut from the black lava rock by marines in the 19th century and in places turn into cuttings or a tunnel. Then there is the path surface which is like walking over a cross between giant crystals of instant coffee and cat litter.


Plants that would be regarded as a bit exotic in the UK are just part of the general plant population up here. 



Hibiscus on Ruperts Path



Then we are back in the Landrover and round to the Scout camp.


View through Land Rover window


When the Landrover is stopped, and low drive is engaged you know the drive back is going to get interesting 



View through Land Rover window


But when you are told to pull the mirror in and pull up the outside step, then it is definitely time to tighten the seat belt.  


View through Land Rover window


Plus the pedestrians round here are none too bright. 


View through Land Rover window


Finally a track that must be Jeremy Clarkson's next challenge for "Top Gear", although low drive/first gear might be more appropriate.


After all the excitement time for a swim at English Bay (more on English Bay on another day).

And so back to Georgetown for beers and sustenance. 


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