Stan and Dee Ink pose for a photo at the edge of Georgetown. Photo by the Inks.
We just returned from Ascension Island with comments and describing the difficulty of getting there.
Before anyone can go they must obtain written permission from the USAF detachment on the island, permits from the local government, and pay a fee of 20 pounds each. The request has to be date specific as to when you are going and returning. The local government requires proof of medical and evacuation insurance before they will consider the request.
Before going, you must sign up and be selected at Patrick AFB for the Monday flight. Normal Space-A rules apply. There are only 32 seats on the plane and most are taken by contractors who work on the island. The plane has a fuel stop on Antigua. The overall flight is 10 hours plus the stop.
TOP: English beach;BOTTOM: Stan Ink stands at the entrance of the base. Photos by the Inks.
If you arrive on the island on this flight at 0500 Tuesday, the base accommodations are very limited, only a few rooms are available, at $20 per person per day. The only USAF flight out is Wednesday at 0300 and it also is Space-A, so you might not get on that flight. You may have to try again a week later, or pay for the only two other flights off the island. They are UK planes that go to England and cost about 500 pounds each. There is a ship that goes about once a week to St Helena and Cape Town for over 1,000 pounds, I think.
If you cannot get in the on-base rooms, the only other accommodations are one hotel, the Obsidian. It has only about 12 rooms and they cost 75-100 pounds per night, with continental breakfast. Today one pound costs $1.67.
There are no taxis or buses, so one either walks or rents one of 6 cars that the Obsidian has. They cost 40 pounds a day plus fuel at about 1 pound/liter. The walk is about 3 miles from the base to the hotel.
TOP: Dee Ink on a lava hill; BOTTOM: The scenic island town of Georgetown. Photos by Stan and Dee Ink.
The Obsidian has the only restaurant, other than the base. One must book in advance and tell them what you want to eat. We are allowed to eat on base at $4, $6 or $8 for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They have a small BX with some limited foods, and there is a snack bar for drinks and simple food, but it is only open on some evenings.
There is no night life on the island. The capital, Georgetown, 3 miles away, has a small grocery, the Obsidian Hotel, a church, a post office and a government building. There are less than 1,000 people on the island and most all work at the USAF base or the UK base. Tuna fishing is available in small open boats for about 100 pounds for 4 hours.
The island is 34 sq. miles and all lava. There is a 2,800 foot high mountain to drive part way and walk up, as well as small lava hills and depressions with interesting features, two nice beaches, a museum and fort. Other than that you rest and relax.
Maj. Stan Ink, USAF, (Ret.) and Dee Ink Fort Myers, FL email@example.com