Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Island Trek

Sunday dawned somewhat drizzly. This turned out to be advantageous as I decided to hike to the West of San Juan De La Baptiste, which meant climbing a rather steep mountain to start with, and this in the blazing sun would have been tough.
First though I headed through the village to the place where a first world war navel shell is embedded in the lava cliff. This is not the only remnant of the naval battle that took place here, the other lies 100 metres down on the sea floor of the small bay. The German battleship Dresden lies here, having been cornered by three British warships, and scuttled by the German captain (in order to save the lives of his crewmen).

I then headed up through the forest, looking for the path west. It took a while to find, as on two occasions I ended up in somebody's front garden. Once found the path hugged the coast, although the view was just misty and grey. Then it was straight up a sometimes rocky path, sometimes lose cinder stones. As I approached the summit of the hill the weather started to clear fast and at the top I was rewarded with a view of the two massive headlands I had past the day before in the boat from the airstrip.

After a picnic lunch I decided to trek on, up and three valleys in all. The rocks and soil here are a multitude of colours.

Then it was time to hike back, enjoying the views from high up above the sea.

My garden shed was equiped with a kitchen and all utensils so I decided to self cater. Perhaps it was my tuna pasta that attracted Pedro's ginger cat, but from that evening onwards she was always on my lap. Pedro had loaned to me the British author, Diana Soutami's, book on Alexander Selkirk.

The trekking was hard, so it was early to bed, falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing onto the boulders below on the beach.