Well folks here I am on Isla Isabella, the largest island in the Galapagos. Another long expedition from Quito to Isabella – starting at 430am and ending around 12 hours later. Firstly up at four for a pickup at four thirty to Quito Airport. At the airport we all had an extra baggage search as it is forbidden to bring fresh food to Galapagos.
I should preface all this by saying that I am here at the Galapagos Islands with an Intrepied tour, the first time I’ve ever takan a long (9 days) tour of this kind. So that’s why I am using ‘we’.
So anyways, the flight with Avianca was at 650pm, with a stop at Guayaquil on the way. Take off was quite spectacular with views of the mountains around the Ecuadorian capital providing an awesome backdrop. Then as we approached the Galapagos Islands suddenly there was a small island here and there. It was a great introduction.
The airport we arrived at was on Baltra Island, to the north of the most populated island of Santa Cruz. A public bus down to the crossing which couldn’t have been more than 150 metres to Santa Cruz Island. That was taken by a very short passenger ferry ride, and then onto another public bus for the 45 minutes into Puerto Ayora the main town on the island.
Lunch was served and consumed there, a briefing for the trip, a little free time where we could see iguanas and sea lions, and then a boat transfered us to a speed boat for the journey to Isabella Island. I had heard tales of people being very sea sick on this ride, however it was a calm day and there were no real issues with our crew. Having said that seats after half an hour become very uncomfortable! Better than sea sickness though.
We were taken to our hotel, a new hotel called Hotel Iguana, and it’s proven to be quite comfortable. Today we were again up pretty early for a 630am breakfast and then we went to the amazing Tortoise Breeding Centre. I’m not sure how many giant tortoises they have there but incuding the babies there were hundreds. It was pretty special and I think the guide said that 80 percent of the tortoises on the islands were born there.
Then it was time to hike the Sierra Negro volcano! The main volcano visited by tourists here the trek is often in mist and under clouds, but today we were really lucky – an almost clear sky. Great for the photos – the main crater is 11km by 7km, not so great for sunburn. Used cream 4 times, yet my right arm and ear copped it.
It was a reasonably doable hike, but the last little bit to see lava fields, more craters and lava tunnels was very challenging for my feet and I! Well, coming back up was. Back to the hotel for a muchly needed shower.
And that’s the latest update folks! Hope you’re well wherever you are reading this at – and May the Journey Never End.