Guess what folks:
in 2000/2001 I spent half a year on Tristan! When I was a kid in Germany, our
geography teacher put his finger on a spot on the world map in the middle of the
deep blue sea halfway between South America and South Africa and said "If you
ever want to be in the loneliest place in the world where there is still
civilization - this is where you go". Then he took his finger away, and that's
how I found out about TdC. I jumped up and said "THAT's where I'm going to go
some day....." It took fifty years and some doing to get there, but I went. My
story would differ from the one in PARADE, naturally.
To those of you whose interest is peaked:
there are NO tourist facilities
any visits have to be authorized by the administrator
accommodations are in private homes, not cheap
aside from the 2 or 3 cruise ships that stop offshore for - at most - one night
there is the occasional fishing trawler (maybe 3 a year), the annual supply
ship in September and the rare private sailboat that braves the South Atlantic
and then, of course, there are the peculiarities:
8 miles of paved road, 42 motor vehicles - with license plates yet
road signs (and that sign on the first photo) are put up when tourists are
expected - otherwise they are in storage.
1 head of cattle per individual (limited grazing opportunities) and 7 sheep
What the Tristan women are knitting is NOT the wool of their own sheep! Too
dirty and laborious to clean and card and spin (the spinning wheels are in the
storage room of the school), they import ACRYLIC from Cape Town! The fleeces?
They are used as fertilizer in their potato patches (the only crop that grows
Nobody milks the cows, the milk is left for the calves to suckle - milk used is
imported milk powder, butter comes frozen from New Zealand. It took me 4 months
to beg for a quart of milk. I made yogurt, nobody liked it.
When a satellite dish was put up in 2001, all 27 kids in the school (ages 5 -
15) were watching Teletubbies.
When somebody is in the hospital, electricity for the island stays on 24 hours,
otherwise it is on from 5 am to 10 pm - unless there is an important sports
event telecast (mostly cricket). Every household (ca. 70) owned a TV-ready
receiver already because they all were watching videos.