MORE International researchers have hiked Mount Rendova in the Western Province to conduct different researches on the environment before and after COVID-19.
Tour Guide and staff of Titiru Eco-Lodge, Carlos Philip said these researchers went to conduct their studies on volcanic rocks, snakes, frogs, lizards, bats, environment & conservation and bird-watching.
Mr Philip said this week that a couple from Denmark came to study volcanic rocks on the mountain just to find out if the volcano in Rendova is still active or not.
The couple are Claus and Mishelle. Claus is a Geologist by profession, He and his wife have been travelled to Madang and Rabaul in Papua New Guinea to study the volcanoes there before travelling to Solomon Islands. They were in Rendova Island this week.
Mr Philip said they reached only 400 metres above sea-level of the mountain before they returned to the Eco-Lodge. He said they could not go any further as night was approaching when they reached 400 metres above sea-level of their mountain hike.
According to Wikipedia, Rendova is a volcanic island with central stratovolcano cone with a height of 1,050 metres (3,440 ft) that last erupted in the Pleistocene. The island is subject to frequent earthquakes.
The Pleistocene is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Ice Age.’
During the course of their journey up the mountain, Claus collected rocks from the river and along a bush track to the mountain.
Claus found that most of the rocks that he collected were normal and not volcanic rocks.
“Claus wants to know if there is an active volcanic activity in Rendova Island,” Mr Philip told Solomon Star.
Mr Philip with his assistant tour guide, Laurie Eddie and ranger, Mare Kevu, accompanied the couple on the mountain hike.
The couple travelled to Uepi Resort in Marovo Lagoon yesterday.
They are the first couple to attempt a hike up Mount Rendova after Solomon Islands Government reopened the country’s international borders last July.
Prior to the COVID-19 period, Mr Philip also accompanied other international researchers to hike Mount Rendova for researches in various fields.
The longest hike and adventure that Mr Philip can remember was one that he accompanied three students from the United States Kansas University on. The students spent a week on the mountain to study snakes, frogs, lizards and bats.
“In 2017, I led a couple from the USA who were interested in birds and we went to the mountain for a bird-watch.
“In 2018, I led a student from Australia to study the environment and conservation area in the mountain because the student was an environmentalist.
“Also in 2018, I led three students from USA’s Kansas University – two boys and a girl – to study snakes, frogs, lizards and bats.”
Mr Philip meanwhile revealed that more tourists visited the Titiru Eco-Lodge but they go for scuba-diving, village tours and other activities.
One can climb to the peak of Mount Rendova from Ughele Village on the south. To the people of Ughele, the peak of Mount Rendova is traditionally known as Mount Lumalilisi.
By LACHLAN EDDIE HOE
Solomon Star, Honiara