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Ascension Island diary - January 9

Day 14 - January 9th


After a refreshing morning swim time for  another afternoon up Green Mountain. Today it is time to do the trek to the dew pond at the summit.


We drive up to the Red Lion for the start. This is a luxury those taking part in the island Dew Pond race don't have as they start by dipping their hands in the sea and then have to run up to the Red Lion and carry on up to finish by dipping their hands in the dew pond itself.


View from above Red Lion looking back to the coast.

The road above the Red Lion, well more of a large path really, could be easily mistaken for anywhere in the more rural bits home counties around London.



But then you go round a corner and the tropical vegetation suddenly means you are 4000 miles further south.   



Round another corner and the right hand side is wall to wall ginger

which produces these rather pretty flowers.

Further along ferns predominate

Then the summit is in sight, well actually it almost is because it is actually in mist behind what looks like the summit in the picture below.


Now the going gets a little muddy, but we have all brought old  trainers with us and intend to leave them behind.



In fact it gets so muddy up here, that the path threatens to grab ones shoes and suck them down into the mud.



Then it all changes, the conservation department have been here and put up a timber walkway. No doubt, this will raise mixed feelings among the locals but without the walkway it is clear that the path was being gradually eroded away.


Onwards and upwards.


Just when one thought it was all easy going the old style dew pond path re-materialises to catch one out. The path is going up at an angle of about 45 degrees and is really gooey mud.



Then all of a sudden the path opens out onto the dew pond 



There are meant to be goldfish in the pond which were introduced to keep the water clean but none would come to the surface to be photographed.  Mind you, Paddy had been in for a dip, so they probably were keeping out of his way. 



Rather than go back the way we came, the route back is to go down the far side of the mountain which is in an almost permanent  mist.


At this juncture Johnny has discovered the way he intended to come down is a bit more overgrown than last time, so he and Pete set off in search of an alternative route.


So we stay put while they reconnoitre and compare how muddy our trainers are.

Finally the "overgrown" route is declared to be actually the best way down so we all crawl around under the various bushes to emerge on Elliot's path which runs around the summit at an altitude of about 2400 feet.




At this point Finn had gone off on his own and then suddenly realised and came rushing back. However as he rushed past Lynda he knocked her off her feet. She put her arms out to  save herself, but unfortunately she was on the only piece of concrete on the path which was something to do with a WWII radar station. Lynda was obviously in pain so we reversed and went the other  round Elliot's path back to the Red Lion.




Unaware of the fact of what he had done Finn then found a sheep but didn't know what to do next as it refused to play.

When we go back to the Red Lion Johnny went off to the Garden Cottage to get an ice pack out of the fridge as it was becoming obvious that Lynda's wrist was swelling and was possibly had some broken bones.

Whilst we were waiting this paper wasp (or hoverfly ?) obligingly posed on a colourful flower and seemed totally oblivious to the camera. Maybe the nectar is a bit alcoholic. 




Once back a Georgetown Lynda's wrist is x-rayed and a fracture is confirmed but likely is of a sort that is not too difficult to manipulate so Lynda is put in a temporary splint and a more  permanent cast will be put on in the morning.


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