Being a veggie on Ascension Island by Kitty Cook (age 10)
Karpathos | Ascension Island | Venice | Disneyland Paris | Faroe Islands | Umbria | India | Prague | Zakynthos
This isn't really a holiday review as Kitty actually lives where she's writing about but it is absolutely fascinating...
Being a veggie is great but imagine being on a remote tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 miles from the nearest mainland, 30 square miles big and with hardly any fresh fruit or veg!
Since I have been a veggie all my life and haven’t had any meat or fish I wasn’t going to give up when I arrived here! Some days you go into the one shop on the island and say “Look, yoghurts!” And then you check the ingredients and "oh no! It has gelatine in it!"
There is no farm here and things are imported from Cape Town which takes 3 weeks and everything has to be frozen! All you other veggies out there consider yourself lucky because it is hard to find many fresh things here!
But there is always the great outdoors! (A few Land Crabs as well!) Up on the neglected NASA site there is a fruit called the moon fruit and guavas growing wild. The moon fruit name is peculiar to Ascension, I think it is mainly known as a dragon fruit, and is the fruit of a cactus which grows here and in South America I think. There are also wild bananas if you can climb the mountain and chop them down with a machete! Then there are the fabulous beaches... and the temperature never dips below about 30C!
The famous Boatswain bird Island just off the coast is where thousands of birds roost all year round.
Ascension is also famous for its visiting turtles which swim all the way from South America (over 1000 miles) to lay their eggs here on the beaches. You can walk down and see them on beach at night, you have to be very quiet though and cannot take photo’s as this could disturb them and they wouldn’t lay and may die; they must already be 20 or 30 years old to do this! They are enormous – about 4-5 feet long.
There is a conservation department here which looks after all the wildlife and environment and there is so much to say about it but I couldn’t fit it all in here.
I believe we are the only vegetarians on Ascension!