Howdy again here from the Galapagos Islands – I’m now on Santa Cruz Island, the most populated island of the Galapagos. We’ve just been here the one night with the Intrepid tour and later today we take another speed boat across to Isla San Cristobel. That willbe the third and final island for the tour. Then I’ll be back in Quito on Thursday night and before I know it, well, I’ll be on my own again and Saturday morning plan to take a bus to Riobamba, four hours south of Quito.
Two days ago I tried for the first time (properly at least) snorkelling and it was amazing. Sadly my underwater camera didn’t work for some reason – no water got in, I just got a message saying ‘card error’. Oh well, I hope to do some more tomorrow with a bit of luck and hope to fix the problem by then.
I’m sure the snorkelling there won’t be nearly as good however, because this was simply amazing. We snorkelled around the Island of Tintoreras which was just amazing, after touring the seas by boat and walking around the island – filled with marine iguanas. We saw a blue footed booby from the boat and a penguin, friggits, a sea lion jump off a fixed buoy into the ocean, and that was all before snorkelling.
The snorkelling was devine. I took a short wetsuit because the water was a little chilly – around 20 degrees celcius, but the suit did the job. We swam around for about 40 minutes and could see schools of fish, eagle rays, it was mind blowing. And then we snorkelled through a sort of underwater rock canal and above a school of white tip sharks! Yes, I was very disappointed that I couldn’t take any photos. And then as I left the canal this sea lion swam out directly in front of me only two or three metres away. It was simply amazing.
From there well, I visited a lagoon with a strange red tinge to it and went out for dinner, the next day it was up at 445am to take a boat ride back to Santa Cruz Island and the main town of the Galapagos Puerto Ayora. It’s a bit like any beachside town which is a bit disappointing. Despite the location, Galapagos isn’t quite as isolated as I imagined before I arrived.
Here on Santa Cruz we visited the highlands where we saw a sort of sanctuary for the giant land tortoises. It’s very green up there and there were even more there than we saw on Isla Isabella. In fact they are free to come and go as they please and we saw many along the road and around the nearby farms as well. They had a mud pool in the sanctuary area and the ones in there loved wallowing in it.
We were also shown through a lava tunnel which was kinda cool, and then we headed to the Charles Darwin Research Centre where they are protecting and trying to breed various animals such as a breed of finches which were nearly extinct a few years ago and yes, certain breeds of the giant tortoises. Isla Isabella was the island of the iguanas, Santa Cruz the island of the giant tortoises.
And so after the first chilled morning of the tour, we’re ready to head to the final island as the tour enters its final phase. Take care and May the Journey Never End!