The resort, Pestana Ecuador, is by far the largest source of income on the island. However there is a small village whose inhabitants collect bananas, coconuts and other forest products, seem to grow a few crops in surrounding fields, and take their fishing boats out from the village pier (behind the straw-thatched shelter, above). The village only has a handful of inhabitants, so it’s really about the resort, which itself doesn’t have the highest occupancy-rates you could imagine: if you need a completely relaxing vacation in a lovely and really rather luxurious setting – though my standards are not those of the average American tourist, Pestana Ecuador really does a fine job in my estimation – go now. Most of us wonder how long the resort can keep going with such low occupancy and really quite reasonable rates! Below: the village church and other views.

For a better view of the lighthouse itself — built in 1928 and renovated-modernized by the Portuguese Navy in 1994, if I’m reading the plaque correctly — scan down a bit. If you look closely at the sunrise view of a hill beyond a bay, below, you’ll see the red-and-white nub of the lighthouse tower rising from the lower saddle of Ilheu Rolas’s hill. Above: the path through the village.

Poonam tells me that every year some 150 people are killed worldwide by falling coconuts. (She and her family – husband Owen and kids Leila & Billy helped keep me from feeling actually too isolated on Rolas by letting me join them for meals and the occasional ping-pong or dominoes game.) We all agreed that after the well-advertised risks of the streets of Lagos & Port Harcourt, falling coconuts were a welcome risk. Here you also see one of the culprit fallen coconuts in the flesh, rapidly taking root and reaching for the sky in hopes of begetting further dangerous falling objects for future visitors…

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