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One generally does not think of writing a tip about a fuel station and particularly a fairy grotty two pump job with an attached pre-fab convenience store with little on offer.
However if you are hiring a car on Ascension Island you need to know about this fuel station and its opening hours or lack there-of as it will be your only source of fuel on the Island.
Birdies Refuelling Station & Convenience Store is located about 3 mile out of Georgetown at One Boat (near the Junction for English Bay).
Like everywhere else on the Island it keeps rather peculiar hours (I guess you can open /close when you like if you are the only supplier of a product everyone needs) In April 2013 the opening hours were as detailed below. I suggest you check actual opening hours when you arrive on Ascension and certainly before you need fuel.
Monday,Wednesday and Friday 8am -12 noon
Tuesday and Thursday 2.30pm - 6.30pm
Saturday 8am to 2pm
What is very surprising is the cost of fuel. Especially, if you are coming from the UK you will consider it a bargain - Diesel 92 pence per litre and petrol around GBP 1. I imagine the relatively low price is due to a lack of excise duties or subsidies from the Motherland (that's Britain and not St Helena!).
Written May 10, 2013
There is no public transport on Ascension Island so the only way to get around is by private vehicle.
I highly recommend you rent a car (or befriend someone with one) for the full length of your stay – in fact I’ll state that without a car you will not be able to see or do anything (including eat!).
There are two places to rent cars on the island – the Obsidian Hotel and Birdies. Birdies also operates the Islands only fuel station – see my separate review on that. I recommend that you book vehicles in advance of your arrival as numbers are limited. I can’t find any contact details for Birdies so if you want to check them out seek contact details from the Ascension Island Government which you will be dealing with to get your entry permit and arrange flights (unless arriving and departing by sea).
The Obsidian Hotel seems to have more vehicles available and they seem to be of slightly higher quality and as such slightly more expensive.
Daily rental costs range between GBP 15 and GBP 25 depending on quality – the higher cost ones have air-conditioning which I highly recommend due to heat and dust. Cars tend to be manual.
A very limited number of 4wds are available but, honestly, you don’t need one. If you do, for some reason, need one hire it for a day or two and stick with a standard car for remainder of your time.
To rent a car you will need to present your driving license (any license in English is acceptable).
You drive on the left hand side of the road (roads are of surprisingly high quality though the one up to Green Mountain is steep and winding – be careful on it) and the wearing of seat-belts is compulsory.
The speed limit is 20 mph in Georgetown and Two Boats Village, and when passing the US Base and either 30 or 40 mph elsewhere. Watch out for wild sheep and donkeys on the road.
If you have read this far you might be wondering at my choice of photo accompanying this tip. Hardly a great recommendation for car rental on the island.
Yes, this is my rental car – the only photo seem to have of it. It was actually an excellent car hired from the Obsidian but I ended up with a flat battery and even pushing couldn’t get it going. I’m told that this is a not uncommon problem on the island as the short distances cars are driven mean that batteries often don’t have sufficient time to recharge themselves. I ended up having to call the police (no mobiles on Ascension ) using an emergency services phone located at English Bay beach. The Police happily popped over to the Obsidian ( 50 metres walk) which organized my rescue most efficiently.
Written May 8, 2013
Website: www.ascension-island.gov.ac/ www.obsidian.co.ac/index.html