77

While the longest of the Letterbox walks on Green Mountain this is actually the easiest walk being pretty much flat – once you have managed the 10 minutes walk up the zig-zag road from the Red Lion via Bell’s Cottage to the start of the walk. The walk starts on your left just before you reach the Old Marine Barracks – you will know if you are on the right path as almost immediately you pass Elliot Obelisk  just before entering the first of many tunnels on this walk. Fear not, none of the tunnels are long enough such that you can’t see the exit on entering them.

78The scenery on this fairly open walk is spectacular as is the vegetation. You don’t need to be a botanist to spot some of the few remaining Ascension Island endemic plants as they are marked on this walk. For example, you can spot the critically endangered Xiphopteris ascenionensis – a small fern, Sporobolus caespitosus a spikey green-grey grass and the larger fern Ptisana purpurascensalso.? See my separate review on Ascension Island endemic flora. Keep an eye out for the descriptive plaques (added in early 2013 when the pass was cleared of invasive species such as Guava, Ginger, Koster’s Curse and Buddleai and widened) and then look thereabouts for the plants.

The pass was built in 1840 under the direction of Lieutenant Wade as a lookout for the Marines of the Mountain Detachment.  It was opened by (and named after – hence the Obelisk) Admiral Elliot, Commander-in-Chief of the West Africa Squadron.

79

The path circles Green Mountain at 2400ft and at the time gave cloud free, and vegetation free views out to sea. Several small lookout caves can still be seen along the path though be aware that nowadays clouds can come down to obscure views and vegetation (mainly introduced) is everywhere.

80

You will notice a widening of the path on the southern side (towards end of walk). It was widened during World War II to enable US jeeps to get to a now non-existent radar tower along the path. This and a second radar tower positioned on the mountain road gave a 360 degree coverage to detect approaching aircraft. During the War these sites were high secret locations as was everything else on the island which was closed to visitors. Ascension Island only opened to visitors in 2002.

If you only have time for one walk on Ascension Island let it be this one.

Address: Green Mountain
Directions: Park at the Red Lion


This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries on my trip to Ascension Island. I suggest you continue with my next entry – HERE.
To return to the beginning of this loop click HERE.


 

Advertisement

3 thoughts on “Elliot’s Pass – Walk Around the Mountain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s