After climbing Sokehs rock, I still wanted to also get to the top of Sokehs ridge a little to the south, not for the challenge (there is none), but for the historic sights on top. So I walk to Sokehs island again, and take the road straight ahead. The asphalt turns into a rocky and steep track built by the Japanese, and with one switchback from where I have good viewed over Kolonia and the surrounding area, I arrive at the nahs, or meeting houses, that have been constructed here fairly recently. First, I continue the track towards the north - it is apparently rarely used, because parts of it are overgrown by vegetation. It has been raining in the morning, and my legs and shoes are soaked once I arrive at the searchlight platform on top. There is a tomb of the unknown soldier, and besides the modern telecommunication mast, it offers views towards the east. I can also see Sokehs rock from here, which is some 60 metres lower than the 276 metres of Sokehs mountain.
Backtracking towards the south, I now take to exploring the area where most historic sights are located. The Japanese built a command post here, with plenty of defensive installations. A loop takes me past several anti-aircraft batteries, where the guns are slowly rusting away in circular pits which are covered by tall trees. This is fertile soil: the ground is covered in grass and ferns everywhere. Apart from the guns, there are shelters, there is a command post with a tower, and a tunnel. Despite their deadly appearance, the guns actually only managed to shoot down one American bomber plane. After walking around the loop, I come back to the nahs and the huge bamboo again, where I find foundations of the barracks where the army personnel lived during the war.
Not much is left of the barracks: you can just see the outline of the foundations, and some of the stairs remain, too. There are remains of stoves and water tanks. I am, however, looking for a coastal gun, but here, the going gets tricky. Despite the well-prepared leaflet of the visitor centre, I just cannot find the right trail, and finally, conclude that it is not visible anymore - overgrown by ferns. There are several big bomb craters here - the command post obviously was a target of American bombing. After some trial and error, I finally find the British Armstrong-Whitworth naval gun lying next to a steel bunker. It was intended to be used against an invasion from the sea - an invasion that never came. My tine on Sokehs ridge is up, and I walk down the steep track again for a good lunch in town.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sokehs ridge (Federated States of Micronesia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sokehs ridge.
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