Ascension Island

South Atlantic Ocean
Position: 7° 56' S   14° 22' W

Aug 2001: The Idea to Go Between: The First Steps Feb 3rd: The Way to Brize Norton
Feb 4st: Going with the Royal Air Force Feb 5st: Arriving on Ascension Feb 6st: The First Excursion
Feb 7st: The First Letterbox Walk Feb 8st: In the Museum Feb 9st: Water Lilies and Turtles
Feb 10st: BBC, a Lava Field and Turtles Feb 11st: HMS St. Helena Feb 12st: Around Georgetown
Feb 13rd: Devil's Riding School Feb 14st: Antennas and Swimming Feb 15st: Relaxing
Feb 16st: The Pain of a Burned Back Feb 17st: Ladies Hill and Amateur Radio Feb 18st: ARIANE Tracking Station
Feb 19st: NASA and Space Feb 20st: Pillar Bay Letterbox Feb 21st: Bullock Ponds Letterbox
Feb 22nd: Cauldron or not? Feb 23rd: Walking Trough Georgetown Feb 24st: Sun Overhead
Feb 25st: Leaving Ascension Feb 26st: Going to London Feb 27st: Back Home in the Snow

August 2001

On a Friday evening I lay in my bed and could not sleep. A lot of things run trough my brain. Business, spacecrafts, electronic circuits and suddenly I arrived at Napoleon. I never think about Napoleon and history. I am not very interested in history and so I don't know much about it. But Napoleon and St Helena is one word. I know, St. Helena is somewhere in the south atlantic. I like to travel and no wonder the next caught thought was: "How can I go to St. Helena?" Now I fully awoke, running to my computer, logged into the internet and ask for "St. Helena". I get a lot of crazy stuff but nothing about St. Helena. So I find out the name of the capital from a map and searched again. Now I get information about the island in the atlantic ocean. Very fast I find out, the way to St. Helena is only possible via Ascension or Cape Town.  Ascension has an airport, to go to St Helena is possible by ship only. The airline which flies to Ascension was very well known. But that they have scheduled flights to several places in the world is very unknown. The airline which flies to Ascension is nobody else then the Royal Air Force. Ascension now was more interesting to me then St. Helena. By the way, once I will visit St. Helena too!

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Even the Farest Journey Starts with the First Step

wild donkeys in the townTo organizes a journey like this, it is necessary to get information as much as possible.  A lot ofwild sheep in the town information are available on the Ascension Island internet page and the Obsidian Group internet page. But I missed information  e.g. about dangerous animals like rattle snakes, lions and tigers etc. I wrote to the Ascension tourist information and get the answer, there are no danger animals on Ascension Island, only donkeys, sheep, rabbits, different kind of birds and turtles. The ocean around Ascension contains a very different kind of nice fish. Different kind of sharks  (Six-Gill-Sharks, Whale-Sharks) sometimes  around Ascension. One day when I was swimming in the 27 degree centigrade water I saw an inkfish down in the sea. The sea around Ascension is a paradise for fishermen. But I don't go fishing.  

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February 3rd, 2003 (Monday)

My luggage was checked in at the evening before at Munich airport. So I carry my hand luggageMunich TV Tower only. I go by the fast train (S-Bahn) early in the morning to the airport, because the Munich S-Bahn system is not very reliable. I arrived early, passed the security and passport control. The outside temperature is about the freezing level, its a bit snow and the sky is cloudy. Two nights before we had -15 degree centigrade at the night. At the gate I start to read a book, I have plenty of time. At about noon I fly with a well known British airline to London Heathrow. I arrived Heathrow and searched for the bus to Reading. On the bus ride I recognize, the spring must be very close. It looks that all the leaves are ready to jump out of the trees.  In Reading I buy a ticket for the train to Swindon. In Swindon I have to stay over night.

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February 4th, 2003 (Tuesday)

At the next day on 7:15 PM I get an Royal Air Force bus from Swindon railway station to Brize Norton. Brize Norton is an Air Force Base close to Oxford. At the base I am very surprise. The airport does'nt look like an air force base. It looks like a civilian airport. Then I recognize, the air force has flight schedules in all parts of the world. Usually for military people only. The exception is the flight to Ascension and to the Falkland Islands. The check in is very easy. My ticket was on a fax from a travel agency in London. I get my boarding pass and hat to wait.  It is about 8:30 PM and the departure should be at 11:00 PM. I have to wait for the security check to the gate and read in a book. Then the check takes place and I have to wait again. I read in my book and occasionally I watch people. Very interesting, far away I see a woman. She is reading like me and sometimes she looks around. Sometimes our eyes meet each other.

Boarding is a bit later as expected. The flight delays about half an hour. We depart from Brize Norton with a TriStar (Lockheed L1011) to the southern hemisphere. The on board service is perfect. I did'nt expect this on a military aircraft. I never before fly in an aircraft with so much space between the rows!

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February 5th, 2003 (Wednesday)
Ascension entering passport stamp on February 5, 2003
Tourist information in Gerorgetown
... going to the right direction
Mainroad in Georgetown with Hayes House Hotel
Georgetown's Church
Plate of the filling station
Plate of the police station
There are two Administrator offices
There is really a prison on the island
The hospital is close to the sea
The post office in the center of Georgetown

First in my life I cross the equator. The take off was delayed half an hour, so we arrive half an hour later on Ascension Island. It is warm and about 8:00 AM. I take out my warm closes. To enter Ascension is a bit complicate. I have to show my passport, the administrator's permit and the certification that my health insurance include air evacuation in case of medical needs. And very important, I have to pay an entering fee of 11 English Pound. For this I get a very nice stamp into my passport! Then I have to wait again. The door to the Island is still closed.

I watch the people a bit and find out there is somebody with a German passport. So I am not the only crazy German on this island. I am really disappointed. It is MY island! So I ask the man what he is doing on this island. And they are two. Both men are fishermen. They are coming just to go out for fishing in the atlantic ocean. Last November, one of them caught a Six-Gill-Shark with nearly 1300 lbs.

Now the door to the island is open and the luggage is arrived. I get my two bags and find the transportation service to Georgetown and the hotel. Georgetown is the capital of Ascension. The island has all necessary facilities to run a community. The air field is about 3 km and is an emergency landing strip for the space shuttle. The main roads are well maintained. Sometimes it's a bit bumpy due to speed bumps. Mainly before the villages. A tourist information and a hotel is the first place to go for a traveller. Ascension has a hotel, a tourist information, restaurants and several pubs. To run a community, it is recommended to have several kinds of facilities. There must be a government. It is done by the administrator's office. Firefighters are very necessary. Police, a hospital and a post office is also very important. All this is on the small island Ascension available. And hold in mind, the population is about 1000 people. In fact, everybody knows everybody.  It is a nice praxis to say "Hello" to everyone. Even in a small community it is possible that two or more people have a difference of opinion. So a court is available on Ascension. It is a room in the police department. And for very hard cases there is a prison on the island.

It was a long day for me, I can not sleep in an aircraft. I am awake since more then 24 hours. In my hotel I unpack my luggage and later I walk a bit along the Georgetown beaches. I found a tree close to the sea and sleep a while in the shadow. At the early afternoon I return to my hotel. In the front of the hotel is a very nice place for relaxing and reading. I like to do both.  At about 4PM a car stops in front of my hotel. The woman I recognize in Brize Norton first get out and invite me to an island round trip.

We meet us at the dinner to night again. Then a  geophysicist  joins us. Scilla was 26 times and Chris 5 times on Ascension before. I was very happy to meet them, because I get a lot of information about the island, the people and the nature.

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February 6th, 2003 (Thursday)

On the top of the Red LionIt is a bit cloudy. The breakfast is good. I meet Scilla and Chis. Later on Scilla give me an possibility to go to Two Boats Village by car. She gives me a description about the way to the "Red Lion" (see picture to the left). For the way up it is good to have a bit of power and plenty of water. Ascension is close to the equator. The sun is very powerfully. Even people from central Europe have to match their organism slowly to this unusual conditions. So the way up to read lion is a good test, because there are a lot of trees which give shadow.

This funny landcrab lives far away from the seaI was warned about a special kind of animal. This animal is called "Landcrab". Without this warning I believe I had become mad in a very hard kind of this illness. Landcrabs are in shape exactly like a seacrab as you find all over the world at seacoasts. But this landcrabs live fare away from the sea in the mountains of Ascension (see picture to the right). Even they are walking like a crab, very fast to the right or to the left. It is funny to watch this animals.

Part of Green Mountains and the 3000 m Wideawake AirfieldAfter an hour walk and drinking a liter of water I arrive at Red Lion. On the top is an old vetchtable farm, the Garden Cottage from the Obsidian Hotel, a nice garden which belongs to the island's dentist, and it starts the "Dew Pond" letterbox walk.  I make a little rest. On the way back I visit the Administrator's residence, a nice house with a nice garden. And I get a great impression of the Wideawake airfield (see picture on the left). By the way, the runway is about 3 km  and it is an emergency landing field for the space shuttle.

I go back now to Two Boats Village. Scilla picks me up to drive back to Geogetown.     

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February 7th, 2003 (Friday)

This is Perfect Crater close to Sister's PeakI slept well and get up early. I meet Scilla and Chris at the breakfast. After breakfast Scilla takes me to Two Boats Village. I will go up to Sister peak. This isWalks Book which describes the letterbox walks one of the nice letterbox walks. Presently there are 18 letterbox walks. In a small booklet sold by the tourist information is a bit of information about the idea of the letterboxes. Even the walks are describe exactly. The idea of letterboxes goes back to the 17th Century. Outward bound ships would leave messages on the island for the next ship to take home. Today there is an area on Ascension that is still called Location of all 18 letterboxes on AscensionLetterbox. The letterboxes today are small boxes containing a book to write something in and a stamp to prove that somebody was at the letterbox. I did several of this walks and the first was the way up to Sister.

The way up to Sister letterbox  is close to Perfect Crater. The way up is very easy. I The stamp from Sister's Peakget the letterbox and sit down to relax. Sister must be a very common place on Ascension. After a few minutes time I recognize voices. Some other people heading to the peak and we meet us on the peak. We talk a while and they went back soon.  On my way back I meet other people staying in the Obsidian Hotel. Sister is a very busy place. I rest in Two Boats Village Club. The way back from the pub to Georgetown takes about one hour.

Around Two Boats Village are a lot of nice Antennas. But there are a few Antennas from a radio amateur. Very interesting!

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February 8th, 2003 (Saturday)

A very old spectrum analyzer in the front of the museumThe morning is cloudy. Every body is happy about this, even Chris, he wants to do some measurements. By the way, it is Saturday morning, it is rush hour at the main road in Georgetown. Three sheep walking slowly along the main road.

The museum is open on Saturday. So I go down to the Ascension museum. The museum is small but it has a very nice collection about things belonging to Comunication receivers in the museumAscension. Very interesting is an old spectrum analyzer, I guess it runs up to 5 MHz. Even some old communication receivers, special measurement equipment for sea cable maintenance, and old electron power tubes. Further there are a lot of pictures which tells the history about Ascension. Across the museum is the Hayes Fort. It is just to look around. There is a room with many old bottles. But I did not understand the meaning about this room.

The reOld measurement instruments in the museumst of the day I read in a book and write postcards. At the late afternoon I go down to the beach. The turtle tracks are really huge. A large bird is sailing through the air. Time for dinner.

I meet Chris for the dinner and a beer. Scilla has an official invitation to night. After dinner we go to the VC (Volcano Club) at the air force base. Ascension Island has a very good public transport system. Just on the road, somebody gives us a drive to the base. Even on the way back the same service works well again.

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February 9th, 2003 (Sunday)

The lake with water lilies at the top of Dew PondAt the breakfast chris and me decide to go to green mountains at 10 AM. We take his car to "Red Lion" and walk from there up to Dew Pond. It was the best idea in my life to take my long boots. The way up is very muddy. It is along bamboo forests and banana trees. Dew Pond is just a small pond with fish and water lilies.

BackA large green turtle moves over the beach in Georgetown I change my dirty closes and boots. I have to clean my boots. Later on it I meet Scilla and Chris for dinner. There after we go out for a walk.

Later I go back to the beach. It is dark. There is a large stone. This stone moves slowly away. What is this? I am very impressed, I never in my life saw this before, a large green turtle moves over the beach. I saw turtles in zoos, but never  a large one like this.  

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February 10th, 2003 (Monday)

The BBC Tank Farm close to English BayIn the morning I decide to go to West Point Letterbox. I fill my water bottles andBBC short wave antennas close to English Bay take my sport shoes. About 9 AM I start my walk to the letterbox. Along the BBC antennas and transmitter stations I arrive at the letterbox origin. It is just after the BBC tank farm at English Bay. The way to the West Point Letterbox goes through a lava field. This is difficult. It needs a lot of concentration to go across a lava field. Even large stones can slide away. Each step has to be proved. It is dangerous to do a wrong step. The lava stones are mostly very sharp. To slide into a gap between lava stones can force a broken foot or a broken leg. The way over this lava field sometimes sounds like to go over broken ceramics. There is no difficult to find the letterbox. The lava field is flat.

The lava field on close to Northwest Point letterboxI make a rest at the letterbox and decide not to return the same way.  I will try to cross the lava field in direction of comfortless cove. This direction is marked with a large antenna mast. After a short time the mast was in sight. My walk takes place during noon. The sun nearly is over head. The distance between the West Point Letterbox and the mast is about 1 km (3/4 statute miles).  About 300 m away from the antenna mast I recognize a dramatically drop down in concentration. My steps are very unsafe. I need to rest. I need to drink water. And very important I need shadow. It is very difficult to get shadow in an area where the sun is over head. I search for a place to have a rest. About 200 m away from the antenna mast I found a large rock with a small roof. This roof makes enough shadow. With the last concentration and force I arrive at the rock and sit down. In a situation like this it is very nice to drink a bit of water. It tastes very delicious. I make a rest of about one hour. After this rest I walk to the mast without problems. From the mast a paved way heading into the direction of Comfortless Cove. At the end of the way was a barrier and a plate. This plate told me "Dangers area, no entry". I am very happy that this plate is here and not at the mast, because I did not like to return via the lava field.

Up to now I drunk 1.5 litre of water. On the way back to Georgetown I drunk the rest of the water.

Back at the hotel, Scilla return from the hospital. She talks about swimming. Nice idea, we both drove to English Bay and jumped into the very worm water. Never before I swim in a natural water with this high temperature. A few days later I measured 27 degree celsius.

A large turtle in it's elementAt dinner time I meet Scilla and Chris again. Derric joins our small group. He is a BBC reporter since about 40 years and on the way to St. Helena.  He has to do a very interesting job over there. After the dinner Scilla has an appointment in the VC. So we drove to the base to have a beer.

Later on we went out for turtle watching. We saw several large turtles. They are really very impressive animals! I can not describe what I feel.

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February 11th, 2003 (Tuesday)
The RMS St. Helena's reception area, all passengers have to wait here
It is a nice ship the HMS St. Helena, is'nt it
Unloading the container at Ascension's pier head

Scilla, Chris and Derric have to leave to day. Scilla and Derric will go to St Helena, Chris back home to Scotland.

The arriving of the HMS St. Helena is a great event on Ascension Island. The ship brings goods which are needed on the island. The ship has to anchor away from the coast in front of Georgetown's pier head. So all goods and passengers has to be transported with small ships from and to the HMS St. Helena. The goods, usually stored in container, transported by flat ships like a low-loader lorry. It is very complicated but there is no other way.  There are large crane on a lorry, which moves the containers on the pier head. You do not belief, Ascension has a lot of large equipment like low-loader lorries and cranes.

By the way, the old drill machine really is placed in the "RMS RECEPTION AREA"

I meet Chris in the evening for dinner and beer. Then he leaves back home. This Tristar flight should have about 12 hours delay. Chris told it to me later in an e-mail.

This old drill machine is in the reception area, it should be come into the museum ...
Container sea transport system from and to the ships
Passenger transportation from and to the ship

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February 12th, 2003 (Wednesday)

After my breakfast I walk up to the hill east of Georgetown. This hill is called Cross hill. It is a pity, there is no possibility to go up to the top. The road is closed. May be, it is a radar system up hill.

A view onto GeorgetownDown from the hill I walk cross country into the direction of ComMy bike with a seat, wheels, gears, and breaksfortless Cove.  There should be a pipeline. And if there is a pipeline usually there is a way for pipeline maintenance. But there is no pipeline. The map is about ten years old and so it contains a lot of mistakes. But never mind, I arrive at Comfortless Cove and enjoy the sea and the sun.

Back in Georgetown I ask Cara for a bike. She shows me a few bikes and I rent one. This bike has a seat, a gear switch and pressured air in the wheels. But it has no lock!

It is raining to night, a very warm rain!

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February 13th, 2003 (Thursday)

To day I will go to "Devil's Riding School" by bike. That sounds very easy. But it is'nt. With my bike first I have to ride into the US-Base direction. The difference in altitude is so much that I have to go off from my bike sometimes. I arrive the starting point for the letterbox walk "Devils Riding School". Up to here I need unusual much water.

The letter box walk is easy. The material under my boots sounds like ceramic. I arrived at the letterbox but where are the devil and the horses? The center looks like a small Grand Canyon. There a several Canyons, washed into the weak stone.

I decide to go back to Georgetown via Two Boats Village. May be this idea was'nt so good. It was aThe never used bus stop between Georgetown and Two Boats Village, because there is no bus on Ascension very hard bike ride (mostly I was off). About 500 m before Two Boats Village I search for shadow. I found a dish antenna from Merlin Communication and take a seat under this antenna. My water was a very nice drink. It is difficult to find shadow if the sun is over head. This dish antenna is fantastic to give shadow. I needs a time to recover my force. It is a nice feeling to give everything and than to recover. After an hour or so, I take my bike to go to Two Boat Village. At the top of this road I ride my bike again. Now it was easy to go by bike. I am on the highest point of my ride. At Two Boat Village I go to the pub to have lunch. Back in Georgetown I recover in the front of my Hotel.

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February 14th, 2003 (Friday, Valentines day)

The beach on AscensionSwimming will be nice to day. I take my bike to ride to English Bay. I learn to manage my condition. It makes no sense to try to go as fast as possible. I become tired very fast. It is much better to bring a constant force to the bike. The speed is governed by the gear switch.

The way to English Bay is along the BBC relay station. There are a lot of nice antennas. I amBBC sign close to English Bay fascinated from antennas since my early childhood. About 10 o'clock I arrived at English Bay. The water is nice warm, 27 degree centigrade. There are a lot of colored fish in the water. I was nearly alone at the beach. So I could have the BBQ hut and its shadow. The roof is not closed completely. There is a lath, a gap, a lath and so on. At noon the sun was overhead and I did not recognize it. By going back in the afternoon, my back was burned. Not very nice!

To night the Valentine Dinner should take place. But before I talk with Kay, the new and old bar-woman. She talked about social life on St. Helena and Ascension. It is an easy comunity. She introduces me to her two children in the age of about 9 years.

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February 15th, 2003 (Saturday)

I had a bit of pain by my burned back to night.  To day I will not do to much. After breakfast I sit in front of my hotel and try to read. Sometimes I was very tired, sometimes I was reading. I rains a lot at this day. Fine to sit outside under a small roof.

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February 16th, 2003 (Sunday)

It The HMS St. Helena is backwas raining cats and dogs in the night.  My burned back takes a lot of force out of my body. I did a bike ride to the air field in the morning. I saw large diesel generators. All completely defect and partly removed. I walk down to the sea and back. I am feeling very weak knees. I stop the idea to go to Travelers Hill or Two Boats Village.

The warmness, the moist air and my burned back keeps me down. Back at the hotel I sleep a while. Thereafter I feel much better. I may not overdrive. My organism is not matched to this extremes. Even it is astonished how well I am doing.

The ship (HMS St. Helena) is back from St. Helena. May be, I can go to Ladies Hill tomorrow.

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February 17th, 2003 (Monday)

It was a worst night. What is the reason, the climate or my burned back. I do not know. In general I Decide to the right wayam feeling well. Every thing has to go slow. My organism has to manage the moist warmness. In the night I was very restless like as I have fever. But I do'nt have.

In the morning after breakfast I start at 8 o'clock to go to Lady Hill. It is not very far, horizontal. The difference in altitude is the problem. There was a lot of rain to night. Even now it starts to rain. I become wet . After the rain stops I become dry much faster as I become wet! The way up to Lady Hill is very easy. I have a rest at the letterbox. I ride my bike back via Two Boat Village to Georgetown.

In Georgetown I meet Lenny. Lenny is the radio amateur on Ascension. He lives in Two Boat Village. He is in an very exiting position, he just wants to talk to somebody and produced a pile up. He do not like it. ZD8 is a very rare call sign. By the way, he makes the same observation as I make on Cyprus. His transmission is much better than his receiving. Usually it should be symmetrical. But it is'nt. May be somebody has an explanation for this phenomena.

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February 18th, 2003 (Tuesday)

The Ariane Tracking StationIn the night I sleep very well. And there was a strong wind. To day I will visit the ARIANE tracking station.

The station is located at the end of a road close to the sea. The way to the station goes through Two Boats Village. The tracking station is small. There is a house, a Ariane Dish Antenna (it is very small)few containers and a small dish antenna. I request to go in. The researcher takes me to the container and shows me the station. In this container are a lot of electronic boxes. Even two SMT03 RF generators from my company.  The station receives the ARIANE telemetry data and forward it to the main station. The researcher tries to find out the date of overheadThe Blow Hole which is close to the Ariane Tracking Station sun. He thinks it should be to day. This match my calculation. But at noon I was disappointed, the sun was not overhead.

The coast is different to the coast at Georgetown. Here is lava only. The way down to the sea is difficult but possible. Close to the ARIANE tracking station is the so called "Blow-Hole". This is a natural pipe in the lava stone at the coast. One end of the pipe ends in the sea. The other end of the pipe looks into the sky. If the waves pressing water into this pipe the outcoming water looks like a geyser.

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February 19th, 2003 (Wednesday)
The Palo Alto's well known garage from 1933
The main entrance of the NASA building
The front side of the NASA building
The back side of the NASA building
A large room in the NASA building
Cobwebs fixed the chairs
Education is very necessary
The door to the kitchen
In the kitchen
What is so dangerous behind the door?
NASA bedroom
NASA bedroom
NASA bedroom
NASA bedroom

It is cloudy in the morning. It was a rainy night. After breakfast I start to go to the old NASA site. The NASA side is located at the end of the "Old NASA Road" close to "Devil's Ashpit". The NASA site was a tracking station in the seventies to monitor the APOLLO moon missions. After NASA stops the APOLLO flights, they give up this site.

I ride with my bike into "Old NASA Road" direction. From this road there is a good look onto Ascensions air field called Wideawake Airfield. One Tristar was on the apron and one Tristar approaches to the field. A lot of traffic!

A short time later I parked my bike. Due to the increasing altitude biking is to difficult. The landscape is bizarre. There are a lot of ear cactus, I like this plants! Do you know, you can eat the fruits from this cactus. The fruits have a very sweet taste. Some of the hills are in clouds. I walk up to the NASA site. It is a few miles only. Short before I reach the site, somebody provide me a lift up. This save a bit of time. Geoffrey is meteorologist at the air field. Today he has his free day. Even he did not know the date for sun overhead. He drives me to the end of the NASA Road. From there is a fantastic view to the sea. The hills are in clouds. It is like a witched forest. Close to the end of the road the concrete bases for the dish antennas only with cutted screws are there. No more dish antennas there. The area around is wet. Mushrooms coming out.

At the entering of the NASA area there is a garage. This garage looks like a replica of a very well known garage  in Palo Alto, California (round about 1933). Then the large building is in sight. The main door is locked. I try to look into the dirty windows. Only a large merged US-UK flag with a space shuttle is fixed at the wall. I walked around the building. I am sure, it has seen better times in the past! On the back of the building I found an open door. I go in. The room looks like a still life. The chairs are fixed with cobwebs to the tables. I go more into the building, the kitchen looks like unused for many years. There have been people with humor. The latex glove at the kitchen door and the remark at the ladies restroom shows it. But I guess some other rooms are still in use. Somebody in Georgetown later told me, the scouts are sometimes in the building. I take a few pictures, move very carefully, I do not want to change something. Buildings like this in conjunction with "men in space" have some holly flair for me.

The walk through this building remembers me to the "old days of space flying". It remembers me to MERCURY, GEMINI and APOLLO flights. I think about the first landing on the moon in 1969. I was just 15 and watched the first steps from Neil Amstrong on the TV.  Then my visit of Cap Canaveral and the Mission Control in Houston came up to my mind. And finally sometime I did a few things for the AMSAT organization. I belief, the future of mankind is in the space. Not for my generation, not for the just born babies, but for human in 200, 300 or 500 years. If there is a possibility of hyperspace traveling, if there is a possibility of hyperspace powering, future generations of scientists and engineers will find a solution.

I go to my bike very lazy to ride back to Georgetown. The day closed with a nice talk in the front of my hotel. I should taste the St. Helena cake and I get a cup of tea.

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February 20th, 2003 (Thursday)

This morning looks very nice. It should be possible to go to Devil's Cauldron to day. Arriving the The stone at Pillar Bay letterboxOld Nasa Road all hills are covered in clouds. So I decide to go to an other letterbox. Pillar Bay will be the right one. This letterbox is in direction to the sea. There are no clouds. The way to Pillar Bay is a bit stony but it is more easier then to go to North-West letterbox. Between the stones is plain earth. The way to the letterbox is the easier because the box is down at the sea. Sometimes it goes strait down. It is not difficult. The rocks are like steps. I only have to find the right steps. That needs a bit of experience.

I ask my self, why do I old, stupid, and pigheaded donkey things like this. The answer is so easy as the question, I am an old, stupid, and pigheaded donkey.

The mailbox is easy to find. A large white rock is  in the sea behind the box. It is very important to save water on the way to the box. The way back is much more harder. I was a bit wrong on the way back, I returned about 200 m away from my point of start.

It is cloudy and very warm. My burned back is better now. It was a hard day but its nice to run up the organism to high power. It is nice to drink water during and after such a walk.

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February 21st, 2003 (Friday)

The area of Bullocks Pond, an easy letterbox walkI do not want to do so much to day. The day before where a little bit hard. I was not over powered. I had a lot of  reserves. The way to Bullocks Pond is just an easy walk. So I had the opportunity to think about many things. Even I was thinking about the end of my vacation on Ascension. The sky is cloudy, the temperature is fine. It is a bit windy. A bird flies over my head, stands moveless in the air like a helicopter and looks on me. I look to the white bird which could be a seagull. Then the bird flew to a tree to sit down on an branch. May be greetings from an other bird?

To night was a fine BBQ in the Sunset Bistro. After the dinner I go back to my hotel room. There was a small animal in my room. It looks like a lizard, but the head was to wide. I catch it with my tooth glass and put it out of the hotel. A lizard I never would catch.

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February 22nd, 2003 (Saturday)

This morning seems to be OK to go to Devil's Cauldron. There are a few clouds only. I let my bikeA nice view onto Bosunbird Island close to the start of the Bullock Pond letterbox walk and walked the few miles to the start of Devil's Cauldron letterbox walk. I walk like the description in the walk book and come to a valley which looks like a cauldron. I was not sure whether I am at the cauldron or not. Accidentally I meet Richard. He is from UK and likes to walk. I guess much more than me. First he shows me the way to the Weather Post letterbox and then the way to Devil's Cauldron. The mailbox from the Cauldron is very difficult to find. It is about 10 feet up in the stone wall. There is no hint to find, you have to know the location or you are searching for hours.

It was a very nice walk to day. This area has very beautiful nature. I guess on the island is a continuous fossilization in progress. The sand is like lime. By the influence of water and sun the sand proceeds to a hard material. I observe this procedure at several different places on the island.

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February 23rd, 2003 (Sunday)

In the moA very important house in Georgetownrning I take pictures from several important buildings in Georgetown. Between 7:15 and 8:40 I had enough light but no sun. So I do not get hard shadows.

The morning I spend in Georgetown, watching the houses of the town. The houses are so different as the human are living in. Out of Georgetown is the cemetery. There is a stone wall around. A few of the graves (3 or 4) are out of this wall. I do not know why. Nobody really knows why.

I read in my book for the rest of the day. I am not sure that there is dinner to night. I did not ask to day. There was a dinner to night! I meet the Cable&Wireless managers at the dinner. Later we join the Volcano Club for some drinks. That was a very nice evening.

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February 24th, 2003 (Monday)

It was a bit much yesterday evening. The beer in the Volcano Club taste very good! This should be the oldest building in the south atlantic...

Georgetown has two Forts. The first is close to the museum. The second is close the pier head. I visit the Ford close to the pier head to day. Later I meet Lenny the The sun is not yet in the north, but in a few days...Radio Amateur. We had a talk about interesting buildings. One of the buildings in the harbour area should be the oldest stone building in the South Atlantic Ocean.

At high noon I try to find out whether the sun is overhead or not. The sun is still in the south. The shadow goes to the north (mind the picture to the left). The sun is at the highest point at about 1:10 PM. My calculation to have the sun overhead are wrong. By that calculations I expect the sun over head at the 17th or 18th February.

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February 25th, 2003 (Tuesday)

It is my last day on the island. I do not like to go! Traveling is like a drug. I do not feel that I have to go to day, everything is so far away.

The colored stone ...After breakfast I make a walk to the sea. A lot of strong wave rolls came over.  I think about the possibility to get the energy from that rolls. It should be possible but complicated and very expensive.

Later on I collect my belongings and put everything into my large magic backpack. I visit Cara to pay my bill. To night I had my dinner, say good bye  and had to leave. I do not want to go. The air plane was in time ...

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February 26th, 2003 (Wednesday)

... and the air plane arrives in time. Brize Norton in the UK is really like a normal air port. It is warm outside, not like on Ascension, you can imagine this.

I take a bus to Heathrow and then the fast train to Paddington. This is the easiest way to go to London. I search a hotel close to Paddington station.  In Sussex Garden are a lot of small an nice hotels. But before I buy a browny from a well known bakery. I get a hotel, take a shower and heading to Covent Garden. I was not tired, amazing I did not sleep well in the air plane.

I walked through London, just lazy. In the evening I had a Dinner in a restaurant together with a good dry red wine. I walked back from Regent Street to Paddington. At about half past nine I joined a pub and drunk a beer. I drunk it outside of the pub because it was very warm in London.

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February 27th, 2003 (Thursday)

I slept very well to night, have my breakfast and went out to London. It is a fine warm day. The climate in London is milder then in Munich where I am presently at home. It is nice to go around. I have the feeling not to be from this world. A journey like I change a lot of the mind. I like London and it is a good slide back into the reality.

At the late afternoon I go with the fast train from Paddington to Heathrow. I was very happy because I did a pre check in at Paddington in the morning. I had my hand luggage only. The queues in the airport are so long, too long! I guess Heathrow is too small to handle all the passengers. I am in the queue to the security control to go back to Munich ...

... Back in Munich now I take my luggage and go by train back to my home. I am very disappointed, there is a lot of snow outside. I put my magic backpack on my back and the last steps of this journey are made thought frozen snow. 

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Last modification: October 17 - 2008  DF2IR