Mar 11 - Touring Ascension Island

We joined our friends Etienne and Denise of sv La Luna for a road tour of the island. Car rentals are arranged thru the Obsidian Hotel as well as the petrol station. First, we drove up the nearby hill to see the view. The switchbacks were numerous and the road steep and narrow, but it only took a few minutes to reach the top. Leaving there, we went to the BBC Atlantic Relay Station. There, we had an informal tour with one of the engineers and learned the history of the Transmitting and Power Stations. The site serves as the main electricity and desalinated water supplier for the island's 800-900 residents. It also receives radio programming from London via satellite link, and feeds it forward to Africa and South America stations. After, we had a cheeseburger at the Two Boats Village before going to Green Mountain to hike to the bamboo forest and Dew Pond. This was a good trek up and around the mountain, and again, the views at a height of about 2800' were awesome. It was quite muddy in several sections, but we were able to rinse off when we returned to the residence house of the farm. It was late afternoon by the time we searched for the lava caves. After one false start just above Wideawake Airfield, we drove a bit further before finally seeing a small sign for Commodore's Cave. Ascension is a very small island, and aside from a few volcanic cauldrons and other hiking areas, other interesting things to do concern the local wildlife; birds, fish and turtles. It was an enjoyable day, and we returned aboard to prepare for departure in the morning.

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